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History of terrorism

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History of terrorism

The history of terrorism is a history of well-known and historically significant individuals, entities, and incidents associated, whether rightly or wrongly, with terrorism. Scholars agree that terrorism is a disputed term, and very few of those labelled terrorists describe themselves as such. It is common for opponents in a violent conflict to describe the other side as terrorists or as practicing terrorism.[1]

Depending on how broadly the term is defined, the roots and practice of terrorism can be traced at least to the 1st-century AD Sicarii Zealots, though some dispute whether the group, which assassinated collaborators with Roman rule in the province of Judea, was in fact terrorist. The first use in English of the term 'terrorism' occurred during the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, when the Jacobins, who ruled the revolutionary state, employed violence, including mass executions by guillotine, to compel obedience to the state and intimidate regime enemies.[2] The association of the term only with state violence and intimidation lasted until the mid-19th century, when it began to be associated with non-governmental groups. Anarchism, often in league with rising nationalism and anti-monarchism, was the most prominent ideology linked with terrorism. Near the end of the 19th century, anarchist groups or individuals committed assassinations of a Russian Tsar and a U.S. President.

The deadliest terrorist strike by time, number of fatalities

In the 20th century terrorism continued to be associated with a vast array of anarchist, socialist, fascist and nationalist groups, many of them engaged in 'third world' anti-colonial struggles. Some scholars also labeled as terrorist the systematic internal violence and intimidation practiced by states such as Stalinist Russia and Nazi Germany.[3][4]


  • Definition 1
  • Early terrorism 2
  • The Reign of Terror (1793–1794) 3
  • Emergence of modern terrorism 4
    • Ireland 4.1
    • Anarchism and "propaganda of the deed" 4.2
    • The United States 4.3
    • The Ottoman Empire 4.4
  • Early 20th century 5
    • Irish independence 5.1
    • Mandatory Palestine 5.2
    • Resistance during WWII 5.3
  • Anti-colonial struggles (Cold War) 6
    • Middle East 6.1
    • Europe 6.2
    • The Americas 6.3
    • Asia 6.4
    • Africa 6.5
  • Late 20th century 7
    • The Americas 7.1
    • Middle East 7.2
    • Asia 7.3
    • Europe 7.4
  • 21st century 8
    • Europe 8.1
    • Middle East 8.2
    • Asia 8.3
    • Americas 8.4
  • Table of non-state groups accused of terrorism 9
  • Notes 10
  • References 11


Though many have been proposed, there is no consensus definition of the term "terrorism."[5][6] This in part derives from the fact that the term is politically and emotionally charged, “a word with intrinsically negative connotations that is generally applied to one's enemies and opponents.”[7] Listed below are some of the historically important understandings of terror and terrorism, and enacted but non-universal definitions of the term:

  • 1795. "Government intimidation during the Reign of Terror in France." The general sense of "systematic use of terror as a policy" was first recorded in English in 1798.[8]
  • 1916. Gustave LeBon: “Terrorization has always been employed by revolutionaries no less than by kings, as a means of impressing their enemies, and as an example to those who were doubtful about submitting to them...." [9]
  • 1937. League of Nations convention language: "All criminal acts directed against a State and intended or calculated to create a state of terror in the minds of particular persons or a group of persons or the general public."[10]
  • 1987. A definition proposed by Iran at an international Islamic conference on terrorism: “Terrorism is an act carried out to achieve an inhuman and corrupt (mufsid) objective, and involving [a] threat to security of any kind, and violation of rights acknowledged by religion and mankind.” [11]
  • 1988. A proposed academic consensus definition: "Terrorism is an anxiety-inspiring method of repeated violent action, employed by (semi-) clandestine individual, group or state actors, for idiosyncratic, criminal or political reasons, whereby - in contrast to assassination - the direct targets of violence are not the main targets. The immediate human victims of violence are generally chosen randomly (targets of opportunity) or selectively (representative or symbolic targets) from a target population, and serve as message generators."[12]
  • 1989. United States: premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents.[13]
  • 1992. A definition proposed by Alex P. Schmid to the United Nations Crime Branch: "Act of Terrorism = Peacetime Equivalent of War Crime."[14]
  • 2002. [15]
  • 2003. India: Referencing Schmid's 1992 proposal, the Supreme Court of India described terrorist acts as the "peacetime equivalents of war crimes."[16]
  • 2005. United Nations General Assembly's statement with relation to terrorism: "Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them." [1]
  • 2008. Carsten Bockstette, a German military officer serving at the asymmetrical conflict that is designed to induce terror and psychic fear (sometimes indiscriminate) through the violent victimization and destruction of noncombatant targets (sometimes iconic symbols)."[17]
  • 2014. Contained in a Saudi Arabia terrorism law taking effect 1 February 2014, the following definition has been criticized by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for being overly broad: "Any act carried out by an offender in furtherance of an individual or collective project, directly or indirectly, intended to disturb the public order of the state, or to shake the security of society, or the stability of the state, or to expose its national unity to danger, or to suspend the basic law of governance or some of its articles, or to insult the reputation of the state or its position, or to inflict damage upon one of its public utilities or its natural resources, or to attempt to force a governmental authority to carry out or prevent it from carrying out an action, or to threaten to carry out acts that lead to the named purposes or incite [these acts]."[18][19]

Early terrorism

Artistic rendering of Hassan-i Sabbah.

Scholars dispute whether the roots of terrorism date back to the 1st century and the [20][21] The Sicarii and Hashshashin are described below, while the Fenian Brotherhood and Narodnaya Volya are discussed in the 19th Century sub-section. Other pre-Reign of Terror historical events sometimes associated with terrorism are the Gunpowder Plot, an attempt to destroy the English Parliament in 1605,[22] and the Boston Tea Party, an attack on British property by the Sons of Liberty in 1773, three years prior to the American Revolution.

There has been recent debate following the release of the film Exodus: Gods and Kings on whether the actions of Moses depicted in the Bible and the plagues visited on the Egyptian people including the mass murder of children could be considered terrorism.[23][24]

During the 1st century CE, the [20][25][26] In 6 CE, according to contemporary historian Josephus, Judas of Galilee formed a small and more extreme offshoot of the Zealots, the Sicarii ("dagger men").[27] Their efforts were also directed against Jewish "collaborators," including temple priests, Sadducees, Herodians, and other wealthy elites.[28] According to Josephus, the Sicarii would hide short daggers under their cloaks, mingle with crowds at large festivals, murder their victims, and then disappear into the panicked crowds. Their most successful assassination was of the high priest Jonathan.[27]

In the late 11th century, the Assassin's Creed and also featured in one episode of Netflix's Marco Polo.

The Reign of Terror (1793–1794)

"Enemies of the people" headed for the guillotine during the Reign of Terror.

The Reign of Terror (September 5, 1793 – July 28, 1794) or simply The Terror (French: la Terreur) was a period of eleven months during the French Revolution when the ruling Jacobins employed violence, including mass executions by guillotine, in order to intimidate the regime's enemies and compel obedience to the state.[34] The number killed totaled approximately 40,000, and among the guillotined were Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.[35] Putting an end to the Terror, on July 28, 1794 its most well known leader, Maximilien Robespierre, was guillotined by other members of France's ruling National Convention.[36]

The Jacobins, most famously Robespierre, sometimes referred to themselves as "terrorists," and the word originated at that time.[2] Some modern scholars, however, do not consider the Reign of Terror a form of terrorism, in part because it was carried out by the French state.[37][38]

Emergence of modern terrorism

Terrorism was associated with state terror and the Reign of Terror in France until the mid-19th century,[2] when the term also began to be associated with non-governmental groups.[39] Anarchism, often in league with rising nationalism, was the most prominent ideology linked with terrorism.[40] Attacks by various anarchist groups led to the assassination of a Russian Tsar and a U.S. President.[41]

In the 19th century, powerful, stable, and affordable explosives were developed, global integration reached unprecedented levels and often radical political movements became widely influential.[42][43] The use of dynamite, in particular, inspired anarchists and was central to their strategic thinking.[44]


"The Fenian Guy Fawkes" by John Tenniel, published in Punch magazine, on 28 December 1867.

