By Sunmola Olowookere
On the morning of September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists from the Islamist extreme group al Qaeda hijacked four commercial aircraft and crashed two of them into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center complex in New York City.
The WTC was a 16-acre commercial complex in lower Manhattan that contained seven buildings, a large plaza, and an underground shopping mall that connected six of the buildings. The centerpieces of the complex were the Twin Towers. On September 11, 2001, the entire complex was destroyed in the terrorist attack that has come to be referred to as “9/11.”
A third plane crashed into the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. After learning about the other attacks, passengers on the fourth hijacked plane, Flight 93, fought back, and the plane was crashed into an empty field in western Pennsylvania about 20 minutes by air from Washington, D.C.
The Twin Towers ultimately collapsed, due to the damage from the impacts and subsequent fires. Nearly 3,000 people were killed from 93 different countries. Most of the fatalities were from the attacks on the World Trade Center. The Pentagon lost 184 civilians and service members and 40 people were killed on Flight 93. It was adjudged to be the worst attack on American soil since the Japanese attacked pearl harbour in 1941.
After the Taliban refused to turn over the mastermind of the attacks, Osama Bin Laden, Operation Enduring Freedom officially began 7 October 2001 with American and British bombing strikes against al Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan. Initially, the Taliban was removed from power and al Qaeda was seriously crippled, but allied forces continually dealt with a stubborn Taliban insurgency, infrastructure rebuilding, and corruption among the Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, and Afghan Border Police. Bin Laden went into hiding for nearly 10 years.
On 2 May 2011, U.S. Navy SEALs launched a nighttime raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing the al Qaeda leader. Operation Enduring Freedom officially ended 28 December 2014, although coalition forces remained on the ground to assist with training Afghan security forces. American troops departed Afghanistan in August
According to a survey carried out in New York and Washington, a sizable majority also found it frightening to watch the attack on the television. Americans were enraged by the attacks, too. Three weeks after 9/11, even as the psychological stress began to ease somewhat, 87% said they felt angry about the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
Fear was widespread, not just in the days immediately after the attacks, but throughout the fall of 2001. Most Americans said they were worried about another attack. When asked a year later to describe how their lives changed in a major way, about half of adults said they felt more afraid, more careful, more distrustful or more vulnerable as a result of the attacks.
Even after the immediate shock of 9/11 had subsided, concerns over terrorism remained at higher levels in – than in small towns and rural areas. The personal impact of the attacks also was felt more keenly in the cities directly targeted: Nearly a year after 9/11, about six-in-ten adults in the New York (61%) and Washington (63%) areas said the attacks had changed their lives at least a little, compared with 49% nationwide. This sentiment was shared by residents of other large cities. A quarter of people who lived in large cities nationwide said their lives had changed in a major way – twice the rate found in small towns and rural areas.
Likewise, countries all over the world were shaken by the development and the wanton destruction. Many countries in remote parts of the world especially in Africa felt safer as they felt removed from the heat of fire.
However, terrorists attacks were to become a recurring thing in many parts of the world, Nigeria inclusive. These attacks were fuelled by religious crises and it is believed that the attacks probably stemmed from one source.
According to an ECOWAS survey, West Africa has recorded over 1,800 terrorist attacks in the first six months of this year resulting in nearly 4,600 deaths with dire humanitarian consequences, and a top regional official said Tuesday that’s just “a snippet of the horrendous impact of insecurity.”
In Nigeria, it is gradually becoming difficult to stem the tide of these security challenge. Citizens of country live under fear of impending danger as many people have lost their lives due to sudden attacks that erupts without any notice.
Poverty and illiteracy are the causes of terrorism in Nigeria .Endemic poverty, human displacement and high rate of death are the impacts of terrorism in Nigeria. Provision of basic needs of lives and religious tolerance could be the solution to terrorism in Nigeria if the Nigerian government could muster the political will.
Nigeria has branded criminal gangs known locally as bandits that are blamed for mass abductions of schoolchildren as “terrorist” groups, a designation aimed at containing growing insecurity in the north.
The country’s northwest and north-central states have long been afflicted by violence fuelled by disputes over access to land and resources, among other factors. Heavily armed gangs have taken advantage of the lack of effective policing to launch attacks, pillage villages, steal cattle and kidnap for ransom.
But violence has recently become more widespread, piling pressure on the federal government; both previous and the current administration to do more to halt the attacks.
The previous government despite pressure from its citizens only paid lip service to providing security as the bandits had the upper hand all through it’s 8 year tenure.
While remembering the victims that lost their lives in the September 11, 2001 attack at the World Trade Center and those that had been swallowed by the ravaging machinery of the bandits in Nigeria, Nigerians are calling for a sane society as a way of honouring the memory of the departed so that their death would not be in vain.