The attacks on September 11th : following and departing from the logic of terrorism

The attacks on September 11th can definitely be coined « terrorist », yet their scale makes them singularly portentous, the evidence of a radical evolution in the ordinary modalities of terrorism. The unusual in these acts are two of their most notable characteristics : the de-contextualization of violence and the total disconnection between the end pursued and the means those responsible for the attacks have employed. This absence of a social and intellectual grounding for violence indicates a non political violence, deprived of ideological roots and whose aims cannot be achieved. Moreover, we are faced here with an anti-social terrorism of a theological nature, very much different from « classic » terrorism, which is generally aimed against a State. Last, the novelty of the event on September 11th resides in the setting up of the narration of the terrorist show, which has been conceived here as a media show, even as a show of the media. – Summary AFRI-2002