One of the earliest groups to utilize modern terrorist techniques was arguably the Fenian Brotherhood and its offshoot the Irish Republican Brotherhood.[45] They were both founded in 1858 as revolutionary and militant nationalist groups, both in Ireland and amongst the emigre community in the United States.[46][47]

After centuries of continued

  • Hoffman, Bruce (1998). Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press. 


  1. ^ a b Paul Reynolds, quoting David Hannay, Former UK ambassador (14 September 2005). "UN staggers on road to reform". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-11. This would end the argument that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter... 
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ Nazi Terror Begins, United States Holocaust Museum, 20 June 2014 
  4. ^ State terror in the Stalin era, The Foundations of Modern Terrorism, 2013 
  5. ^ Jeffrey Record. Bounding the Global War on Terrorism, December 1, 2003, ISBN 1-58487-146-6. p. 6 (page 12 of the PDF document) citing in footnote 11: Walter Laqueur, The New Terrorism: Fanaticism and the Arms of Mass Destruction, New York: Oxford University Press, 1999, p. 6.
  6. ^ Angus Martyn, The Right of Self-Defence under International Law-the Response to the Terrorist Attacks of 11 September, Australian Law and Bills Digest Group, Parliament of Australia Web Site, February 12, 2002
  7. ^ Hoffman (1998), p. 32. See review in The New York Times Inside Terrorism
  8. ^ [12]
  9. ^ Gustave LeBon, The Psychology of the Great War, 1916, p. 391. Google Books: [13]
  10. ^ from Criminology, by Larry Siegel, p. 328. Google Books
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  12. ^ "Definitions of Terrorism".  
  13. ^ U.S. Code Title 22, Ch.38, Para. 2656f(d)
  14. ^ Criminology, by Larry Siegel, p. 328. Google Books
  15. ^ Art. 1 of the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism (2002)
  16. ^ Schmid's definition of terrorism was adopted in a 2003 ruling (Madan Singh vs. State of Bihar); See
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  18. ^ Stork, Joe (February 6, 2014). "Saudi Arabia: Terrorism Law Tramples on Rights". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
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  41. ^ Early History of Terrorism
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  164. ^
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  181. ^
  182. ^
  183. ^
  184. ^
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  202. ^ Moshe Elad, Why were we surprised?, Ynet News 07-02-2008
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  204. ^ Levitt, Matthew Hamas: Politics, Charity, and Terrorism in the Service of Jihad. Yale University Press, 2007.
  205. ^ HAMAS (Islamic Resistance Movement)
  206. ^
    • EU keeps Hamas on terror list despite court ruling, 27/03/2015
    • Brussels Keeps Palestinian Hamas Movement on EU Terror Blacklist, 27.03.2015
    • Statement by High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the decision to appeal the Judgment regarding Hamas, 19/01/2015
  207. ^ See also: Hamas#International designation of Hamas
  208. ^ "Currently listed entities". Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. November 22, 2012. 
  209. ^ Israel At 'War to the Bitter End,' Strikes Key Hamas Sites December 29, 2008, Fox News
  210. ^
  211. ^ 問10.ハマスとは何ですか。Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.' 日本は、ハマスを、国連安保理決議1373に基づいて、外国為替及び外国貿易法(外為法)に基づく資産凍結措置の対象としています。'On the basis of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1373, Japan applies to Hamas the frozen assets measures in accordance with its Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Law (Foreign Exchange and Foreign Trade Control Law).'
  212. ^ テロ資金対策
  213. ^ According to Michael Penn, (Japan and the War on Terror: Military Force and Political Pressure in the US-Japanese Alliance, I.B. Taurus 2014 pp.205-206), Japan initially welcomed the democratic character of the elections that brought Hamas to power, and only set conditions on its aid to Palestine, after intense pressure was exerted by the Bush Administration on Japan to alter its policy.
  214. ^ "Country reports on terrorism 2005"
  215. ^ ' Hamas's Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades,' Australian National Security:'Like its parent, Hamas is a multifaceted, well organised and relatively moderate organisation renowned for its extensive social service networks in the Palestinian Territories.'
  216. ^ "Proscribed Terrorist Organisations" (PDF). UK Home Office. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  217. ^ King Abdullah Says No To Hamas. September 17, 2013. Khaled Abu Toameh.
  218. ^ "How to Confront Russia's Anti-American Foreign Policy" The Heritage Foundation. June 27, 2007
  219. ^ Richard Boudreaux, 'Palestinian parliament OKs coalition government / Norway announces recognition, will restore ties cut in '06 ,' San Francisco Chronicle 18 March 2007
  220. ^ Daniel Möckli, 'Switzerland’s Controversial Middle East Policy,' Center for Security Studies, Zurich Vol.3, No. 35, June 2008
  221. ^ Juliana Barbassa, 'Brazil Terrorism Laws: No One Is A Terrorist,' Huffington Post 3 September 2015.
  222. ^ "Gaza flotilla: Turkey threat to Israel ties over raid" at the Wayback Machine (archived June 4, 2012) BBC News. June 4, 2010
  223. ^ "Bank of China may have helped Hamas kill Jews". Free Zionism. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  224. ^ Abha Shankar (Sep 19, 2013). "Bank of China Terror Financing Case Moves Forward". Investigative Project on Terrorism. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  225. ^ Joshua Davidovich (December 18, 2013). "The China bank is not the issue here, dude". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 30 March 2014. 
  226. ^ Zambelis, Chris. "China's Palestine Policy". Retrieved 2014-08-02. 
  227. ^ Mirren Gidda,'Hamas Still Has Some Friends Left,' Time 25 July 2014.
  228. ^
  229. ^ a b 1994: Jewish settler kills 30 at holy site BBC On This Day
  230. ^ a b In the Spotlight: Kach and Kahane Chai Center for Defense Information October 1, 2002
  231. ^ Terror Label No Hindrance To Anti-Arab Jewish Group New York Times, 19 December 2000
  232. ^ Kahane Chai (KACH) Public Safety Canada
  233. ^ Council Decision of 21 December 2005 implementing Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism and repealing Decision 2005/848/EC Official Journal of the European Union, 23 December 2005
  234. ^ Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) U.S. Department of State, 11 October 2005
  235. ^ a b CDC website, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Aum Shinrikyo: Once and Future Threat?, Kyle B. Olson, Research Planning, Inc., Arlington, Virginia
  236. ^ "Sarin attack remembered in Tokyo". BBC News. March 20, 2005. Retrieved May 4, 2010. 
  237. ^ In Depth: Air India – The Victims, CBC News Online, 16 March 2005
  238. ^ Hoffman, p.154
  239. ^ Smith, Sebastian. Allah's Mountains: The Battle for Chechnya. Tauris, 2005. p.200
  240. ^ Modest Silin, Hostage, Nord-Ost siege, 2002, Russia Today, 27 October 2007
  241. ^ a b Gas "killed Moscow hostages", BBC News, 27 October 2002.
  242. ^ "Moscow court begins siege claims", BBC News, 24 December 2002
  243. ^ "widely condemned as heavy handed".
  244. ^ Jonathan Steele (July 11, 2006). "Shamil Basayev -Chechen politician seeking independence through terrorism". Obituary (London:  
  245. ^
  246. ^
  247. ^
  248. ^ "French security forces kill gunmen, end terror rampage". 9 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  249. ^ "French security forces kill gunmen to end terror rampage; 20 dead in 3 days of violence". 9 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  250. ^ "Al Qaeda branch claims Charlie Hebdo attack was years in the making". 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015. 
  251. ^ a b Bremner, Charles (7 January 2015). "Islamists kill 12 in attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo".  
  252. ^ "Attentat contre " Charlie Hebdo " : Charb, Cabu, Wolinski et les autres, assassinés dans leur rédaction". Le Monde (in French). 
  253. ^ "Deadly attack on office of French magazine Charlie Hebdo". BBC News. 
  254. ^ "Charlie Hebdo attack: What we know so far", BBC News, 8 January 2015.
  255. ^ "EN DIRECT. Massacre chez "Charlie Hebdo" : 12 morts, dont Charb et Cabu". Le (in French). 
  256. ^ "Les dessinateurs Charb et Cabu seraient morts". L'Essentiel (in French) (France). 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015. 
  257. ^ Conal Urquhart. "Paris Police Say 12 Dead After Shooting at Charlie Hebdo". Time. Witnesses said that the gunmen had called out the names of individual from the magazine. French media report that Charb, the Charlie Hebdo cartoonist who was on al-Qaeda's most wanted list in 2013, was seriously injured. 
  258. ^ Victoria Ward. "Murdered Charlie Hebdo cartoonist was on al Qaeda wanted list". The Telegraph. 
  259. ^ "The Globe in Paris: Police identify three suspects". The Globe and Mail. 
  260. ^ Adam Withnall, John Lichfield, "Charlie Hebdo shooting: At least 12 killed as shots fired at satirical magazine's Paris office", The Independent, 7 January 2015.
  261. ^ Higgins, Andrew; De La Baume, Maia (8 January 2015). "Two Brothers Suspected in Killings Were Known to French Intelligence Services". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  262. ^ "Paris shooting: Female police officer dead following assault rifle attack morning after Charlie Hebdo killings". The Independent. Retrieved 9 January 2015. 
  263. ^ "Un commando organisé". Libération. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  264. ^ "Paris Attack Suspect Dead, Two in Custody, U.S. Officials Say". NBC News. Retrieved 8 January 2015. 
  265. ^ "France, Islam, terrorism and the challenges of integration: Research roundup"., retrieved Jan. 23, 2015.
  266. ^ "EN DIRECT. Porte de Vincennes: 5 personnes retenues en otage dans une épicerie casher". Le Parisien. 9 January 2015. 
  267. ^ "EN DIRECT – Les frères Kouachi et le tireur de Montrouge abattus simultanément". Le Figaro. 
  268. ^ "Quatre otages tués à Paris dans une supérette casher". Libération. 9 January 2015. 
  269. ^ Matthew Weaver. "Charlie Hebdo attack: French officials establish link between gunmen in both attacks — live". the Guardian. Retrieved 10 January 2015. 
  270. ^ "Backgrounder: al-Qaeda (a.k.a. al-Qaida, al-Qa'ida)" Jayshree Bajoria & Greg Bruno. Council on Foreign Relations, Updated: December 30, 2009
  271. ^ terror: the legal response to the financing of global terrorism Jimmy Gurulé, 2009, p. 63
  272. ^ The U.S. Embassy Bombings Trial - A Summary PBS, Oriana Zill
  273. ^ United States District Court, Southern District of New York (February 6, 2001). "Testimony of Jamal Ahmad Al-Fadl". United States v. Usama bin Laden et al., defendants. James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  274. ^ "Bin Laden claims responsibility for 9/11". CBC News. October 29, 2004. 
  275. ^ Terrorists Hijack 4 Airliners, Destroy World Trade Center, Hit Pentagon; Hundreds Dead
  276. ^ Bin Laden claims responsibility for 9/11
  277. ^ Hezbollah Attacks Since May 2000 Mitchell Bard, the Jewish AIJAC, 2006-07-24
  278. ^ The Middle East Today: Political, Geographical and Cultural Perspectives, p. 231
  279. ^ a b Harel, Amos; Avi Isacharoff (2004). The Seventh War. Tel-Aviv: Yedioth Aharonoth Books and Chemed Books. pp. 274–275.  
  280. ^ Human Capital and the Productivity of Suicide Bombers pdf Journal of Economic Perspectives Volume 21, Number 3, Summer 2007. Pages 223–238
  281. ^ Q&A: Gaza conflict, BBC News 18-01-2009
  282. ^ Gaza's rocket threat to Israel, BBC 21-01-2008
  283. ^ Martin Patience, Playing cat and mouse with Gaza rockets, BBC News 28-02-2008
  284. ^ "Iran's Enemy Is Not America's Friend" Jamsheed K. Choksy. Foreign Policy, October 10, 2009.
  285. ^ "Preparing the Battlefield" Seymour Hersh. New Yorker, July 7, 2008.
  286. ^ "The Secret War Against Iran" Brian Ross. ABC News, April 3, 2007.
  287. ^ Friedman, Thomas (2009-02-17). "No Way, No How, Not Here".  
  288. ^ Indian Muslims hailed for not burying 26/11 attackers, Sify News, 2009-02-19 
  289. ^ Schifrin, Nick (2009-11-25). "Mumbai Terror Attacks: 7 Pakistanis Charged - Action Comes a Year After India's Worst Terrorist Attacks; 166 Die.".  
  290. ^ "HM announces measures to enhance security" (Press release). Press Information Bureau ( 
  291. ^ "A year after attacks, Mumbai is just as vulnerable; at vigils, many call for police reform" (Press release). Chicago Tribune. 2009-11-26. Retrieved 2009-11-26. 
  292. ^ Black, Ian (2008-11-28). "Attacks draw worldwide condemnation". London:  
  293. ^ TOTAL DESTRUCTION OF THE TAMIL TIGERS: The Rare Victory of Sri Lanka's Long War, Paul Moorcraft


