CHAPTER 2THE ROAD TO 9/11Contemporary Terrorism and the Meaning of the September 11 Attacks

Americans will likely die on American soil, possibly in large numbers.

Hart–Rudman U.S. Commission on National Security/Twenty-first Century report, September 15, 1999—two years before 9/11


Unprecedented in destructiveness, the 9/11 attacks heralded the arrival of a new type of terrorism. The potential of this menace had been foreshadowed by several plots during the previous decade, including the 1993 World Trade Center attack, the millennium bombing scheme against Los Angeles, and Aum Shinrikyo’s gas attack in Tokyo, as well as the cult’s animosity toward the United States. While these attacks failed to achieve their full objectives, ...

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