Terrorism has become a significant global concern throughout the last two decades, but it is also the result of the actions undertaken by many governments. The most significant global change in the last decades has been increased globalization. However, this globalization has always had a predominantly Western character. As a result, many non-western values, beliefs, and ways of life have been severely oppressed or compromised. Seeing how the majority of terrorist attacks have been perpetrated against Western or pro-Western allies, terrorism can be largely perceived as a reaction against the encroachment of Western values around the world.
Most significantly, the involvement of the US and other state actors in the Middle East is seen as the largest contribution to increased terror attacks. With the US’s involvement extending well before the 2000’s, many regions such as the Middle East have grown increasingly frustrated and hostile towards Western countries and attitudes. The spread of terrorism to a global level can also be ascribed to the rise of global communication technologies, which have made coordination between international terror cells more easy.
Osama Bin Laden’s attacks against the US were motivated by several specific factors. First, the US’s support of Israel was not welcomed by the Muslim majority that has largely suffered from Israel’s actions. Second, the immorality of the United States was unacceptable, especially given their efforts to spread their values beyond their borders. The sanctions imposed against Iraq as a result of US pressure were also a contributing factor. Finally, the fact that the US had militaries stationed in Saudi Arabia—home to the holiest locations for Muslims, was seen as an unacceptable intrusion.
Terrorist may believe they have a just cause, and may even be seen as freedom fighters by others. However, any disproportionate violence, especially against innocent civilians, cannot be justified in any way.