Fenians Ireland 1798 young Irelanders rebellion Government of the United Kingdom
Narodnaya Volya Russian Empire 1878 1883 bombings, assassinations Assassinated Tsar Alexander II, 1881
Hunchakian Revolutionary Party Ottoman Empire 1887 1896 Avetis Nazarbekian Destroyed Ottoman coat of arms, 1890 Narodnaya Volya
Armenian Revolutionary Federation Ottoman Empire 1890 1897 Christopher Mikaelian Held hostages at Ottoman Bank, 1896 Hunchakian Revolutionary Party
Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization Ottoman Empire 1893 1903 Hristo Tatarchev Led Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising, 1903 Narodnaya Volya
Irish Republican Army Ireland 1916 1923 Eamon de Valera Michael Collins Kilmichael Ambush, 1920 Irish Republican Brotherhood; Government of the United Kingdom
Irgun British Mandate Palestine 1931 1948 Avraham Tehomi Menachem Begin bombings King David Hotel bombing, 1946 Irish Republican Army British Colonial Office
Lehi British Mandate Palestine 1940 1948 Abraham Stern Yitzhak Shamir assassinations Lord Moyne assassination, 1944 Irish Republican Army British Colonial Office
Muslim Brotherhood Egypt 1928 Hassan al-Banna assassinations Assassinated former PM Mahmud Fahmi al-Nuqrashi, 1948 British Colonial Office
Front de Liberation National Algeria 1954 1962 Toussaint Rouge attacks, 1954 Indochina rebels French Government
EOKA Cyprus 1955 1959 George Grivas
ETA Spain 1959 bombings, assassinations Assassinated "President" Blanco, 1978 Spanish Government
Fatah Palestine 1959 Yasser Arafat Munich Olympics massacre, 1972 Algerian rebels Israeli Government
PLO Palestine 1964 Yasser Arafat 1978 Coastal Road massacre Israeli Government
PFLP Palestine 1967 Black September skyjacking, 1970 Che Guevara Israeli Government
PFLP-GC Palestine 1968 Hangglider shooting, 1970 Israeli Government
DFLP Palestine 1969 Avivim school bus massacre, 1970 Israeli Government
Front de libération du Québec Canada 1963 1971 Georges Schoeters bombings, kidnappings, assassinations October Crisis kidnappings, 1970 Che Guevara; the FLN Canadian Government
Provisional IRA Ireland 1969 2005 Seán Mac Stíofáin bombings, assassinations Bloody Friday bombings, 1972 Government of the United Kingdom, Government of the Republic of Ireland
Ulster Defence Association (UDA) Ireland 1972 Johnny Adair assassinations, mass shootings Castlerock killings, 1993 & Greysteel massacre, 1993 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP), Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) Government of the United Kingdom, Government of the Republic of Ireland
Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) Ireland 1966 Gusty Spence assassinations, bombings Dublin and Monaghan Bombings, 1974 & Loughinisland massacre, 1994 Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Government of the United Kingdom, Government of the Republic of Ireland
FALN Puerto Rico 1974 bombings Four NYC bombs, 1975 Government of the United States
ASALA Turkey 1975 1986 Hagop Tarakchian Attack on Ankara airport, 1982 Turkish Government
PKK Turkey 1978 Abdullah Ocalan Başbağlar massacre Mao Zedong; FLN Turkish Government
Red Army Faction Germany 1968 1998 Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof German Autumn killings, 1977 Che Guevara; Mao Zedong; Vietcong German Government
Weathermen U.S.A. 1969 1977 Chicago police statue bombing, 1969 Mao Zedong; Black Panthers
Italian Red Brigade Italy 1970 1989 Renato Curcio Assassinated former Prime Minister Aldo Moro, 1978
Japanese Red Army Japan 1971 2001 Fusako Shigenobu Lod Airport Massacre, 1972
Tamil Tigers Sri Lanka 1976 2009[293] Columbus bus terminal bombing, 1987 Government of Sri Lanka
Hezbollah Lebanon 1982 Hassan Nasrallah April 1983 U.S. Embassy bombing, 1983 Beirut barracks bombing Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
Egyptian Islamic Jihad Egypt 1980 Omar Abdel-Rahman Luxor massacre, 1997
Hamas Gaza 1987 Sheikh Ahmed Yassin Passover massacre, Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing Muslim Brotherhood
Al-Qaeda Saudi Arabia 1988 Osama bin Laden 9/11 attacks, 2001 Mujahideen
East Turkestan Liberation Organization China 1990
Aum Shinrikyo Japan 1990 1995 Shoko Asahara Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, 1995
Lashkar-e-Taiba Pakistan 1991 Mumbai train bombings, 2006 and 2008 Mumbai attacks.
Chechnyan Separatists Russia 1994 Shamil Basayev Beslan school hostage crisis, 2004
Jundallah Iran 2003 Abdolmalek Rigi Zahedan bombings, 2007 Government of Iran

