18 Years After 9/11, Jihadism Remains a Global and Local Threat

Sep 10, 2019 | 09:00 GMT

The 9/11 attacks against the United States were a watershed moment for the jihadist movement.

A photo of the Manhattan skyline shortly after al Qaeda attacked the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.


  • The jihadist movement has always consisted of various components, and has never had a unified ideology, theology or operational doctrine.  
  • While many franchise groups and grassroots jihadists operate under either the Islamic State or al Qaeda name, their operations are still largely independent and thus unaltered by any losses incurred by the two core organizations. 
  • This decentralized model means that jihadist militants continue to pose an array of threats both at the local and global level, and that security forces must keep the pressure on both levels to adequately thwart future attacks. 

18 years ago tomorrow, Osama bin Laden and his jihadist al Qaeda group conducted the most devastating terrorist attacks in history. The attacks in New York and Washington took the lives of nearly 3,000 innocent victims, shaking the entire world to its core. And the aftershocks continue to be felt today -- whether it's in the residual consequences of the U.S. invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, or the complete overhaul of global air travel security.  Almost two decades later, the United States remains engaged in both Middle Eastern and Afghan theatres. Just this past weekend, the White House pulled the plug on the latest round of peace talks with the Afghan Taliban. And on a local and individual level, the attacks continue to affect the health of survivors and first responders who witnessed the horror firsthand and were exposed to asbestos and other toxic building materials in the process....

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