Could It Happen Again?

Given the scale of the damage caused to the United States, the 9/11 attacks neither required much money to execute, nor did they take a large number of plotters.

Issue: Sept-Oct 2006

Given the scale of the damage caused to the United States, the 9/11 attacks neither required much money to execute, nor did they take a large number of plotters. Terrorism is a cheap form of warfare--the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, for instance, only cost a few thousand dollars. This is particularly the case when you have a cadre of young men willing to engage in suicidal terrorism. According to court documents entered in the trial of Al-Qaeda's Zacarias Moussaoui, the entire 9/11 operation cost a little over $200,000, a trivial sum considering the damage it inflicted on the United States. Furthermore, no amount of money will buy you 19 young men willing to commit suicide in a terrorist operation. The pilots who flew the hijacked planes into two of the world's most famous buildings saw what they were doing as an act of worship.

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