20 years after the American attacks
Twenty years after the horrific terrorist attacks of September 11, the United States (United States) and the world community recently commemorated and deplored the highly coordinated attacks on New York and other targets in America, which boldly highlighted the dangers of extremism for global peace and security.
On September 11, 2001, 19 terrorists linked to the extremist Islamic group al-Qaeda, based in Afghanistan, hijacked four airliners and carried out suicide attacks against specific targets in the United States.
Two of the planes landed in the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City, a third struck the Pentagon just outside Washington, DC, and the fourth crashed into a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
About 2,977 people from more than 90 countries were killed and several others injured in the attacks. To mark the day, an official memorial was held, starting with a minute of silence at the exact moment the first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center. Roses were placed next to the names of the victims engraved on the Ground Zero memorial.
US President Joe Biden paid tribute to the Americans and to all the victims of the attacks. Likewise, Queen Elizabeth 11 of England sent a message of solidarity to the US President, expressing her concern on this occasion. United Nations member states followed suit with a visit to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the attacks.
The September 11, 2001 attack was a major terrorist attack on the United States. This undoubtedly shook the foundations of the United States and triggered bold United States initiatives to combat terrorism, both domestically and globally. Serious efforts have been made by the country to reduce the threat in its territories and in countries which provide safe havens for terrorists.
Although terrorism may have been greatly reduced in the United States, it appears that the threat is increasing in most parts of the world, particularly in Africa and Asia. In Africa, terrorism regularly encroaches in the Sahel region, causing insurgencies in some countries, resulting in deaths and displacement. Nigeria does not have the easy task of dealing with both terrorism and insurgency, manifested in Boko Haram attacks in the North East area and banditry in the North West region. With banditry, kidnappings and other forms of crime, the climate of insecurity has intensified in the country.
Since Boko Haram insurgents launched their deadly attacks in 2009, around 200,000 Nigerians have reportedly been killed. They attacked worship centers, markets, schools, farms, hospitals, police and military units.
With the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, a new phase of terrorism is unfolding and the United States and the world should not be complacent or think that the terrorist war is over. Now is the time to give the war on terror the necessary global impetus. We say this because the new decision to export the new wave of terrorism to Africa and other Third World countries is a threat to global peace and security.
Since it is not easy to defeat terrorism, regional, continental and global action is needed against the threat. Recent events in Afghanistan clearly show that terrorism is rapidly transforming into different spheres and forms.
The commemoration of 20 years after September 11 is important in many ways. It is a celebration of the resilience of the American people in the face of despair. Its symbolism cannot be lost on the United States and other global communities. We believe that the best way to commemorate September 11 is to wage a relentless global war on terrorism. Above all, the world must be on the alert and muster the economic and political will to crush terrorism in all its ramifications.
As the United States marks 9/11, the federal government must stand up against terrorism and growing insecurity across the country. Conscious efforts must be made to combat the engines of terrorism. Let the government create more jobs for the growing army of unemployed youth.
Security agencies should be on high alert to detect terrorist camps in any part of the country. There is a need to improve intelligence gathering and sharing between security agencies. It has become opportune that those arrested for terrorist activities are prosecuted in a timely manner while dignified sentences are handed down to those convicted. This is the only way for the government to demonstrate its determination to fight terrorism.