UCF Global Perspectives

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Reflections on 9/11

Dr. Ted Reynolds, Director, Terrorism Studies Program

September 11, 2018

This day cannot begin without honoring the lives lost as a result of the attacks of September 11, 2001. The nearly three-thousand innocent victims from that day are honored yearly so we might never forget how the United States was so heinously attacked. Yet seventeen years later, a new generation has little-to-no memory of this day or the sacrifices that have been and continue to be made to combat terrorism. With over six-thousand military casualties, and estimates ranging to over 100,000 wounded, we must never forget those who served and continue to serve to make and keep America safe. And the struggle continues.

 

While military efforts following 9/11 devastated Al-Qaeda, the threat from terrorism has not disappeared. As we witnessed the rise and apparent fall of ISIS in Iraq, the specter of terrorism has morphed into a loose group of affiliates who number in the tens of thousands spread across Africa, the Middle East and South Asia in regions where governance is weak. Across the globe, terrorist elements continue to commit attacks with regularity and little attention by Western media. The dispersion of ISIS from Iraq has forced many foreign fighters to return home and continue their war wherever and however they can. The various attacks in the West show that even a weakened terrorist group can continue to inflict significant harm with limited resources. So, as we remember those lost on this day, it is imperative to remain vigilant because the fight is not over.


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