Table of non-state groups accused of terrorism

2001 also saw the second acknowledged act of bioterrorism with the 2001 anthrax attacks (the first being intentional food poisoning conducted in The Dalles, Oregon by Rajneeshee followers in 1984), when letters carrying anthrax spores were posted to several major American media outlets and two Democratic Party politicians. This resulted in several of the first fatalities attributed to a bioterror attack.


The ISI, Pakistan's secret service.[287][288][289] The attacks, which drew widespread condemnation across the world, began on 26 November 2008 and lasted until 29 November, killing at least 173 people and wounding at least 308.[290][291][292]


Formed in 2003, Jundallah is a Sunni insurgent group from the Baloch region of Iran and neighboring Pakistan. It has committed numerous attacks within Iran, stating that it is fighting for the rights of the Sunni minority there. In 2005 the group attempted to assassinate Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.[284] The group takes credit for other bombings, including the 2007 Zahedan bombings. Iran and other sources accuse the group of being a front for or supported by other nations, in particular the U.S. and Pakistan.[285][286]

On Israel's northern border, after its unilateral withdrawal from southern Lebanon in May 2000, Hezbollah launched numerous Katyusha rocket attacks against non-civilian and civilian areas within northern Israel.[277] Within Israel, the 1993–2008 Second Intifada involved in part a series of suicide bombings against civilian and non-civilian targets. 1100 Israelis were killed in the Second Intifada, the majority being civilians.[278][279] A 2007 study of Palestinian suicide bombings from September 2000 through August 2005 found that 40% percent were carried out by Hamas's Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, and roughly 26% by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and Fatah militias.[279][280] Also, between 2001 and January 2009, over 8,600 rocket attacks were launched from the Gaza Strip were launched into civilian areas and non-civilian areas inside Israel, causing deaths, injuries, and psychological trauma.[281][282][283]

The United States responded to the attacks by launching the War on Terror. Specifically, on October 7, 2001, it invaded Afghanistan to depose the Taliban, which had harbored al-Qaeda terrorists. On October 26, 2001, the U.S. enacted the Patriot Act, anti-terrorism legislation that expanded the powers of U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies. Many countries followed with similar legislation. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. changed tactics moving away from ground combat with large numbers of troops, to the use of drones and special forces. This campaign eliminated much of Al Quaeda's most senior members, including a strike by Seal Team Six that resulted in the death of Osama Bin Laden in 2011.

On September 11, 2001, nineteen men affiliated with al-Qaeda hijacked four commercial passenger jet airliners, crashing two of them into the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the Pentagon.[274][275] As a result of the attacks, the World Trade Center's twin towers completely collapsed, and 2,977 victims and the 19 hijackers died.[276]

September 11, 2001 - The towers of the World Trade Center burn.

, closely advised by Egyptian Islamic Jihad leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, in 1988 founded Al-Qaeda (Arabic: القاعدة, meaning "The Base"), an Islamic jihadist movement to replace Western-controlled or dominated Muslim countries with Islamic fundamentalist regimes.[270] In pursuit of that goal, bin Laden issued a 1996 manifesto that vowed violent jihad against U.S. military forces based in Saudi Arabia.[271] On August 7, 1998, individuals associated with Al Qaeda and Egyptian Islamic Jihad carried out simultaneous bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa which resulted in 224 deaths.[272] On October 12, 2000, Al-Qaeda carried out the USS Cole bombing, a suicide bombing of the U.S. Navy destroyer USS Cole harbored in the Yemeni port of Aden. The bombing killed seventeen U.S. sailors.[273] The group's best-known attack, however, took place on September 11, 2001.

Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Laden

Middle East

On 9 January, police tracked the assailants to an industrial estate in Dammartin-en-Goële, where they took a hostage. Another gunman also shot a police officer on 8 January and took hostages the next day, at a kosher supermarket near the Porte de Vincennes.[266] GIGN (a special operations unit of the French Armed Forces), combined with RAID and BRI (special operations units of the French Police), conducted simultaneous raids in Dammartin and at Porte de Vincennes. Three terrorists were killed, along with four hostages who died in the Vincennes supermarket before the intervention; some other hostages were injured.[267][268][269]

During the attack, the gunmen shouted "Allahu akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic) and also "the Prophet is avenged".[251][259] President François Hollande described it as a "terrorist attack of the most extreme barbarity".[260] The two gunmen were identified as Saïd Kouachi and Chérif Kouachi, French Muslim brothers of Algerian descent.[261][262][263][264][265]

On 7 January 2015, two Wolinski,[252] economist Bernard Maris, editors Elsa Cayat and Mustapha Ourrad, guest Michel Renaud, maintenance worker Frédéric Boisseau and police officers Brinsolaro and Merabet, and wounding eleven, four of them seriously.[253][254][255][256][257][258]

From 7 January to 9 January 2015, a series of five terrorist attacks occurred across the 2015 ile-de-France attacks region, particularly in Paris. The attacks killed a total of 17 people, in addition to the three perpetrators of the attack,[248][249] and wounded 22 others, some of whom are in critical condition as of 16 January 2015. A fifth shooting attack did not result in any fatalities. Numerous other smaller incidents of attacks on mosques have been reported, but have not yet been directly linked to the attacks. The group that claims responsibility for the attacks, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, claimed that the attack had been planned for years ahead.[250]

The Je suis Charlie ("I am Charlie") slogan became an endorsement of freedom of speech and press.

In 2013 the British government branded the killing of a serviceman in a Woolwich street, a terrorist attack. One of his attackers made political statements which were later broadcast with blood still on his hands from the attack.[247] The two men responsible for the attack remained on the scene until incapacitated by armed police. They were later tried and found guilty of murder.

In Norway in 2011 two sequential lone wolf terrorist attacks by right wing extremist Anders Behring Breivik were carried out against the government, the civilian population, and a Workers' Youth League (AUF)-run summer camp in Norway on 22 July 2011. The attacks claimed a total of 77 lives. The first part of the attack was a van bomb in Oslo The van was placed in front of the office block housing the office of Prime Minister and other government buildings. The explosion killed eight people and injured at least 209 people, twelve of them seriously. He followed this attack by impersonating a police officer to access the island on which the AUF summer camp was being held and proceeded to go on a shooting spree that killing 69 people.[246]

The 7 July 2005 London bombings (often referred to as 7/7) were a series of coordinated suicide bomb attacks in central London which targeted civilians using the public transport system during the morning rush hour. On the morning of Thursday, 7 July 2005, four Islamist extremists separately detonated three bombs in quick succession aboard London Underground trains across the city and, later, a fourth on a double-decker bus in Tavistock Square. Fifty-two civilians were killed and over 700 more were injured in the attacks

The 2004 Madrid train bombings (also known in Spain as 11-M) were nearly simultaneous, coordinated bombings against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid, Spain, on the morning of 11 March 2004 – three days before Spain's general elections and two and a half years after the September 11 attacks in the United States. The explosions killed 191 people and wounded 1,800. The official investigation by the Spanish judiciary found that the attacks were directed by an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell. ETA and al Qaeda were the original suspects cited by the Spanish government.[245]

. [244] On September 1, 2004, in what became known as the

The Moscow theatre hostage crisis was the seizure of a crowded Moscow theatre on 23 October 2002 by some 40 to 50 armed Chechens who claimed allegiance to the Islamist militant separatist movement in Chechnya. They took 850 hostages and demanded the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya and an end to the Second Chechen War. The siege was officially led by Movsar Barayev. After a two-and-a-half day siege, Russian Spetsnaz forces pumped an unknown chemical agent (thought to be fentanyl, 3-methylfentanyl), into the building's ventilation system and raided it.[240] Officially, 39 of the attackers were killed by Russian forces, along with at least 129 and possibly many more of the hostages (including nine foreigners). All but a few of the hostages who died were killed by the gas pumped into the theatre,[241][241][242] and many condemned the use of the gas as heavy handed.[243] Roughly, 170 people died in all.


Major events after the September 11 attacks in 2001 include the Moscow Theatre Siege, the 2003 Istanbul bombings, the Madrid train bombings, the Beslan school hostage crisis, the 2005 London bombings, the October 2005 New Delhi bombings, the 2008 Mumbai Hotel Siege, and the 2011 Norway attacks.

21st century

Chechnyan separatists, led by Shamil Basayev, carried out several attacks on Russian targets between 1994 and 2006.[238] In the June 1995 Budyonnovsk hospital hostage crisis, Basayev-led separatists took over 1,000 civilians hostage in a hospital in the southern Russian city of Budyonnovsk. When Russian special forces attempted to free the hostages, 105 civilians and 25 Russian troops were killed.[239]

Hostage crisis victim photos, on the walls of the former School Number One


In 1985, Air India Flight 182 flying from Canada was blown up by a bomb while in Irish airspace, killing 329 people, including 280 Canadian citizens, mostly of Indian birth or descent, and 22 Indians.[237] The incident was the deadliest act of air terrorism before 9/11, and the first bombing of a 747 Jumbo Jet which would set a pattern for future air terrorism plots. The crash occurred within an hour of the fatal Narita Airport Bombing which also originated from Canada without the passenger for the bag that exploded on the ground. Evidence from the explosions, witnesses and wiretaps of militants pointed to an attempt to actually blow up two airliners simultaneously by members of the Babbar Khalsa Khalistan movement militant group based in Canada to punish India for attacking the Golden Temple.

Aum Shinrikyo, now known as Aleph, was a Japanese religious group founded by Shoko Asahara in 1984 as a yogic meditation group. Later, in 1990, Asahara and 24 other members campaigned for election to the House of Representatives under the banner of Shinri-tō (Supreme Truth Party). None were voted in, and the group began to militarize. Between 1990 and 1995, the group attempted several apparently unsuccessful violent attacks using the methods of biological warfare, using botulin toxin and anthrax spores.[235] On June 28, 1994, Aum Shinrikyo members released sarin gas from several sites in the Kaichi Heights neighborhood of Matsumoto, Japan, killing eight and injuring 200 in what became known as the Matsumoto incident.[235] Seven months later, on March 20, 1995, Aum Shinrikyo members released sarin gas in a coordinated attack on five trains in the Tokyo subway system, killing 12 commuters and damaging the health of about 5,000 others[236] in what became known as the subway sarin incident (地下鉄サリン事件, chikatetsu sarin jiken). In May 1995, Asahara and other senior leaders were arrested and the group's membership rapidly decreased.


