The 9/11 attack and 10/7 attack are of course very different historical events separated by 22 years and a vast distance. Nevertheless there are some important similarities which may be incidental but at the same time it may be important to draw attention to these.
Firstly, both of these were very tragic attacks and there is enormous sympathy for the innocent victims of the attacks. Hence there is clear need to know the complete truth about these tragedies.
Secondly, both attacks are history-changing events of great importance.
Thirdly, both attacks took place at a time when highly aggressive security and foreign policy establishments were in charge in attacked countries.
Fourthly, despite this, intelligence coming in regarding a big impending terrorist attack were ignored. While this is well-established by the statements of senior security officials of the USA regarding 9/11, a report in the New York Times dated December 1 2023 titled ‘Israelis saw plan for Hamas attack one year ago’, as well as other reports, speak of earlier intelligence warnings not receiving the due attention in Israel at high levels.
In both cases intelligence experts have expressed disbelief that such highly efficient and well-resourced intelligence agencies could not see warning signs of such big attacks requiring a lot of detailed planning on the part of attackers.
Sixth, both the attacks, while extremely tragic, were met with a highly disproportionate response. In the case of 9/11 the resulting War on Terror has claimed 4.5 million human lives, if both directly and indirectly caused deaths are counted, according to Brown University estimates. In the case of the disproportionate response in Gaza, almost the entire population here has been very adversely affected.
Seventh, in both cases apart from the grave harm caused by attackers, there is evidence of self-damage also. At the time of the Hamas attack, the Israeli forces, apart from confronting those who attacked, attacked some of their own targets as well. This may have been done only to prevent more hostages being taken but the fact should be recorded as this action resulted in several deaths. In the case of 9/11 there have been several allegations, among others by those who had extinguished the 9/11 fires, (some of New York fire department commissioners have demanded a re-investigation recently) that explosives and incendiaries were also responsible for the fall of WTC Towers, apart from planes.
Eighth, in both cases the official version of events has several holes.
Ninth, in both cases the original attacks and the highly disproportionate responses ultimately resulted in situations which were highly profitable for the various components of the military industrial establishment.
Last but not the least, in both cases, the attackers came from those kinds of militants or militant forces who had earlier been helped by the regimes of the attacked countries. In the case of the USA the biggest mobilization of Islamic extremist militants from all over the world was to fight Soviet forces in Afghanistan, but there were other cases of such support too. In the case of Hamas some previous Israeli regimes, in particular at the time of the leadership of Netanyahu, had facilitated the supply of enormous funds to boost Hamas as a counter to the emergence of any secular leadership among Palestinians more capable of getting international support.
The writer is Honorary Convener, Campaign to Save Earth Now. His recent books include Planet in Peril, A Day in 2071 and Man over Machine.