If pressed, Muslims can be persuaded to admit that there was a problem with terrorism before 2001. Nonetheless, it is then that they often shift their ground. Instead of blaming everything on Iraq, or Afghanistan, they now focus on the ‘legitimate grievances’ of Muslims both here in the UK and elsewhere. Thus the emphasis no longer is on the Iraq War or on Afghanistan; but on the concerns of Muslims on many - or any - issue(s).
This slippery slope is now obvious. What started off as a ‘legitimate response to the Western invasions of Muslim countries’ now takes on a different tone. The shift may now be to Palestine or US ‘personnel’ in Saudi Arabia. Why should it stop there? Perhaps the Danish cartoons provided Muslims with a good reason to respond with Islamoterrorism. And the Satanic Verses way back in the 1980s?
So let’s fictionalise here and talk about a possible future. A possible future in which Muslims respond with Islamoterrorism to not being allowed to implement sharia law in the Islamic ‘enclaves’, or ghettoes, of, say, Paris, Oslo, Stockholm, Sparkbrook (Birmingham, UK), etc. What about terrorist attacks inspired by the possible banning of the burka? This is highly likely in France today; but also in the UK tomorrow.
And the list can potentially go on and on. Soon, what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq becomes almost an irrelevance to Islamoterrorism and to general Muslim grievances, as they obviously were to Osama bin Laden and other Islamoterrorists before 2001.
Why 2001 and 2003?
The very reason we intervened in Afghanistan, rather than that ‘invasion’ being a cause of Islamoterrorism, was a response to Islamoterrorist acts which had already occurred and which were planned from that country. The attacks against American embassies in east Africa were planned from Afghanistan, as was the denotation of an explosive which killed 17 sailors on board the American ship the USS Cole while it lay off the coast of Yemen.
Three years before the US intervention in Afghanistan, in 1998, Osama bin Laden spoke of how successful Islamoterrorism had been. He said:
‘We have seen in the last decade [1988 to 1998] the decline of the American government and the weakness of the American soldier who is read to wage Cold Wars and unprepared to fight long wars. This was proven in Beirut when the Marines fled after two explosions. It also proves they can run in less than twenty-four hours, and this was repeated in Somalia.’
This is an honest confession that Islamoterrorists use terrorism not out of ‘desperation’; but because it works. According to Osama bin Laden, it worked in Beirut and it worked in Somalia. Bin Laden, of course, also picked up on American weakness – a weakness betrayed by the US's pre-2001 responses to Islamoterrorism.
So well before Afghanistan, bin Laden had been doing the Islamoterrorism business in the Sudan. He declared war, in 1998, on the US while he was being sheltered by the Sudanese government. It was from Sudan that bin Laden coordinated the attacks on the American embassies in East Africa and the attack on an American ship off the horn of Africa.
Additionally, many have said, and still say, that the 7/7 ‘London bombers’ committed their crime in direct response to the Iraq war. However, on the well-known 7/7 bombers’ video the link between their actions and the Iraq war was never actually made. Iraq, quite simply, was not singled out by Mohammad Siddique Khan. Indeed it’s almost as if the Left, or the soi-disant ‘anti-war’ protesters and activists, are doing the dead Khan’s thinking for him, or at least give him reasons which he did not give himself.
The United States
Islamist operations in America date back, at the very least, to 1993, when there was an assault against the World Trade Centre. A bomb was placed in the car park below the North Tower which killed six and injured more than 1000. They failed to collapse the Tower.
Later, there were attempts to sink the USS Sullivans in January 2000 and to detonate a bomb in Los Angeles airport further back in December 1999.
In his 1996 Declaration, Osama bin Laden voiced his hatred of the US not because of its invasion of Iraq or the Afghanistan intervention, they were to come five and seven years later, but because of its presence in his own Saudi Arabia
When American troops arrived in Saudi Arabia, at the request of King Fahd, in 1998, two huge explosions simultaneously destroyed the US embassies in Nairobi (Kenya) and Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania). The first left 213 dead and over 4,500 injured; the second left 11 dead and 85 injured. The US blamed bin Laden. Cruise missiles then attacked a chemical factory in Khartoum and levelled several training camps inside Afghanistan.