February 25, 1994, Israel,[231] Canada,[232] the European Union,[233] and the United States.[234]

The first Palestinian US State Department in the 1990s.[228]

On December 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103, a Pan American World Airways flight from London's Heathrow International Airport to New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, was destroyed mid flight over the Scottish town of Lockerbie. On January 31, 2001, Libyan Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted by a panel of three Scottish judges of bombing the flight, and was sentenced to 27 years imprisonment. In 2002 Libya offered financial compensation to victims' families in exchange for lifting of UN and U.S. sanctions. In 2007 Megrahi was granted leave to appeal against his conviction, and in August 2009 was released on compassionate grounds by the Scottish executive due to his terminal cancer.[201]

Nose section of Pan Am Flight 103

Muslim Brotherhood renounced violence. It is led by Omar Abdel-Rahman, who has been accused of participation in the World Trade Center 1993 bombings. In 1981, the group assassinated Egyptian president Anwar Sadat. On November 17, 1997, in what became known as the Luxor massacre, it attacked tourists at the Temple of Hatshepsut (Deir el-Bahri); six men dressed as police officers machine-gunned 58 Japanese and European vacationers and four Egyptians.[200]

[199] since 1992, the group has captured Israeli soldiers and carried out missile attacks and suicide bombings against Israeli military and civilian targets.Hassan Nasrallah, the group originally sought an Islamic revolution in Lebanon and has long fought for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from Lebanon. Led by Sheikh Sayyed Iranian revolution and the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. Inspired by civil war in 1985, ten years after the outbreak of that country's Lebanon movement and political party officially founded in Islamist ("Party of God") is an Hezbollah [198][197][196][195] 659 people died in

Explosion at U.S. Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, 1983

Middle East

The April 19, 1995, Oklahoma City bombing was directed at the U.S. government, according to the prosecutor at the murder trial of Timothy McVeigh, who was convicted of carrying out the crime.[191] The bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City claimed 168 lives and left over 800 injured.[192] McVeigh, who was convicted of first degree murder and executed, said his motivation was revenge for U.S. government actions at Waco and Ruby Ridge.[193]

The Contras were a counter-revolutionary militia formed in 1979 to oppose Nicaragua's Sandinista government. The Catholic Institute for International Relations asserted the following about contra operating procedures in 1987: "The record of the contras in the field... is one of consistent and bloody abuse of human rights, of murder, torture, mutilation, rape, arson, destruction and kidnapping."[188] Americas Watch - subsequently folded into Human Rights Watch - accused the Contras of targeting health care clinics and health care workers for assassination; kidnapping civilians, torturing civilians; executing civilians, including children, who were captured in combat; raping women; indiscriminately attacking civilians and civilian houses; seizing civilian property; and burning civilian houses in captured towns.[189] The contras disbanded after the election of Violetta Chamorro in 1990.[190]

The Americas

In the 1980s and 1990s, [187] In the 1990s, well-known violent acts that targeted civilians were the World Trade Center bombing by Islamic terrorists on February 27, 1993, the Sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway by Aum Shinrikyo on March 20, 1995, and the bombing of Oklahoma City's Murrah Federal Building by Timothy McVeigh a month later that same year. This period also saw the rise of what is sometimes categorized as Single issue terrorism. If terrorism is the extension of domestic politics by other means, just as war is for diplomacy, then this represents the extension of pressure groups into violent action. Notable examples that grow in this period are Eco-terrorism and Anti-abortion terrorism.

Late 20th century

Founded in 1961, Nelson Mandela, who was tried and imprisoned for the group's acts.[186] With the end of apartheid in South Africa, Umkhonto we Sizwe was incorporated into the South African armed forces.

[184] Though the British forces did have strict orders not to mistreat Mau Mau terrorists.[183] The British were accused of using torture and mass executions as part of their efforts to suppress the Mau Mau[182][181] The majority of fighting was between loyalist and Mau Mau Kikuyu, so many scholars today now consider it a Kikuyu civil war. The Kenyan Government considers the Mau Mau uprising a key step towards Kenya's independence from British Imperial rule.[180] In


Founded in 1976, the [179] In 2009 the Sri Lankan military launched a major military offensive against the secessionist movement and claimed that it had effectively destroyed the LTTE.

The Japanese Red Army was founded by Fusako Shigenobu in Japan in 1971 and attempted to overthrow the Japanese government and start a world revolution. Allied with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the group committed assassinations, hijacked a commercial Japanese aircraft, and sabotaged a Shell oil refinery in Singapore. On May 30, 1972, Kōzō Okamoto and other group members launched a machine gun and grenade attack at Israel's Lod Airport in Tel Aviv, killing 26 people and injuring 80 others. Two of the three attackers then killed themselves with grenades.[174]


The Maoists, the Black Panthers, and the 1968 student revolts in France, sought to raise awareness of its revolutionary anti-capitalist and anti-Vietnam War platform by destroying symbols of government power. From 1969 to 1974 the Weathermen bombed corporate offices, police stations, and Washington government sites such as the Pentagon. After the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, most of the group disbanded.[173]

[172] The

The [166][168] Kahane later founded the far-right Israeli political party Kach, which was banned from elections in Israel on the ground of racism.[169] The JDL's present-day website condemns all forms of terrorism.[170]

[165][164] In Colombia

The Che Guevara and Algeria's FLN.[160] The group was accused of bombings, kidnappings, and assassinations of politicians, soldiers, and civilians.[161] On October 5, 1970, the FLQ kidnapped James Richard Cross, the British Trade Commissioner, and on October 10, the Minister of Labor and Vice-Premier of Quebec, Pierre Laporte. Laporte was killed a week later. After these events support for violence in order to attain Quebec independence declined, and support increased for the Parti Québécois, which took power in Quebec in 1976.[162]

The Americas

The Red Brigades were a New Leftist group founded by Renato Curcio and Alberto Franceschini in 1970 that sought to create a revolutionary state. The group carried out a series of bombings and kidnappings until Curcio and Franceschini were arrested in the mid-1970s. Their successor as leader, Mario Moretti, led the group toward more militarized and violent actions, including the kidnapping of former Prime Minister Aldo Moro on March 16, 1978. Moro was killed 56 days later. This led to an all-out assault on the group by Italian law enforcement and security forces and condemnation from Italian left-wing radicals and even imprisoned ex-leaders of the Brigades. The group lost most of its social support and public opinion turned strongly against it. In 1984, the group split, the majority faction becoming the Communist Combatant Party (Red Brigades-PCC) and the minority faction reconstituting itself as the Union of Combatant Communists (Red Brigades-UCC). Members of these groups carried out a handful of assassinations before almost all were arrested in 1989.[158]

The Red Army Faction (RAF) was a New Leftist group founded in 1968 by Andreas Baader and Ulrike Meinhof in West Germany. Inspired by Che Guevara, Maoist socialism, and the Vietcong, the group sought to raise awareness of the Vietnamese and Palestinian independence movements through kidnappings, taking embassies hostage, bank robberies, assassinations, bombings, and attacks on U.S. air bases. The group is best known for 1977's "German Autumn". The buildup leading to German Autumn began on April 7, when the RAF shot Federal Prosecutor Siegfried Buback. On July 30, it shot Jurgen Ponto, then head of the Dresdner Bank, in a failed kidnapping attempt; on September 5, the group kidnapped Hanns Martin Schleyer (a former SS officer and an important West German industrialist), executing him on October 19.[155][156] The hijacking of the Lufthansa jetliner "Landshut" by the PFLP, a Palestinian group, is also considered to be part of German Autumn.[157]

Ulrike Meinhof

[154].Belfast In the case of the latter there has been a long held solidarity movement, which is evident by the many murals around [153] and the PLO.[152] in ColombiaFARC The IRA is believed to have been a major exporter of arms to and provided military training to groups such as the [151][150], the group set off twenty-two bombs, killing nine and injuring 130. On July 28, 2005, the Provisional IRA Army Council announced an end to its armed campaign.Bloody Friday On July 21, 1972, in an attack later known as [149].mortar attack on 10 Downing Street, including bombings, gun attacks, assassinations and even a armed campaign, the group conducted an the Troubles since the late 1970s, the Provisional IRA sought to create an all-island Irish state. Between 1969 and 1997, during a period known as Gerry Adams Led by Mac Stíofáin in the early 1970s and by a group around [148] The

