9/11 Terror Attacks: Scars remain, but US is better prepared today to thwart future attacks

9/11 Terror Attacks: Scars remain, but US is better prepared today to thwart future attacks 

Last updated on September 14th, 2020

The morning of September 11, 2001, is remembered till date for the most horrific terrorist attack in the history of heinous crimes. The 9/11 terror attacks in the World Trade Centre had raised serious questions about the US’ security outlook, forcing President George W. Bush to declare ‘war on terrorism’. It is crucial to note that the attack took place at a time when America’s military and economic power was unparalleled.

Post this deadly attack, the US administration had forcefully shut all charities and organisations that were financially supporting terrorist groups like al-Qaida. As Americans became anxious about their security, people started questioning immigration rules and raised demands to tighten border controls. Consequently, the 9/11 attacks created an environment that necessitated the involvement of foreign agencies.

Post long term wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and additional homeland security spending worth $5 trillion, the financial status of the US stood shaken for a long time.

To boost citizen’s security, the US congress passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) in 2016 that permitted citizens to sue foreign states for damages, death or injuries from terrorism. Since Saudi Arabia is deemed to be involved in the horrific incident, this law would allow the families of the victims to sue the kingdom. Even though Barack Obama raised questions about the passing of this law, it was passed via presidential veto by Congress. Consequently, tensions between the Obama administration and the Saudi leadership had increased.

As per a research fellow in the Middle East and North Africa program at the German Council for Foreign Relations, the Saudis do not want the global community to focus on JASTA, so they are trying to convince the Trump administration that it isn’t a real issue.

The 9/11 terror attacks have severed diplomatic relations between the US and Egypt too. Several American commentators believe that Saudi Arabia and Egypt encourage their media to denounce the US governments.

Rumours about Saudi’s involvement in the 9/11 terror attacks were affecting the religious sentiments of Muslims living in the US too. A detailed investigation document released in July 2016 by the Obama administration had validated these speculations. It stated a list of nearly three dozen people, including many suspected Saudi intelligence officers.

Prior to 9/11, some Middle Eastern nations (Iran, Israel and Iraq) were important US allies, as the latter had a great economic stronghold. Post the tragic event, the US government raised speculations about the Iranian involvement with international terrorism. If not directly, the country has at least been funding some extremist Islamic groups.

The 9/11 terror attacks increased the US government’s consciousness about reworking its existing security system. To improve safety standards, the administration created the Department of Homeland Security just 11 days after September 11. Also, Transportation Security Administration was created to tighten security measures. By following advance screening and proper background checks, the US has prepared itself to avoid any such incident in future.

Even after 19 years of 9/11, Americans continue to feel the pain of the thousands of families who lost their loved ones. Every year, US citizens try to raise themselves beyond the horror and focus on the heroism that helped the country to move on from the deadliest terrorist attack in human history!

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