September 11th 2001 was a shocking day when four commercial airplanes were hijacked. Two were deliberately flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York and one was flown into the outer wall of the Pentagon. On the fourth plane, Flight 93, passengers fought with the hijackers, who ditched the plane in a field in Pennsylvania killing all on board. About 3,000 people in total lost their lives in the attacks which were claimed by a terrorist group called al-Qaeda.
The chain of events can be viewed on the 9/11 Memorial website.
What happened after the attacks was a declaration of war on terrorism by President George W.Bush. What followed was the 10 year hunt for Osama bin Laden, the architect of the attacks, wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the emergence of Islamic State as a brutal fighting force in the Middle East and uprisings in Tunisia and Libya. US and UK drone strikes have been used to kill targeted terrorists and Western air support given to those fighting against Islamic State.
So has terrorism been defeated? Does that even seem like a sensible goal? Richard English’s book Terrorism: How to Respond offers some interesting analysis.