While the destruction of the World Trade Centre and the strike against the Pentagon shocked the world at large, experts on terrorism like Walter Laqueur couldn't feign complete surprise. In "War Without End", Laqueur draws on his many years of expertise to answer the most-often raised questions about terrorism in the light of 9/11 and the still unsolved anthrax letters. First, what constitutes terrorism? (He notes that more than a hundred definitions have been advanced.) What is new about the "new" terrorism? Why is the Muslim world the most potent breeding ground of the new terrorism? To what extent is religion itself a factor? Is there a clash of civilizations between the Muslim world and the largely Christian or post-Christian West? Is America at fault? Or Israel? Did European nations turn a blind eye to terrorists and their sympathizers in their midst? To what extent are poverty and oppression the causes of terrorism? What is the likelihood that terrorists will obtain weapons of mass destruction - chemical, biological, or nuclear? Why was the United States unprepared for 9/11? Why was there such a failure of intelligence? Are Islamic terrorists the only terrorists we need fear?
Walter Laqueur holds the Kissinger Chair for International Security Studies at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. The author of a score of books, including Terrorism (1977) and The Age of Terrorism (1987), he has taught in many universities around the world, including Brandeis, Chicago, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Tel Aviv.