Why Did Osama Bin Laden Attack America? What Motivated the Strategic Choices?

20 years already passed since the terrible attacks of September 11, 2001, and still, many people wonder why did Osama bin Laden attack America. Bin Laden, the mastermind of terrorist group Al-Qaeda took responsibility for these attacks; however, what was his reason? What could make him do something this abominable?

We will explore the possible reasons behind bin Laden’s actions and the complex history that led up to 9/11.

Why Did Osama Bin Laden Attack America?

Osama bin Laden targeted the United States for multiple reasons. Al-Qaeda’s chief extremist, Bin Laden, derived his radical interpretation of Islam as the basis for his philosophy. Among the top reasons for his choice to launch an attack against the United States are:

1. American Presence in the Middle East

Bin Laden was against American military presence in Muslim nations, especially in the Middle East.

The American military’s presence in Saudi Arabia, the country that houses the holiest sites in Islam, was seen by him as a violation of Muslim sovereignty and a degradation.

2. U.S. Support for Israel

The United States’ backing of Israel, especially its actions regarding the Palestinian territories, was criticized by Bin Laden.

He wanted to exact revenge for what he saw as American bias in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict because he thought that the United States’ support of Israel added to the suffering of Palestinians.

3. Economic Sanctions

Bin Laden also vented his ire against what he saw as Western resource exploitation of Muslims and US economic sanctions against Iraq.

He claimed that by its military actions and economic policies, the US was harming Muslim countries.

4. Perceived Cultural Invasion

Bin Laden and other radicals perceived Western cultural influences as a danger to Islamic principles.

He objected to what he saw as Western values invading Islamic countries and causing moral degeneration.

5. U.S. Support for Autocratic Regimes

Bin Laden said that the US’s support of authoritarian governments in nations with a majority of Muslims went against the country’s claims to be advancing democracy and human rights.

Did Anyone Try to Stop Bin Laden?

To counter the growing threat of terrorism, President Clinton and Bush sent out intelligence, law enforcement, and military and diplomatic personnel.

However, they were unable to uncover bin Laden’s most daring scheme yet, which involved using suicide bombers to pilot highjacked passenger aircraft to attack New York and Washington, D.C.

About 3,000 Americans lost their lives in the surprise attack on September 11, 2001, which also severely damaged the Pentagon and destroyed the World Trade Center’s twin towers.

What Changed in the US after the Terrorist Attacks?

individuals. An emphasis on “homeland security” resulted in the creation of a cabinet department using the same name as well as a White House office.

Public service advertisements urged people to report suspicious activities, stay alert, and be prepared for emergencies.

Previously deemed excessive, the Patriot Act of 2001 enabled increased domestic surveillance and law enforcement tactics.

The attorney-client privilege was suspended, 1,200 males of Middle Eastern descent were apprehended by federal authorities and held for interrogation.

Also, terrorist suspects were tried in military courts, and business and communication records were inspected without the owners’ permission or a warrant.

To improve airport security, the Transportation Security Administration was established.

Concern waned as the years went by without any further dramatic strikes on the country. The Patriot Act’s legal provisions were progressively, if not entirely, repealed.

Final Words

We might never find out the whole truth, but there are a lot of plausible explanations for why Osama bin Laden attacked the United States.

Some claim it was due to his distaste for US foreign policy, while others think it was part of a bigger scheme to upend the global order.

Nevertheless, there’s no denying that the assaults had a significant effect on the entire world. They brought us a new period of fear and uncertainty, altered our perception of security, and ignited wars.

However, America has endured and come out stronger than before. May the incidents of that never leave us.

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