"It was a very confusing moment because you could see the United States was angry. It was a ‘wounded bear’ moment, and you knew that there's going to be a reaction. I think my overwhelming feeling was concern for what happens next. What will happen to the world?” Dr Shiraz Maher, terrorism expert
In this special bonus episode of Conflict of Interest, we are marking the twentieth anniversary of the attacks on 11 September 2001, examining this hugely consequential moment in history and its impact on our lives today.
Our guests Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala, hosts of the true crime podcast RedHanded, ask the simple but important questions about the events of 9/11: Who were al-Qaeda and what did they believe? What actually happened on 9/11? How have the attacks shaped our current world and values?
Answering these questions are IWM curator Amanda Mason and King’s College London terrorism expert Shiraz Maher. We are also joined by special guest Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
"The story isn't over yet. We can craft new narratives that aren't about this group versus that group, or security versus terror and conflict, but where we reorient ourselves towards conflicts - against the virus and climate change for example - that unite us". Mohsin Hamid, author
Objects & stories from the episode:
World Trade Center steelwork
The first object on our podcast journey was this twisted and rusted steelwork from the collapsed World Trade Center in New York. It is a section of the internal walls, originally located around one of the impact zones. It is currently on display at IWM London.
Terrorism in Britain after 9/11
Curator Amanda Mason shared this image of British armed forces at Heathrow Airport providing additional security and support to the Metropolitan Police during a terrorist alert in February 2003. This image was redolent of the period when public concern around future acts of terrorism was high.
Wim Wenders: Photographing Ground Zero
Two images from our new exhibition Wim Wenders: Photographing Ground Zero were featured in the episode. These photographs convey the devastation caused by the 9/11 terror attacks and the huge recovery operation being undertaken.
Hannah Maguire & Suruthi Bala
Hannah Maguire and Suruthi Bala are hosts of the true crime podcast, RedHanded.
Mohsin Hamid is author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist and Exit West.
Dr Shiraz Maher is a British writer and analyst, and Director at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence at King's College London.