18 years ago today, an event took place that rattled the whole world and nearly brought America to its knees.
September 11, 2001, a well-coordinated attack on American soil tipped the scales of global security and ushered in a new dawn where religion-fueled terror became a global weapon.
The Cold War was long forgotten, and then in came a different sort of warfare; suicide bombs reminiscent of the Japanese in World War II, when young pilots hurtled their bomb-laden planes towards warships and crashed them on purpose against their targets.
19 young men, most certainly an Al Qaida sleeper cell, patiently planned their operations and enrolled in flying schools in the US, right under the noses of America’s sophisticated security network. No red flag was raised even when one of the terrorists was more interested in taking off than landing.
The attack against the Twin Towers and the Pentagon has left indelible scars in our everyday life, especially in our mode of travel. Everyone is a potential terrorist, especially when they threaten Western interests.
The US expects all countries to cooperate with it in its fight against terror. True, it makes bigger headlines when the US becomes a target than when Rwanda’s own “homegrown” terrorists hurl grenades in a packed market.
Rwanda is a willing partner in the fight against terror, all kinds of terror no matter who to whom it is directed. But there are no two ways about it; there should be no discrimination when it comes to fighting terror.
At the end of the day, the grief an American mother feels when she loses her son to an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Iraq, is the same as the mother of a victim of a foreign-sponsored attack in Nyamagabe.