Understanding Terrorism

Primary Sources & Research

How to talk with students about the topic of terrorism. Why has it become more prevalent in the world today?

Who Were the Terrorists?

Federal Bureau of Investigation Press Release, September 27, 2001

This press release from the FBI provides the names and photographs of the terrorists and lists which planes they were on.
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Why Did This Take Place?

September 11th and al-Qaeda

The Tanenbaum organization is dedicated to combating religious prejudice. As part of their resources for educators addressing religious extremism, this fact sheet breaks down the facts about 9/11, al-Qaeda, the death of Osama bin Laden, mainstream Islam’s position on terrorism, and worldwide terrorism today.
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September 11th, Islamist Extremists, and al-Qaeda

The FAQ of the September 11 Memorial & Museum briefly explains the sociopolitical ideology of the Islamist extremist terrorist network known as al-Qaeda. It also explains why the terrorists targeted the World Trade Center and Pentagon, where they were from, and the relation of Afghanistan to 9/11.
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America Responds to Terrorism, Constitutional Rights Foundation

Topics and study guides geared specifically to 9/11 with related topics such as terrorism and analyzing rumors vs. myths.
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Understanding September 11th: Answering Questions about the Attacks on America

by Mitch Frank, Viking, 2002
TIME magazine reporter Mitch Frank explains and answers many questions that resulted from September 11th: What happened on September 11th? Who were the hijackers? Why did the terrorists target the United States?
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Government Response to Terrorism

Ten Years After: The FBI Since 9/11

Here you can find a range of materials on both the 9/11 investigation and how the FBI has changed in the past decade. Find recollections of 9/11 from FBI agents and an informative summary of information regarding the attacks, response, and recovery.
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Educational Programs, Foreign Policy Research Institute

This site provides access to resources for educators, students and the general public including books, lectures, webcasts and an archive of past programs on 9/11 and the ‘War on Terror’.
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Responding to Terrorism: Challenges for Democracy, The Choices Program, Brown University

A five-lesson unit in which students examine questions of how we should respond to terrorists, how do we protect against future attacks, what possible threats exist, and what issues make the question of response complex.
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