The Attacks that Changed the World
By Dialogo September 11, 2013
Nobody can dispute the sense of vulnerability and uncertainty brought forth from the September 11, 2001 attacks perpetrated by Al Qaeda, leading the international community to significantly change their perception of international terrorist threats for the past decade, which until then were regionalized.
The incident became the first milestone for the so-called decade of violence and terror, defined by some as one of the bloodiest periods of the 21st Century, apart from the regular wars.
There were dozens of other encounters in countries such as Indonesia (2002), Spain (2004), England (2005), India and Pakistan (2007 and 2008), and Russia (2010) that killed thousands of innocent people, in addition to failed actions and attempts that were thwarted by security and intelligence agencies.
In order to dismantle Al Qaeda, many secret actions were taken, with the support of several countries, as well as the surveillance and monitoring of the group’s finances, which reduced their operability.
However, contrary to what many people believed would happen after the death of the main terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, terrorism has not been silenced. Instead, it responded by creating new members, new techniques used by suicide bombers, smaller groups, and lone-wolf fighters, who are not related to any known group, but participate in isolated attacks against many specific targets, using home-made resources.
All these factors make it difficult to detect and neutralize them in time to avoid further damage. Currently, the terrorists have a new recruiting and training base in North Africa that is supported by former groups that gain strength thanks to the consentfailed nations.
To fight them, in addition to the increase of international security mechanisms and the use of new technologies, there are multiple intelligence agencies specialized in artificial imagery intelligence (IMINT), signals intelligence (SIGINT), and measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), new online programs that culminate with an ample global surveillance and monitoring system aiming to identify potential threats.
Despite all efforts, it was not possible to neutralize some of the attacks, such as the incidents at the Boston Marathon in 2013 and the U.S. Consulate in Libya, in 2012.
Unfortunately, the most significant factor is that extreme ideology is just as alive as it was prior to the September 11 attacks, and it is patiently awaiting new opportunities to show the western world that they are still capable of performing cinematic actions.