Many wars were fought over land and religion before World War II, but after this war the world changed significantly in its types of conflicts. There are four primarily reasons for Islamic Terrorists attacks beginning September 2001: the creation of the United Nations and decolonization; the establishment of the State of Israel and its expansion in Palestine; the creation of Islamic militant groups and organizations; the Gulf Wars and the Wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
The United Nations, Decolonization and Independent Countries
The League of Nations was dissolved after WWII and the United Nations was founded October 24, 1945. The United Nations article, The United Nations and Decolonization, declares (http://www.un.org/en/decolonization/history.shtml 2017), “When the United Nations was established in 1945, 750 million people – almost a third of the world’s population – lived in Territories that were non-self-governing, dependent on colonial Powers. Today fewer than 2 million people live in such Territories… Since the creation of the United Nations more than 80 former colonies have gained their independence… there are 17 non-self-governing Territories remaining today.”
After the dissolution of the former Soviet Union (USSR) in December 1991 (since 1940 into 15 independent countries) and after the changes in the Western Balkans early 1990s, since 2001, the maps of the world have changed very little. East-Timor gained independence from Indonesia in 2002; Montenegro and Serbia split in 2006; Kosovo gained independence from Serbia in 2008; and South Sudan separated from Sudan in 2011.
Since the creation of the United Nations and its growth in membership countries (193), and its power through the World Bank and other organizations; and due to the independence of nearly every country in the world; nations do not war against each other as they did in WWII and the centuries past. And because nations do not war against each other over land and resources as they did in the past; militant groups are limited in the methods of organized war.
We are not fighting Allies vs Axis, where individuals can join Nation armies as they did during World War II, such as Americans and Canadians who joined the British before their countries declared war. Nor can individuals push their country, such as in Iran, to go to war – even though the homeland may desire it. However, individuals desiring to fight for an Islamic cause or any number of reasons can join an organization of their choice; or go it solo. Islamic Jihadists or extremist groups typically incite civil wars and unrest; and those individuals desiring to fight or Jihad and operate in extreme manners can with internet media easy find a group or even how to make a bomb and who to target (as such put out by Inspire Magazine).
The State of Israel and its expansion in Palestine
About 2 years after World War II, months after the UK partitioned India and Pakistan; a UN mandate partitioned Palestine into separate Jewish and Palestinian states; although Israel was not declared a state until May 1948. Immediately afterwards, the Arab-Israeli War began. The Second Arab-Israeli War began in 1956; and in 1967 after several Muslim nations lined up on the border of Israel with tanks and troops.
June 1967, Israel launched a preemptive strike and destroyed Egypt’s air force and tanks on the Syria and Jordan borders in the ‘Six-Day War.’ At that time about 250,000 Muslim Palestinians fled the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Wars and conflicts continued, including the Yom Kippur War in 1973 and Israel-Lebanon conflict in 1982. And after the expansion of Israel; and the creation of Hezbollah, HAMAS, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and others that came out of the Muslim Brotherhood and conflicts, and of course after the formation of ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic State – came non-stop threats and conflicts by Islamic militants against Israel.
To understand why there will be no long-term peace; especially in Palestine; you only need to read speeches before the UN General Assembly by PLO leader Y. Arafat, Libya’s Gaddafi or Iran’s Ahmadinejad (2010).
|Arafat said (1988), in “…1974 – 14 years ago – I received with gratitude an invitation from you to present the cause of our Palestinian people before this esteemed assembly. I now return to you here after all these years, which were fraught with grave events, to see that new peoples have taken their places among you, thus crowning their victories in the battles for freedom and independence. To the representatives of these peoples I extend the warm congratulations of our people, and to everybody I announce that I return to you with a louder voice, stronger determination and greater confidence to emphasize that our struggle must bear fruit and that the state of Palestine, which we proclaimed in our National Council, must take its place among you, so that it can take part with you in consolidating the Charter of this organization and the Human Rights Convention, in putting an end to the tragedies to which humanity is being subjected, and in laying down the bases of right, justice, peace and freedom for all, for all, for all…
Mr. President and members of the assembly: The continuing struggle of our people for their rights dates back scores of years, during which our people have offered hundreds of thousands of martyrs and wounded and suffered all kinds of tragic tortures. But these people have not relented and their determination has not faltered. Rather, it has consolidated their determination to cling to their Palestinian homeland and their national identity. Israel’s leaders, who were overtaken by deceptive intoxication, believed that, after our departure from Beirut, the sea would swallow up the PLO. They did not expect that the departure into oblivion would be transformed into a road leading back to the homeland, the real arena of the struggle, and to occupied Palestine. The valiant popular uprising inside our occupied land broke out and will continue until our goals of freedom and national independence are realized…” http://al-bab.com/albab-orig/albab/arab/docs/pal/pal5.htm
“The LORD appeared to Abram and said, ‘To your descendants I will give this land.‘ Then Abram built an altar there to the LORD who had appeared to him (Gen. 12:7).” And to Israel, “I will bring you to the land which I swore to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob (who is called Israel); …I am the Lord (Exo. 6:8).”
