Soon it will be five years since the most thunderous terrorist attacks in the world history were committed as four American airliners were captured and then rammed into the buildings of the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington. This monstrous crime shocked the whole world and even skeptics realized that international terrorism became the primary threat to peace on earth. It seemed the right conclusions were drawn from that lesson and now the superpowers would begin searching together for a vaccine against ‘the plague of the 21st century’. However, after five years no changes for the better are in sight.
Recently the activity of terrorists has tended to grow vividly. The geography of their activities is expending and their methods becoming more and more sophisticated and less and less predictable. Terror has come into once tranquil Spain and Great Britain, the streets of small French towns and holiday resorts in Bali and Thailand. The mass media seem to be tired of covering almost daily explosions and mass killings in once peaceful Iraq whose people are going crazy with incessant violence. India and the Middles East are shaking with a growing fever, while Russia cannot yet get over the tragedy in Beslan.
The globalization advancing with seven-league strides has also affected the terrorist underground, making it transform its structure into a network little vulnerable to outside impact. Hundreds and even thousands of extremist groups no longer have a single center, nor do they coordinate their actions, their unpredictable attacks becoming ever more frequent. The elimination of ‘significant’ terrorists has become important only from the propagandistic viewpoint and can no longer demoralize any considerable number of their accomplices. Responsibility for explosions is increasingly taken by organizations unheard of even in the most effective special services. Indeed, the Internet provides a lot of recipes for making powerful explosives from cheap reagents available to all.
It should be admitted that no country has yet found any effective means of struggle with terrorism and there is no guarantee that such will be found before the whole world becomes like today’s Iraq. What is only known are things that should not be done. It is clear, for instance, that ideologists and adepts live in a world of their own and profess their own religious doctrines similar to those practiced by the Assassins in the Dark Ages. Therefore, they would not yield in principle to any coaxing by traditional religious leaders – the fact that does not put into question the validity of such admonition for preventive purposes. It is useless to explain to a militant Wahhabite that the Koran calls to respect Christians and Jews as this Wahhabite simply believes that Christians as well as Judaists have long died out and whose with whom he fights are just pagans and that innocent people are non-existent as even those petty clerks in the WTC towers were engaged in fortifying the power of an anti-Islamic state and paid for its unjust wars. Generally, those with a Ben Laden-like mentality must have the whole world, no less than that.
It is also clear that people do not join Al-Qaeda or Hizb ut-Tahrir because of poverty or social injustice but for many other reasons. Rich Saudi Arabia has replenished their ranks with many more adepts than over-populated and poor Bangladesh. And in Russia, terrorists were not at all poor people. Suffice it to recall the Kabadino-Balkarian jamaats who made a living by racket or the prosperous communities of the Karamakhi and Chabanakhi villages or the late millionaires Basaev and Hattab.
New Assassins, as skilled as those before them at mimicry as genuine Muslims, corrupt their communities from within and hide behind their backs during regular counter-terrorist operations. They are also engaged in intensive propaganda using competently any errors of the authorities and deriving a benefit from them. And their ranks are growing. Therefore, there is little time left for finding an anti-plague vaccine.