The roots of terrorism: A reassessment after September 11th

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The brutal terrorist attacks of September 11th, the anthrax attacks that followed and growing knowledge of al Qaeda's pursuit of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons have not only intensified concerns about terrorism but also created doubts about our understanding of terrorism. These attacks were in many ways unprecedented, and ultimately raise the question of the roots or causes of terrorism. Historically and today, there have been divergent views on this question, which reflect philosophical, religious, political and other differences. These differences are not merely academic, as they can affect our understanding of both the threat and of responses to terrorism ... continued below

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10 p.

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Pilat, Joseph F. January 1, 2002.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. It has been viewed 12 times , with 4 in the last month . More information about this article can be viewed below.

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Description

The brutal terrorist attacks of September 11th, the anthrax attacks that followed and growing knowledge of al Qaeda's pursuit of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons have not only intensified concerns about terrorism but also created doubts about our understanding of terrorism. These attacks were in many ways unprecedented, and ultimately raise the question of the roots or causes of terrorism. Historically and today, there have been divergent views on this question, which reflect philosophical, religious, political and other differences. These differences are not merely academic, as they can affect our understanding of both the threat and of responses to terrorism in the aftermath of September 1 1 th. Terrorism is too complex and diverse a phenomenon to speak easily of causes. But we may be able to discern the causes of specific acts. Our response to 9/11 and other acts of terrorism will be affected by our understanding of their causes, as well as by possible political requirements to address widespread perceptions of causes. If 9/11 was caused by Islamic radicalism, the near-term response must be to ensure the terrorists are defeated and pose no fiuther danger. In the longer term, education is critical. If the attacks were caused by US Middle East policies, the response should involve a review of those policies. This may or may not result in changes to policy, public diplomacy, etc. If the attacks were a backlash against globalization, the response must address the realities underlying anti-globalization sentiments. Addressing causes (real and perceived) will not in any case end terrorism, and addressing the wrong causes can be counterproductive. Actions to reduce those conditions that create support for terrorism and aid its recruitment effort are critical to any counterterrorism strategy. For this reason alone, we must do everything possible to understand the reasons terrorism may be undertaken, including the attacks of September 1 1 th. This paper will look at the question of the roots of terrorism and then look to the specific case of 9/11 and its aftermath, with a special view to the impact of globalization.

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10 p.

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  • Submitted to: 5th mediterranean dialogue international research seminar, Rome, Italy, October 2002

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  • Report No.: LA-UR-02-7280
  • Grant Number: none
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 976455
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc926904

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • January 1, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

Description Last Updated

  • Dec. 12, 2016, 1:06 p.m.

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Pilat, Joseph F. The roots of terrorism: A reassessment after September 11th, article, January 1, 2002; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc926904/: accessed April 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.