The Creation of Islamic Militant Groups and Organizations
After World War I the Muslim Brotherhood (Society of the Muslim Brothers) was founded in 1928; and by 1939 it had 500,000 members. After World War II and the creation of the state of Israel, the political party Fatah began attacking Israel in 1964 and the next year it formed the Palestinian National Liberation Movement. In the 1990s Yasser Arafat led the group. Numerous failed temporary peace agreements, such as the Oslo Accords, or other Accords and Meetings and agreements have come and gone and presidents from Carter to Obama have given Islamic Nations hundreds of billions of dollars in hopes of peace and due to conflict situations; only to be followed by trillions of dollars for wars.
In 1967 the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was formed by a merger of different student and youth groups primarily. In 1982 Hezbollah was created (‘Party of Allah’); in 1988 Osama bin Laden founded Al-Qaeda (Al-Qaida); and in 1994, the Taliban was founded. Many Mujahideen came (those engaged in jihad). After fighting Russians with US and Saudi support; and after the US supported Kuwait (early 1990s) in 1996, al-Qaeda moved its headquarters to Afghanistan and declared war (a fatwa) on the United States. Though some of the leaders had been in other groups; in 2006 ISIS/ISIL, the Islamic State began.
The Gulf Wars to 9/11
In the 1970s and 1980s the CIA, backed by presidential advisors such as Brzisekski, and congressmen, such as Charlie Wilson, gave perhaps a billion dollars to Islamic militants groups to fight the Soviets (Russians) in Afghanistan.
In August of 1990, President Saddam Hussein had Iraqi troops invade and seize Kuwait. During the previous decades America overlooked all that took place by his hand and orders; but something more important to America’s corporate lobbyists and politicians could not be overlooked – our oil interest. About 1958 at 21 years old, Hussein served six months in prison for killing his brother-in-law. After years in the Baath Party, Saddam became vice-president under his cousin, President Ahmad al-Bakr (1968).
In 1979, Hussein coerced his cousin to resign, and became president of Iraq; and at that time ordered the execution of many rivals on the Revolutionary Command Council. In 1980, he ordered his troops to invade Iran. Hundreds of thousands were killed in the 8 year war that ended in 1988. During the war, Saddam ordered 148 Shite men in Dujail killed; stating they were involved in a failed assassination attempt.
In the Iran-Iraq War it is estimated that between a half million and a million people were killed. It should be noted that the United States backed Iraq with billions of dollars of economic aid and military weapons. And that the USSR (Russia) sold weapons to the Iranians, through its allies, Libya and Syria; until the later part of the war when it supported Iraq. Before the war ended in 1988, Hussein ordered the use of chemical weapons against his own countrymen; the Kurds in northern Iraq – tens of thousands were killed. It was reported that chemical attacks were used on about 40 Kurdish Villages in Iraqi since 1987.
August 2, 1990 Saddam sent demands to Kuwait to forgive their debts incurred during the Iran war. Soon after, Iraq invaded the oil-rich Kuwait. According to the Middle East Research and Information Project (merip.org in MER171), “…no conflict is one-dimensional. Some in Washington welcomed the crisis to demonstrate that the US still has a clear advantage over its economic competitors: military power… Nevertheless, this war was about oil access, prices and profits… By 1985 OPEC’s market share of global production was 30%, down from 54% in 1973… the (oil) price crash of 1985-1986 proved to be a turning point… Non-OPEC output in the capitalist world, after peaking in 1985 with 44% of global production, declined to 39%… OPEC’s capacity utilization went up …to 90% in 1990. OPEC’s share of the world oil market climbed… The OPEC countries worldwide possess 74% of the world’s known oil reserves. Those in the Gulf account for 62%… 572 billion barrels in 1988… Oil companies… were clear winners of the events… Robert Horton of British Petroleum commented that ‘every dollar increase in the price of a barrel of crude adds $200 million to my bottom line’.”