[147] Efforts by Spanish governments to negotiate with the ETA have failed, and in 2003 the Spanish Supreme Court banned the Batasuna political party, which was determined to be the political arm of ETA.[146] In 1995, an ETA car bomb nearly killed Jose Maria Aznar, then the leader of the conservative Popular Party, and the same year investigators disrupted a plot to assassinate King Juan Carlos.[145] Many ETA victims are government officials, the group's first known victim a police chief killed in 1968. In 1973 ETA operatives killed Franco's apparent successor, Admiral Luis Carrero Blanco, by planting an underground bomb under his habitual parking spot outside a Madrid church.[144] group demanding Basque independence.Marxist's suppression of the Basque language and culture, ETA evolved from an advocacy group for traditional Basque culture into an armed Francisco Franco Formed in response to General [143] Founded in 1959 and still active, the


[142] The "Partiya Karkerên Kurdistan" (

The Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) was founded in 1975 in Beirut during the Lebanese Civil War by Hagop Tarakchian and Hagop Hagopian with the help of sympathetic Palestinians. At the time, Turkey was in political turmoil, and Hagopian believed that the time was right to avenge the Armenians who died during the Armenian Genocide and to force the Turkish government to cede the territory of Wilsonian Armenia to establish a nation state also incorporating the Armenian SSR. In its Esenboga airport attack, on 7 August 1982, two ASALA rebels opened fire on civilians in a waiting room at the Esenboga International Airport in Ankara. Nine people died and 82 were injured. By 1986, the ASALA had virtually ceased all attacks.[141]

The Jundallah.

In the 1974 Ma'alot massacre 22 Israeli high school students, aged 14–16, from Safed were killed by three members of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine.[137] Before reaching the school, the trio shot and killed two Arab women, a Jewish man, his pregnant wife, and their 4-year-old son, and wounded several others.[138]

[136][132] publicly renounced terrorism in December 1988 on behalf of the PLO, but Israel has stated it has proof that Arafat continued to sponsor terrorism until his death in 2004.Yasser Arafat Fatah leader and PLO Chairman [135] three international passenger planes, landing two of them in Jordan and blowing up the third.hijacked and on September 6, 1970, the group [134]

Plaque commemorating the eleven Israeli athletes killed during the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

The National Liberation Front (FLN) was a nationalist group founded in French-controlled Algeria in 1954.[126] The group was a large-scale resistance movement against French rule, with terrorism only part of its operations. The FLN leadership was inspired by the Viet Minh rebels who had made French troops withdraw from Vietnam.[127] The FLN was one of the first anti-colonial groups to use large scale compliance violence. The FLN would establish control over a rural village and coerce its peasants to execute any French loyalists among them.[113] On the night of October 31, 1954, in a coordinated wave of seventy bombings and shootings known as the Toussaint attacks, the FLN attacked French military installations and the homes of Algerian loyalists.[128] In the following year, the group gained significant support for an uprising against loyalists in Philippeville. This uprising, and the heavy-handed response by the French, convinced many Algerians to support the FLN and the independence movement. The FLN eventually secured Algerian independence from France in 1962, and transformed itself into Algeria's ruling party.[129]

Founded in 1928 as a nationalist social-welfare and political movement in British-controlled Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood began to attack British soldiers and police stations in the late 1940s .[122] Founded and led by Hassan al-Banna, it also assassinated politicians seen as collaborating with British rule,[123] most prominently Egyptian Prime Minister Nuqrashi in 1948.[124] British rule was overthrown in a 1952 military coup, and shortly thereafter the Muslim Brotherhood went underground in the face of a massive crackdown.[125] Though sometimes banned or otherwise oppressed, the group continues to exist in present-day Egypt.

Middle East

Throughout the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War,.[116] Russia also provided military support the PLO during the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict,[117] and Fidel Castro during the Cuban Revolution.[118] The United States funded groups such as the Contras in Nicaragua.[119] Many violent Islamic militants of the late 20th and early 21st century had been funded in the 1980s by the United States and the UK because they were fighting the USSR in Afghanistan.[120][121]

In the late 1960s and 1970s violent leftist groups were on the rise, sympathizing with Third World guerrilla movements and seeking to spark anti-capitalist revolts. Such groups included the PKK in Turkey, Armenia's ASALA,[114] the Japanese Red Army, the German Red Army Faction, the Italian Red Brigades, and, in the United States, the Weather Underground.[115] Nationalist groups such as the Provisional IRA and the Tamil tigers also began operations at this time.

[114] In the 1960s, inspired by

Aftermath of the 1964 Brinks Hotel bombing in Vietnam.

After World War II, largely successful anti-colonial campaigns were launched against the collapsing European empires, as many World War II resistance groups became militantly anti-colonial. The Viet Minh, for example, which had fought against the Japanese, now fought against the returning French colonists. In the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood used bombings and assassinations against British rule in Egypt.[79] Also during the 1950s, the National Liberation Front (FLN) in French-controlled Algeria and the EOKA in British-controlled Cyprus waged guerrilla and open war against colonial powers.[113]

Anti-colonial struggles (Cold War)

We must recognise that our response to the scourge of terrorism is compromised by what we did through SOE. The justification ... That we had no other means of striking back at the enemy ... is exactly the argument used by the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhoff gang, the PFLP, the IRA and every other half-articulate terrorist organisation on Earth. Futile to argue that we were a democracy and Hitler a tyrant. Means besmirch ends. SOE besmirched Britain.[112]

Th work of the SOE received recognition in 2009 with a memorial in London, however there are countering views on the morality of the SOE's actions; the British military historian John Keegan wrote:

The SOE also conducted operations in Africa, the Middle East and the Far East.[111]

On the eve of [110]

[89][88] Some of the tactics of the

Resistance during WWII

Lehi (Lohamei Herut Yisrael, a.k.a. "Freedom Fighters for Israel", a.k.a. Stern Gang) was a revisionist Zionist group that splintered off from Irgun in 1940.[94] Abraham Stern formed Lehi from disaffected Irgun members after Irgun agreed to a truce with Britain in 1940.[96] Lehi assassinated prominent politicians as a strategy. For example, on November 6, 1944, Lord Moyne, the British Minister of State for the Middle East, was assassinated.[103] The act was controversial among Zionist militant groups, Hagannah sympathizing with the British and launching a massive man-hunt against members of Lehi and Irgun. After Israel's 1948 founding, Lehi was formally dissolved and its members integrated into the Israeli Defense Forces.[104]

they developed, are named after Qassam. rockets, as well as the Hamas, the military wing of Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, called themselves Qassamiyun, followers of al-Qassam. The 1936–39 Arab revolt He became a popular hero and an inspiration to subsequent Arab militants, who in the [101] Operating in the

The King David Hotel, Mandatory Palestine, after the 1946 bombing.

Following the David Ben-Gurion's Hagana and Begin's Irgun. Following the bombing, Ben-Gurion called Irgun an “enemy of the Jewish people”.[97][98] After the creation of Israel in 1948, Menachem Begin (Irgun leader from 1943 to 1948) transformed the group into the political party Herut, which later became part of Likud in an alliance with the center-right Gahal, Liberal Party, Free Centre, National List, and Movement for Greater Israel.[99][100]

Mandatory Palestine

The Irish [thanks to the example set by Collins and followed by the SOE] can thus claim that their resistance provide the originating impulse for resistance to tyrannies worse than any they had to endure themselves. And the Irish resistance as Collins led it, showed the rest of the world an economical way to fight wars the only sane way they can be fought in the age of the Nuclear bomb.[90]

The IRA are considered by some the innovators of modern terrorism as the British would replicate and build upon the tactics used against by the IRA in World War 2. Tony Geraghty in The Irish War: The Hidden Conflict Between the IRA and British Intelligence. M. R. D. Foot, who wrote several official histories of SOE wrote:

After years of warfare, London agreed to the 1921 Anglo-Irish treaty creating a free Irish state encompassing 26 of the island's 32 counties.[86] IRA tactics were an inspiration to other groups, including the Palestine Mandate's Zionists,[87] and to British special operations during World War II.[88][89]

Shortly after the rebellion, Michael Collins and others founded the Irish Republican Army (IRA), which from 1916 to 1923 carried out numerous attacks against symbols of British power. For example, it attacked over 300 police stations simultaneously just before Easter 1920,[84] and, in November 1920, publicly killed a dozen police officers and burned down the Liverpool docks and warehouses, an action that came to be known as Bloody Sunday.[85]

Rubble in the streets of Dublin after the failed Easter Rising in 1916 against British rule.

