Excerpt from the 9/11 Commission Report

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After September 11, 2001 American society and foreign policy changed. While it was known who was responsible for the attacks, people tried to discern the threat as a whole and the motive behind it. While there was an emphasis on the importance of not generalizing the threat, saying, “This vagueness blurs the strategy”. It identifies the threat as, “Islamist terrorism, especially the al Qaeda network, its affiliates, and its ideologies.” However, the “vagueness” would ultimately come out with the ideology and reasons behind the attacks. The report says, “Because the Muslim world has fallen behind the West politically, economically, and militarily for the past three centuries, and because few tolerant or secular Muslims democracies provide alternate models for the future, Bin Laden’s message finds receptive ears.” In reality, it was America’s foreign policy that angered groups like al Qaeda, not American values.