Just to add:
Originally Posted by Nightcrawler
What baffles me the most about all this is the near complete ignorance of what led to 9/11, espescially by americans, they often reacted in surprise. Al-Qaeeda and other groups tried to bomb the WTC a few years before 9/11.
I guess that you, like 99% of the US public, have never heard of EMAD SALEM. Wiki link here
The thing is that it all started with Carter and was then even more enthusiastically continued with Reagan... behind them Kissinger was playing the ropes and some others... the idea was to defeat the russian empire through a policy of "thousand cuts" that would bleed them out.
The same folk behind George W. Bush's administration convinced the Nixon and Reagan administrations from the late 1960s through to the 1980s to inflate the threat to the US from the Soviets way out of all proportion. All manner of baseless propaganda was employed, and it really worked a treat in scaring ther living daylights of of the US public to support the war industry.
They tried to lure the russians into invading Afghanistan and there they wanted to give them their "Vietnam". But how should that happen, who should the deadly "Vietcong" be?
The Afghanistan socialist government around the turn of the decade (1979-1980) was relatively progressive, in comparison to the Taliban and the current regime, especially in the area of womens' rights and education, but laws governing land ownership were also being reformed and this was not going down well with the Islamist warlords who were fiercely opposed to these reforms, making the governance of Afghanistan all but impossible. In frustration the Afghanistan PDPA Government called for military assistance from the USSR no less than 4 times... all these calls were refused, before finally the Soviets invaded.
Muslims should be radicalised to join the independence-fight against the russians, the US together with Saudi-Arabia and Pakistan cooked this up, a simple to understand version of islamistic ideology encouraging the war of independence was drawn and put in millions of text-books by the americans and distributed in Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to prepare the children for future recruitement. That ideology was pretty simple: Armed unbelievers are occupying islamic territory and oppressing muslims, it's a religious duty to free the muslims and to defeat and throw out the unbelieving occupying army. Every muslim dying in that fight is a martyr who comes directly into paradise, all sins forgiven by God.
Additionally the US and Saudi-Arabia worked out a deal to raise funds to recruit potential warriors from the whole islamic world, hundreds of thousands were eventually gathered in Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan and trained by Pakistan's secret agency ISI and the CIA in guerillia-warfare and terrorism, and of course equipped with weapons, usually smallweapons that should look like they could have come from soviet depots (that was important, there shouldn't be a direct link to the US), but eventually they equipped them with stinger-rockets.
That was the birth of Alqaeeda, as well as multiple other mujahedeen-organizations, that together achieved to bring down the russian empire in Afghanistan (and eventually fell into a civilwar).
That was in the 70's and 80's, the russian empire was defeated, it withdrew its army from Afghanistan.
But what happened in the 90's? The US seeing the russian empire defeated and broken wanted to reap the benefits of being the sole superpower and trying to get more control over the middle-east and its ressources (that was the grand prize so to speak), remember Kissinger's saying "Oil is much too vital and important to leave it under the control of arabs".. The US began to station troops in the middle-east, building military-bases in Kuweit, in the other small gulfstates and in Saudi-Arabia!
There was of course an official explanation for the ignorant masses: The threat of Saddam Hussein, the ex-ally of the US!
So what did happen? An empire and it's army of unbelievers left Afghanistan and a few years later another empire and it's army of unbelievers set up their bases in the middle-east. The same ideology that the US so heavily encouraged, supported and indoctrinated in order to defeat the russian empire saw a new enemy, the US itself.
Alqaeeda wanted to start the guerillia-warfare in Saudi-Arabia and the other gulfstates, but the regimes there said no and kept them out... so they attacked US-interests everywhere else.. (with 9/11 as the climax) in order to lure them into Afghanistan where they could fight the US-empire...
When the "Soviet Bloc" disintegrated under the weight of its own inertia and inefficiency (an extremist ideology never sits well with people, and can only be enforced via a police state), the US and the West were left without a boogeyman to sell to their own public. The Clinton Administration reacted to the sudden "threat vacuum" by closing military bases overseas and at home, and the relentless growth of the US military budget came to a screeching halt. These cuts in big-government spending enraged the aforementioned "Friedmanesque" hardliners, who were in the political backwater in the 1990s.
Marshaling their resources into think-tanks such as PNAC, they outlined their agenda for redrawing the map on the Middle East in essays such as "Rebuilding America's Defenses". Many members of these ultra-rightwing think-tanks were selected to form the Bush Admin. in 2001, a large proportion being dual US-Israeli citizens, some of whom already had a track-record of bias (even hatred) against Arabs and Muslims.
The 9/11 attack was their "New Pearl Harbor" dream ticket, and the rest is, as they say, history. The worst ever attack on US soil was never even investigated.
Al Qaeda: The base (or even "the toilet"), in Arabic. A western term
referring to the CIA database of Mujahedin fighters who took delivery of US state of the art weapons technology, such as hand-held heat-seaking missile launchers, which took out Soviet helicopters as if they were ducks at a fairground. The Mujahadin took delivery of $10s of billions worth of weapons, training, logistic support and cash directly (but covertly) from the US taxpayer, as a result of behind the scenes dealings with Central Intelligence.