In an action called the Easter Rising or Easter Rebellion, on April 24, 1916, members of the Irish Volunteers and Irish Citizen Army seized the Dublin General Post Office and several other buildings, proclaiming an independent Irish Republic.[82] The rebellion failed militarily but was a success for physical force Irish republicanism, leaders of the uprising becoming Irish heroes after their eventual execution by the British government.[83]

Irish independence

In the 1930s, the Nazi regime in Germany and Stalin's rule in the Soviet Union practiced state terror systematically and on a massive and unprecedented scale.[81]

On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his wife, Sophie, Duchess of Hohenberg, were shot and killed in Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, by Gavrilo Princip, one of a group of six assassins. The assassinations produced widespread shock across Europe, setting in motion a series of events which led to World War I.

Political assassinations continued into the 20th century, its first victim Umberto I of Italy, killed in July 1900. Political violence became especially widespread in Imperial Russia, and several ministers were killed in the opening years of the century. The highest-ranking was prime minister Pyotr Stolypin, killed in 1911 by a leftist radical.

The women's WSPU[80] (despite his support for women's suffrage).

Revolutionary nationalism continued to motivate political violence in the 20th century, much of it directed against western colonial powers. The Irish Republican Army campaigned against the British in the 1910s and inspired the Zionist groups Hagannah, Irgun and Lehi to fight the British throughout the 1930s in the Palestine mandate.[77][78] Like the IRA and the Zionist groups, the Muslim Brotherhood used bombings and assassinations to try to free Egypt from British control.[79]

The assassination of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, precipitated a global war."

Early 20th century

[76] The demands were ignored and Turkish troops crushed the 27,000 rebels in the town two months later.[75] that all of Macedonia be freed.European Powers On July 20, 1903, the group incited the Ilinden uprising in the Ottoman villayet of Monastir. The IMRO declared the town's independence and sent demands to the [74] Through assassinations and by provoking uprisings, the group sought to coerce the Ottoman government into creating a Macedonian nation.[73][72][71] Also inspired by Narodnaya Volya, the

Several nationalist groups used violence against an Narodnaya Volya or the Hunchakian Revolutionary Party.[68] The group published newsletters, smuggled arms, and hijacked buildings as it sought to bring in European intervention that would force the Ottoman Empire to surrender control of its Armenian territories.[69] On August 24, 1896, 17-year-old Babken Suni led twenty-six members in capturing the Imperial Ottoman Bank in Constantinople. The group demanded European intervention to stop the Hamidian Massacres and the creation of an Armenian state, but backed down on a threat to blow up the bank. An ensuing security crackdown destroyed the group.[70]

The Ottoman Empire

The group's politics are generally perceived as invisible" group with no membership rosters, it was difficult to judge the Klan's actual size. The KKK has at times been politically powerful, and at various times controlled the governments of Tennessee, Oklahoma, and South Carolina, in addition to several legislatures in the South.

After the Civil War, on December 24, 1865, six Confederate veterans created the Ku Klux Klan (KKK).[65] The KKK used violence, lynching, murder and acts of intimidation such as cross burning to oppress in particular African Americans, and created a sensation with its masked forays' dramatic nature.[66][67]

A cartoon threatening that the KKK will lynch carpetbaggers, in the Independent Monitor, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, 1868.

Prior to the U.S. Civil War, abolitionist John Brown (1800–1859) advocated and practiced armed opposition to slavery, leading several attacks between 1856 and 1859, the most famous in 1859 against the armory at Harpers Ferry. Local forces soon recaptured the fort and Brown was tried and executed for treason.[60] A biographer of Brown has written that Brown's purpose was "to force the nation into a new political pattern by creating terror."[61] In 2009, the 150th anniversary of Brown's death, prominent news publications debated over whether or not Brown should be considered a terrorist.[62][63][64]

The United States

Individual Europeans also engaged in politically motivated violence. For example, in 1893, Auguste Vaillant, a French anarchist, threw a bomb in the French Chamber of Deputies in which one person was injured.[59] In reaction to Vaillant's bombing and other bombings and assassination attempts, the French government restricted freedom of the press by passing a set of laws that became pejoratively known as the lois scélérates ("villainous laws"). In the years 1894 to 1896 anarchists killed President of France Marie Francois Carnot, Prime Minister of Spain Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, and the Empress of Austria-Hungary, Elisabeth of Bavaria.

Founded in [20][56] The assassination, by a bomb that also killed the Tsar's attacker, Ignacy Hryniewiecki, failed to spark the expected revolution, and an ensuing crackdown brought the group to an end.[58]

The concept of "propaganda of the deed" (or "propaganda by the deed", from the French propagande par le fait) advocated physical violence or other provocative public acts against political enemies in order to inspire mass rebellion or revolution. One of the first individuals associated with this concept, the Italian revolutionary Carlo Pisacane (1818–1857), wrote in his "Political Testament" (1857) that "ideas spring from deeds and not the other way around". Anarchist Mikhail Bakunin (1814–1876), in his "Letters to a Frenchman on the Present Crisis" (1870) stated that "we must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible form of propaganda".[52][53] The French anarchist Paul Brousse (1844–1912) popularized the phrase "propaganda of the deed"; in 1877 he cited as examples the 1871 Paris Commune and a workers' demonstration in Berne provocatively using the socialist red flag.[54] By the 1880s, the slogan had begun to be used to refer to bombings, regicides and tyrannicides. Reflecting this new understanding of the term, in 1895 Italian anarchist Errico Malatesta described "propaganda by the deed" (which he opposed the use of) as violent communal insurrections meant to ignite an imminent revolution.[55]

Ignacy Hryniewiecki, a terrorist who assassinated Tsar Alexander II of Russia.

Anarchism and "propaganda of the deed"

The first police unit to combat terrorism was established in 1883 by the Metropolitan Police, initially as a small section of the Criminal Investigation Department. It was known as the Special Irish Branch, and was trained in counter terrorism techniques to combat the Irish Republican Brotherhood. The unit's name was changed to Special Branch as the unit's remit steadily widened over the years.[51]

Although the Irish Republican Brotherhood condemned the Clerkenwell Outrage as a "dreadful and deplorable event", the organisation returned to bombings in Britain in 1881 to 1885, with the Fenian Brotherhood in the United States.

In 1867, members of the movement's leadership were arrested and convicted for organizing an armed uprising. While being transferred to prison, the police van in which they were being transported was intercepted and a police sergeant was shot in the rescue. A bolder rescue attempt of another Irish radical incarcerated in Clerkenwell Prison, was made in the same year: an explosion to demolish the prison wall killed 12 people and caused many injuries. The bombing enraged the British public, causing a panic over the Fenian threat.


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