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Tragedy of 9/11 was preventable

Sir -- A heading for Ivor Roberts's article on 9/11 (Sunday Independent, Sept. 11, 2011) claimed "if the attacks were treated as a crime and not as an act of war, it would be a very different world today". Indeed it would -- Bin Laden would probably still be alive, the Taliban would probably have total control of Afghanistan, that nation would probably still be an undisturbed oasis for al-Qaeda, and other unaffiliated terrorist groups would have little to fear in plotting attacks. The 1993 World Trade Centre bombing and the later attacks in Saudi Arabia, East Africa and against the USS Cole were treated as crime scene investigations -- meaning only the immediate perpetrators were sought.

Mr Roberts should consider that if the initial attack on the World Trade Centre in 1993 had been effectively treated as an act of war, Bin Laden and al-Qaeda might have been dealt with then, and the tragedy of September 11 and the attacks on London, Madrid and Bali, as well as Saudi Arabia, East Africa and the USS Cole could have been prevented.

Dan Donovan,

Dungarvan, Co Waterford

Sunday Independent