Monday’s news article, “Knowing the ‘why’ to combat terrorism,” reviewed the Foley Institute speech by Elena Mastors. Although she offered an interesting account of her interviews with terrorists, she gave virtually no information regarding the reasons for acts of terror on the United States.
Possible explanations can be found in literature written by the terrorists themselves. An excellent resource is "Al Qaeda in its Own Words," edited by Gilles Kepel and Jean-Pierre Milelli.
One reason for terrorist acts against the United States is the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, which are considered sacred lands for Muslims.
Other reasons include the U.S. bias in favor of Israel in its conflicts with Muslim nations as well as American support of dictatorships in Arab/Muslim nations that militantly control "reform groups" such as the Muslim Brotherhood. Terrorist acts also respond to the intrusion of Western values and culture in the Middle East which violate traditional Muslim religion. The most conservative terrorists hope to revive the Caliphate and force Sharia laws on mid-eastern nations.
These are some of the sources of hostility toward the United Sates, according to leaders such as Abdallah Assam, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and Osama Bin Laden.