The purpose may have gone a little beyond that. Groups (and nations) where political power is based on a "cult of personality" may have difficulty understanding that our structure is less dependent on individual personalities than theirs. Even if it is understood intellectually, the underlying emotional belief may well still color decisions.
If this is true, then the intent of the attack was more than just revenge and simple terror. At some level was the hope that if they could take out the "leaders" the whole structure would collapse or be rendered in-effective in the long run. Can this then be seen as an attack on freedom? And if so, what is the response.
I agree that hate is not an answer but also believe that it does not automatically lead to hate. And I can respond in anger without it being hate.
However if I am dealing with someone who sees hate as valid and validating, if hate is ingrained in his or her culture as a "positive" or "good" value then I need to take that into account and gauge what I do based on the seriousness of the threat and what can be reasonable achieved. In this case, in a fairly short time.
I hope (probably a futile one), that we won't over-respond, that we will recognize and accept the consequences (intended and unintended) of some of our foreign policy and that this won't be used as an excuse by those who "view civil liberties as an inconvenience.
Spaw's is probably a goal we should reach for. But first the world needs to agree on a way to distinguish a terrorist from a freedom fighter.