August 5, 1990 King Fahd of Kuwait met with United States Vice President Richard Cheney (former: Sec. of Defense, director on CFR, and CEO of Halliburton – oil) and requested U.S. assistance. August 8, US fighter jets arrived in Saudi Arabia and by October 21, Gen. Colin Powell was in Riyadh coordinating offensive plans. November 29, the United Nations approved ‘all means necessary’ to remove Iraq from Kuwait. Early December, US troops from Germany arrived in Saudi Arabia and January 12, 1991 Congress authorized attacks. On January 17, less than 2 days after the UN deadline for Iraqi self-withdrawal, the United States attacked Iraqi forces. When the dust settled February 28, the cease-fire date, 149 US soldiers had died and over 100,000 Iraqis were killed (pprox.. 30,000) or wounded; as well as 3,700 tanks, 2,400 APCs, 247 aircraft, and 2,600 artillery pieces destroyed.
February 26, 1993 a 1340 lb. truck bomb was detonated in the parking garage below the North Tower; the explosion killed 6 Americans and wounded over a thousand. One of the bombers, born in Kuwait, had trained with Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan.
After the First Gulf War the United Nations created the UN Special Commission (UNSCOM) to oversee that Iraq removed ‘chemical and biological weapons.’ A no-fly zone and weapon searchers continued for about 4 years. In 1995, the UN created an ‘oil-for-food’ program to allow Iraqi oil to be exported and humanitarian goods imported. Weapon inspections continued; and June 1996 after a failed US backed coup attempt, Saddam had hundreds tortured and killed; and an Iraqi intelligence officer using a CIA operative mobile phone called a US agent and said, ‘your men are dead. Pack up and go home.’
June 25, 1996, followers of Osama bin Laden (founder of Al-Qaeda) bombed a US military base in Saudi Arabia, killing 19 US soldiers. August 7, 1998, two US embassies in Africa were bombed killing 250 people and injuring 5,000. The US countered with air strike in Sudan and Afghanistan. August 28, 1998, the FBI accused bin Laden of having declared ‘jihad (holy war)’ against America and certain Western nations.
December 1998, after almost 8 years of at least semi-cooperation with UNSCOM, Saddam expelled UN inspectors and ended cooperation – this was the day before the House was voting on President Clinton’s impeachment. Negotiations between Iraq and the UN continued over the next year and months with sanctions and easing of sanctions. December 2000, Iraq stopped exporting oil due to protest over the UN control of some of their reserves.
October 12, 2000 al Qaeda Islamic suicide bombers in Yemen attacked the USS Cole, killing 17 sailors. February 2001, Britain and the US bombed certain air defense networks in Iraq. At that time the UN were imposing sanctions against the Taliban for harboring bin Laden.
|According to Forbes.com What Really Led to 9/11 (9/2010); During this period FBI and NCIS Special Agents tracked down some of the terrorists involved and got confessions. One terrorists (al Quso) said that he helped transport $36,000 from Yemen to Bangkok, and gave it to Khallad bin Attash, a lieutenant to Osama bin Laden. “When the FBI asked the CIA if it knew anything about Khallad being in Malaysia, it said it didn’t. After the attacks of 9/11 (2001), the CIA gave the FBI surveillance pictures (that it had since January 2000 – I add 10 months before the Cole bombing) of Khallad in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) at what turned out to be the 9/11 planning meeting. For some reason this Khallad also met Nawaf al Hazmi and Khalid al Mihdhar, two of the …9/11 hijackers, in Bangkok too. After meeting Khallad, the two purchased first-class tickets to Los Angeles… March 2000, the CIA learned that on Jan. 15, 2000, Hazmi had taken a United Airlines flight to Los Angeles… Mihdhar was with him.”|
The 9/11 Commission Report issued in July 2004, about 585 pages (including blanks) stated, “we learned about an enemy who is sophisticated, patient, disciplined, and lethal. The enemy rallies broad support in the Arab and Muslim world by demanding redress of political grievances, but its hostility toward us and our valves is limitless… We learned that the institutions charged with protecting our borders, civil aviation, and national security did not understand how grave this threat could be, and did not adjust their policies, plans, and practices to deter or defeat it… (from Preface).”
