Jihadi terrorism became a Western nightmare 15 years ago when al-Qaeda surprised the world by knocking down the Twin Towers and attacking the Pentagon. Islamic fanaticism (the definition of which would require another discussion en- tirely) had already fuelled attacks in other countries against Western targets, including the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998, but it had often done so within the context of decades-old local feuds. Outside of sporadic attempts like the one in New York in 1993, Islamist attacks on Western soil were almost non-existent. 

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