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Motives of the 9/11 attacks

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Introduction

What were the motives of the terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks on the USA? According to the 'Collins English Dictionary', terrorism is defined as "the use of violence and intimidation to achieve political ends." A big example of this is the 9/11 attacks on the USA. These attacks were when 19 Al-Qaeda terrorists, 15 of them Saudi Arabian, took over 4 US commercial planes and flew them in to some of Americas biggest economic buildings. Two were flown into the World Trade Centre, one was flown into the Pentagon, the Military headquarters and the fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, believed to be heading for the Whitehouse, home of President Bush. There are three main motives for the attacks; Betrayal, Jihad and Resentment. In this essay I am going to weigh up my evidence, explain my reasons I believe they carried out the attacks, and decide the most important motive for their attacks. What really could make people carry out such fatal and horrifying missions? The first of three very complex motives is Jihad. The Arabic word jihad means literally "struggle" and Islamic scholars have long been divided on how it should be interpreted. For some it means the struggle to defend one's faith and ideals against harmful outside influences. ...read more.

Middle

Another reason for Bin Laden being betrayed was the Gulf War in 1990. When Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait, Bin Laden offered his extremist group up to help Saudi Arabia fight him. Bin Laden felt betrayed when the Saudi government refused his offer, and looked to the USA the support, their longest standing allies since the 1930s. So, was that why Bin Laden chose 15 Saudi Arabian men to carry out the terrorist attacks? About 200 people belong to the core group, so it's possible there is a logical reason to Bin Laden choosing 15 of 19 terrorists to be Saudi Arabian. On one hand, it's possible that the young terrorists were disenchanted due to the economic collapse of the late 1980s in Saudi Arabia, when oil prices plummeted. With boredom and frustration mounting upon well educated young men, Al-Qaeda had a "fertile recruiting field for Islamic terrorists." On the other hand, Bin Laden could have recruited from anywhere e.g. Chechnya or Afghanistan, but he chose Saudi Arabia as a double blow to the US. The Saudi/USA relationship has always been linked with oil and protection. With the Americans wanting oil and the Saudis wanting protection. Many extremists argue that Saudi Arabia is corrupt in their unholy alliance that in wanting to be westernised leads to wastefulness and materialism. ...read more.

Conclusion

All these reasons make it hard for me to decide which the most important motive was for the 9/11 attacks as I believe that all motives are linked in some way. I have come to the conclusion that resentment is the most important motive for their attacks. This is because, looking at the evidence for Jihad and Betrayal, although both play a very big part, all end up linking back to resentment. The Al-Qaeda resent the U.S because their extremist views mean that they hate all infidels and believe that Muslim countries should be ran so they are Pan Islamic. So, when there are infidels in their country, making up their own rules, and not running it how they want it to be run, it's going to result in much resentment for the U.S. Also the long running betrayal that has been mounting up for many years is also going to cause a hatred for the U.S. All in all this why I believe that resentment is the most important motive. Resentment is described as "a feeling of deep and bitter anger and ill-will."But to carry out such horrifying attacks, I believe that this word used is an understatement as to what Bin Laden and the Al-Qaeda feels. Vanessa Bird ...read more.

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