It is beyond the scope here to go rewrite the 9/11 Report, and note changes in agencies; yet it did continue saying, “To extremists, however, such divisions (between government and religion), as well as the existence of parliaments and legislation, only prove these rules to be false Muslims usurping God’s authority over all aspects of life… the extreme Islamist version of history blames the decline from the Islam’s golden age on the rulers and people who turned away from the true path of their religion, thereby leaving Islam vulnerable to encroaching foreign powers eager to steal their land, wealth and even their souls… (p.50)”
The Report went on in detail about how after the attackers “arrived in Los Angeles… KSM …instructed Hazmi and Mihdhar to pose as newly arrived Saudi students and seek assistance at local mosques… (they) were directed to enroll in English-language classes upon arriving… so that they could begin pilot training as soon as possible… By Feb. 4, Hazmi and Mihdhar… (were with) Mohdar Abdullah… a Yemeni university student… fluent in both Arabic and English… perfectly suited to assist the hijackers… After 9/11, Abdullah was interviewed many times by the FBI. He admitted knowing of Hazmi and Mihdhar’s extremist leanings and Mihdhar’s involvement with the Islamic Army of Aden (a group with ties to al Qaeda) back in Yemen… the FBI found a notebook (belonging to someone else) with references to planes falling from the sky, mass killing, and hijacking… In May 2004… FBI learned of reports about Abdullah bragging to fellow inmates… in September-October 2003 that he had known Hazmi and Mihdhar were planning a terrorist attack.”
War in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria
October 7, 2001 –less than a month after the 9/11 attack, the US-led forces began military actions in Afghanistan. January 29, 2002 President George Bush said that Iraq was part of the ‘axis of evil’ with Iran and North Korea. In November of 2002, the UN Security Council passed resolution 1441, giving Iraq ‘a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations’ and warned of ‘serious consequences.’ Despite numerous protest and rallies in the US and UK, in February 2003, the two nations put forth a draft saying Iraq missed its ‘final opportunity.’ March 17, 2003 US President Bush gave Saddam a 48 hours ultimatum to leave the country with his sons. March 20, Operation Iraqi Freedom began, with the ‘shock and awe’ aerial bombardment and precision targeting; and by April 9, the Iraqi army lost their capital city – Baghdad. Well tens of thousands of Iraqi Muslims celebrated in May, about 20,000 to 30,000 Iraqis had been killed, thousands arrested, and hundreds looking for avenues of retaliation. December 13, 2003 Saddam Hussein was found by US soldiers in a cellar in Tikrit; he would later be execution on December 30, 2006.
The wars and conflicts continued and in 2005, about 478 suicide bombing attacks occurred. Also since 2001, for 16 years now the United States and allied forces have fought and chased the Taliban and ISIS forces in Afghanistan. In 2003, the US had about 11,000 troops in Afghanistan and 36,000 by January 2009 which almost doubled to 71,000 in December at which time about 850 US troops had been killed there. Though less than 100x the daily death rate in WWI or WWII; it is estimated that more than 6,900 US Soldiers have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and about 635 British soldiers. Also, about 200,000 civilians have died. It is estimated that about 1.2 million soldiers, civilians and terrorists have been killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen.
It is estimated that by the end of 2017, the total costs of the wars in the Middle East cost U.S. taxpayers between $2 and $6 trillion; a far cry than the $50 billion the Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said in 2003. The CRS (Congressional Research Service) reported to Congress that each soldier cost about $3.9 million. Though the actual funding for Operations in the region was about $1.6 trillion, several studies – such as by Brown University – reported that due to Homeland Security expense and other cost in Middle East through 2016, the War cost Americans $4.8 trillion.
Note ProCon.org offers a great timeline of events as well:
In 2003, after the Iraqi war ended thousands of Iraqis were put into Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq. In February 2004, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was arrested and put in Camp Bucca. He was allowed to go about the two dozen sections of the camp for religious reasons; at which time he and other former leaders of various Islamic terrorist groups founded ISIL or ISIS – the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (formerly al Qaeda in Iraq).
For much more see: ISIS: who, what, why, how? and The ISIS Threat
The reasons or causation of terrorist organizations and attacks vary and are vast. However, there are several main factors for terrorism since 9/11: the very history and environment of Muslims in the Middle East; the decolonization and independence of countries; the establishment and expansion of Israel; the Islamic groups post-WWII and pre-9/11; the Gulf Wars and Wars in the Middle East; and the creation of post-9/11 terrorist groups.
Terrorism: Causes and Timeline of Significant Events leading to the Establishment of Top Terrorists Groups