9/11 anniversary: Boris Johnson and Keir Starmer praise global resolve against the threat of terrorism

The Tribute in Light installation, the World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty and the skyline of New York are seen ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan.
The Tribute in Light installation, the World Trade Center, The Empire State Building, The Statue of Liberty and the skyline of New York are seen ahead of the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks in Manhattan.

The Prime Minster said refusing to live in 'permanent fear' of attacks shows the 'failure of terrorism'

Published

Boris Johnson and Sir Keir Starmer have marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks by praising the international resolve that has grown from the al Qaida-led tragedy.

In a defiant message to be played a memorial event at the Olympic Park in east London on Saturday, the Prime Minister said the threat of terrorism remained but people refused to live their lives in “permanent fear”.

“The fact that we are coming together today – in sorrow but also in faith and resolve – demonstrates the failure of terrorism and the strength of the bonds between us,” Mr Johnson said.

Labour leader Sir Keir said the consequences of the attacks were “still being felt to this day”, adding the tragedy was “still so raw”.

Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 flies toward the World Trade Center twin towers shortly before slamming into the South tower (L), as the North tower burns, following an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York, U.S., September 11, 2001.
Hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 flies toward the World Trade Center twin towers shortly before slamming into the South tower (L), as the North tower burns, following an earlier attack by a hijacked airliner in New York, U.S., September 11, 2001.

He said: “But as we mark this anniversary I’m convinced our resolve has never been stronger.

“We will continue to fight terror and violence, by promoting our values of justice and peace.”

Mr Johnson said recent events in Afghanistan had only strengthened people’s belief in freedom and democracy.

The political leaders’ comments came as the prime minister at the time of the attacks – Tony Blair – said the international community must be prepared to take action against the Taliban if they again allow Afghanistan to become a base of terrorism.

Mr Blair said the US and its allies had no choice but to invade after the Taliban refused to give up the al Qaida leadership responsible for the attacks.

The former head of the UK armed forces, General Lord Richards, said the return of the Taliban in Afghanistan raised the prospect of “another 9/11” as ungoverned spaces opened up which the terrorists were able to exploit.

“I think we are (closer to another 9/11). We’ve now been pitched back into a dark period which we somehow have to manage,” he told LBC.