10 years after 9/11: Lessons from the Philippines

The catastrophic attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 ripped off a veneer and exposed what was growing beneath the surface: al Qaeda’s successful efforts to tap Muslim grievances around the world and infect disparate, home-grown groups with its global jihad. Al Qaeda has helped groups like Jemaah Islamiyah in Southeast Asia target the “Near Enemy” – their governments, and the “Far Enemy” – the United States.

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  • CWolf says:

    I remembered very well the months after Ramzi Yousaf was arrested in the Philippines. The US government insisted the Philippines buy and deploy very expensive metal detectors in the major airports or risk loosing landing rights to US borders.
    So when 911 happened and when I realized that 911 plotters’ weapons-of-choice were simple box cutters, I was stunned. The US FAA insisted to Philippine authorities that even box cutters weren’t allowed.

  • Ben says:

    The attack on the icons of America

  • may ramos says:

    september 11, 2011? please check first sentence. 🙂

  • Max says:

    How can Maria claim that there have been no other Al-qaeda attacks on US soil since 9-11? What about the numerous attacks on recruitment centers, military bases, the fizzled attack on Times square not too many months ago, and most notably, the Al-qaeda inspired attack at Fort Hood, when the muslim murderer shouted “alihu akbar” before shooting dead a large number of service people? Most of these were admittedly not directly under Al-qaeda control/direction (as far as we know), but they were certainly inspired by Bin Laden and his global jihad, so what’s the difference? Trying to split hairs in this way does a great disservice to the truth. And the Times Square fizzlebomb was directed by a subgroup that was closely allied to Al-qaeda, as admitted by the Obama administration, so what gives? Her statement is certainly false and misleading.

  • Gerald says:

    So the Long War on Terror will consist of SF raids and Drone strikes. Best we start beefing up the Raptor fleet and build some more of those Stealth Helis.

  • namvet says:

    Thank you Maria for reminding us of the Lernaean Hydra nature of Al-Qaeda. I look forward more of your articles.

  • joey says:

    Thank you Maria for this piece. Interesting and much needed insight.

  • madashell59 says:

    To think the world changed due to the US reaction is out of place. Unless you are saying it stunned the world that the US deciding after being attacked numerous times decided to say enough is enough while everyone else just took it on the chin.
    Now how about the Brits and the Russians being driven out of Afghanistan. Well the Brits conquered and then got to comfortable also that was before the ability to bring in support quickly. As for the Russians they were there to help a communist keep power and the US helped the Taliban defeat them. And look how nice those back stabbers (Taliban and others) have been.
    Even within the Islamist Extremists it is all about money and power don’t get fooled by the religious aspects.

  • Mr T says:

    “After ten years, one trillion dollar and thousands of lives, al Qaeda is many times stronger and formidable.”
    Yeah, sure.

  • Dan says:

    In my opinion Maria, I think your neglect to mention the strikes in Bali, Spain and London as similar in magnitude, highlights that body count is the bench mark for targeted operations. All of the above mentioned operations were a strategic success for AQ or their affiliates (and a loss for the West). I agree that we need to remain forever vigilant, with the next development phase for AQ. I fear the new head of the hydra is looking for benchmarks for strategic strike at the tactical level, along with the stated aims of WMD. Operations similar to Norway

  • PacRim Jim says:

    AQ has been extremely successful — in spreading the U.S. military into the heart of Islam.
    Unintended consequences are a bitch.

  • ennie says:

    The distribution of the wealth all over the world is unfair, there still are other “AL Qaeda”s waiting for a chance to destroy the stabilization of people.

  • Neo says:

    Ben is at least partially correct in his assertion that Al Qaeda intended to bring the United States into direct conflict with the Muslim world with the 9-11 attack. That much is supported in Al Qaeda literature. It must also be stated that Ben

  • just a minute says:

    I couldn’t get past this line “tap Muslim grievances around the world”. Like actual grievances are what causes Islamic pre-terrorist to join up for training. Or those who are in a position to cause harm to flip their switch and DO HARM spouting Allah Akbar as they go.
    Life is full of grievances for every person ever born. It is not grievances that turn people into killers, it is believing the lie that killing will somehow make a wrong right. Those who kill in the name of religion are using religion as their justification but name injustice as there reasons. Being told and believing that your religion demands you kill those who don’t believe as you do is the only thing that causes this problem we are facing today.
    No matter what your circumstance or station in life, if you are hearing this lie, reading this lie, you are probably going to act on this lie. Satan has been pushing these words from the dawn of time and men are falling for the lie ever more as time marches on.
    We need to fight this teaching at all cost and trying to justify it as caused by any real or imagined grievance is adding fuel to an already out of control wild fire. There is no excuse for killing in the name of religion, just evil.

  • Villiger says:

    just a minute, thank you for articulating that. You speak the truth.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    Wasn’t there a laptop confiscated as well? This laptop was supposed to have had plans relating to 9/11 style attacks, and the Pinoy investgator passed this intel on to FBI, but they just couldn’t “connect the dots?” the signs were all over the place, how couldn’t our intel agencies NOT know? The laptop belonged to Yousef, there was a fire, the cops came and saw they were making explosives. Shame they didn’t act on this intel.


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