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World political effects arising from the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks

All United Kingdom military bases increased their level of security awareness. Civilian air traffic over central London was rerouted around the city's airspace and all flights to the United States and Canada were suspended.

The European Parliament at Berlemont and NATO headquarters in Brussels were evacuated.

NATO activated Article V of the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949, declaring that if the terrorist attack received support by any state, it was an armed attack against the United States and hence was to be considered an armed attack against all the NATO member states. This is the first time in NATO's history that the collective defense obligation in the treaty has been activated. See [1], [1]

The Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, was on an official trip and was staying at a hotel not far from the Pentagon. As a precautionary measure, he was evacuated to a bunker inside the Australian embassy and subsequently moved to the ambassador's residence. He originally was going to address a joint session of U.S. Congress on Wednesday; the joint session address was cancelled but he sat in the gallery of the US house and was acknowledged from there. He was originally to return to Australia by commercial jet; but due to the closure of US airspace he was unable to return by those means. As a result he was flown by the US Air Force to Honolulu, from which he returned to Australia by a special Qantas flight (Qantas was given a special dispensation from the closure of US airspace to take the PM and his party back to Australia.) Upon returning to Australia, Prime Minister Howard announced that Australia considered Article IV of the ANZUS treaty to be applicable to the terrorist attack on the United States.

Massive swings in opinion polls in Western countries after the attack favoured incumbent leaders and governments. In Australia, such a swing was the major factor in the return of the previously unpopular Howard government in the November 2001 election.

Tens of thousands of Afghans attempt to flee the country following the attack, fearing attack in response by the United States. Pakistan closed its border with Afghanistan on September 17. However, it is already host to two million refugees from the twenty years of war in Afghanistan.

Arab response

Across the Arab world, Arab government-sponsored newspapers were immediately filled with articles "proving" that the attack was actually carried out by "the Jews", "the Zionists", "the Israelis" and even "the Americans". For a great many within the Arab world, this terrorist act was seen as a conspiracy to make the world hate all Arabs, and therefore people perceived to be enemies of the Arabs must really be to blame. Western-educated Arabs and Muslims in moderate Muslim nations like Turkey were less likely to accept such views. Other Arab Muslim religious leaders held that these attacks were carried out by Al Qaeda, and spoke out in approval. A third Arab response was recognition that these events were carried out by Al Qaeda, and were reprehensible acts of terrorism.

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Responsibility - World political effects - Airport security

See also: World Trade Center -- The Pentagon -- New York City -- Washington, D.C -- U.S. Department of Defense -- Operation Bojinka -- terrorism -- domestic terrorism -- Osama Bin Laden -- Taliban -- Afghanistan -- collective trauma -- September 11

External Links and References

THE PANIC: Afghans Rush to Flee, but Pakistan Shuts the Door, New York Times, 9/19/2001
THE ALLIANCE: Russia Condemns Attacks on the U.S. and Vows to Aid NATO, New York Times, 9/14/2001
THE WEB SITES: I.S.P.'s Curb Terrorist Postings and an Anti-Islamic Backlash, New York Times, 9/17/2001 Where to talk about this?