The 9/11 attacks were carried out because of a lack of “empathy” for others’ suffering on the part of al-Qaida, whose terrorist ideology “grows out of a climate of poverty and ignorance, helplessness and despair,” President Obama once explained in largely unreported comments eight days after the mega-terror attacks that rocked the nation.

Obama, then an Illinois state senator, went on to imply the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were in part, a result of U.S. policy, lecturing the American military to minimize civilian casualties in the Middle East and urging action opposing “bigotry or discrimination directed against neighbors and friends of Middle-Eastern descent.”

“Even as I hope for some measure of peace and comfort to the bereaved families, I must also hope that we, as a nation, draw some measure of wisdom from this tragedy,” Obama wrote in a piece about 9/11 published on Sept. 19, 2001, in Chicago’s Hyde Park Herald.

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