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Global terrorism existed even before 9/11: Blair

Sept 11 was culmination of what terrorists wanted to do. But terrorism existed much before that, Tony said.

india Updated: Jul 29, 2006 09:08 IST

British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said that policymakers across the world were in "error" in not realising that global terrorism was already in existence before September 11.

"But actually, before September 11, this global movement with a global ideology was already in being. September 11 was the culmination of what they wanted to do," Blair, on a visit to the US, said.

" ... This is probably where policymakers such as myself were truly in error -- is that even before September 11 this was happening in all sorts of different ways in different countries.

"I mean, in Algeria for example, tens and tens of thousands of people lost their lives .. You can see this. You can see it in Kashmir, for example. You can see it in Chechnya ... You can see it in Palestine," Blair said.

Blair said that "this movement" had grown and would "latch onto any cause that it possibly can".

Indirectly referring to the Al-Qaeda, Blair said that "its purpose is to promote its ideology based on a perversion of Islam and to use any methods at all, but particularly terrorism, to do that. Because they know that the value of terrorism to them is -- it's not simply the act of terror, it's the chain reaction that terror brings with it."

"Terrorism brings the reprisal; the reprisal brings the additional hatred; the additional hatred breeds the additional terrorism, and so on. In a small way, we lived through that in Northern Ireland over many, many decades," Blair said.