Looked at from a certain perspective, the overwhelmingly bad threats we face going forward are all variations on a single theme- huge power over life and death is devolving into the hands of smaller and smaller groups of individuals. The size of the group needed to pull off an attack is shrinking, while the number of people harmed and the severity of that harm are both simultaneously going through the roof.
This characterizes the nature of the threat of terrorism - small arms fire is bad, automatic rifles are much worse and small groups of people flying planes (a high technology) into skyscrapers (another high technology) is worse yet. So this is yet another example of that phenomena, albeit a more obvious example.
We're going to bestow obscene weapons of ultimate destruction upon ourselves then, we're going to use them, just as the critics are saying. At some point it's got to happen that we wake up and realize that only path to survival for us is to attack the root cause of the problem- human thought and behavior- specifically terrorism comes from just two sources.
One is the obvious, the infliction of real economic and power injustices by a tiny ruling minority upon the majority. The minority essentially treat the lives and fortunes of the majority as an asset to be strip mined for their personal benefit. Call it what you want, dehumanization, oppression, exploitation, enslavement, rape it's all the same thing, the same strain of thought and impulse: over there is that other person- let me find a way to separate him from anything I may want and then turn the very act of his living, his existence, into an event which benefits only me.
This breeds huge criminal and extremist political movements all over the globe- in the Middle East, in Russia which is effectively a kleptocracy, and even in the US which is effectively a plutocracy.
The reason for a lot of the "crime" is because "crime" and the "black market" is the only rational way for people to put bread on their table. So also with extremist political movements. People know when they're treated unfairly, when their lives have been stripped of meaning and hope. Not everyone thinks the best choice is to set himself on fire, and if that widespread general malaise gets harnessed by a unifying narrative which promises to solve all those problems, then you have something like ISIS or al Queda.
Besides economic and social injustice, the other source of terrorism is sociobiologically driven impulses which for some reason are immune to satiety or attenuation of any form. They just keep driving people to *more* of the behavior without limit. More money, more power, more land, more resources, more control over other people and what their lives will be like. From a sociobiological perspective, all those drives serve one purpose- to advance the "cause" of your genes, to increase your personal reproductive fitness at the expense of your alleged competitors for the same reproductive-enhancing resources and opportunities.
And in fact, control over and access to all that stuff DID, over the course of evolutionary time, prove to be the deciding factors in who lived long enough to spread their genes and who was genetically shut out. As a consequence, we are all to a greater or lesser extent possessors of those impulses. But for some people, or for all people in some environments, those drives just never experience satiety or attenuation by other life events. They brutally and callously determine their bearers' behaviors and dominate their world view.
So bin Laden, who had many wives, and many children and tons of money STILL felt insulted, dismissed and humiliated when his offer to defend Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein was rebuffed by the Saudi royal family. So Saddam Hussein who had effective control over the land wealth and political power of a sovereign state only used it to aggrandize himself and seek yet more power. So John Rockefeller, Andrew Carnegie, and Bill Gates - who are known now by many for their charitable trusts- had lives and careers that can only be described as pure-play sociopathic; their productive lives were dedicated to use controlling, dominating, and deceiving societies, industries, and customers, in that order, all in (blind, unconscious) service to increasing their "genetic fitness".
The more power be confer on ourselves without ever making a move to bring some of that technology to bear on people as people, as the purposeful and ultimate cause of our problems, the more certain it is that we will finally vacate this world and yield it to another roll of the evolutionary dice.