In the early 2000s, terror took a turn for the even more menacing.
The Taliban and its newly fledged offspring, Al Qaeda, increased their fields
of operation, moving from isolated local attacks on people just like them, and
moved to targeting, on a large scale, Westerners. This had the desired effect of
causing, well… terror in the Western world, especially amongst white people. (NB
this is not to say that they stopped attacking Muslims and other non-white
populations. Rather, these attacks continued at an increased rate, they simply
continued to be ignored by Western broadcasters whose focus was, as so often,
on purely Western threats and attacks.)
Of course, the worst of these attacks was the World Trade Centre attack on the 11th of September 2001, after which the face of terrorism was changed forever.
However, returning to the attacks committed locally in the middle and near East, there began a slow-marching campaign to set up caliphates wherever they could. While these settlements were often short-lived as security forces waged battles for the land, regaining it relatively quickly, the terrorists had a nasty habit of destroying any historic monuments and buildings that they happened to come across. This, they claim, is to prevent the adulation and worship of idols – but is more likely just to be because they love blowing things up and pissing people off, much like three-year-olds in the middle of a fully-fledged temper tantrum…
If there is any good to come out of this situation, it is that it has inspired historians to begin preserving historical sites and monuments in virtual reality. While this in no way makes up for the wholesale destruction of stupendous feats of engineering, imagination and daring, it does mean that future generations – and, indeed, us, in the next few years as the project is completed – will be able to visit and explore monuments that can be recreated to look as they did in their heyday, when they were brand new and still in use.