Historical Overview of Terrorist Threat

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Historical Overview of Terrorist Threat


A large percentage misconceives the definition of terrorism. A terrorist threat refers to a threat or violent act whose ulterior motive is to create fear and turmoil to innocent people (Coady, 2002).  It is evident that every act of terror aims at forcing unwilling parties to conform to biased and radical beliefs and ideas (Coady, 2002).  The French government coined the term terrorism during the period of terror in the 1970’s where many French citizens lost their lives (Law, 2009). The concept of terrorism dictates that the outcome of a battle determines is what matters and not the intentions of the action.

Terrorism existed since ancient times of the existence of human beings. There were groups that initiated attacks similar to the modern concept of terrorism. The preexistent groups emerged in the records as early as the first century.  During the 1st- 14th Century AD terror groups such as the Zealots of Judea known to the Romans as the dagger-men (Law, 2009). Their ulterior objective was to assassinate Roman occupation forces as well as the collaborators. The reason behind the radical action was the adamant belief that they could no longer exist under the rule of the Roman Empire (Law, 2009). The next group that shows vivid signs of modern terrorism were the assassins a faction known as the Nizari Ismailis, who adopted the style of the elimination of opponent’s leaders. The leader of the group would send one member to end the life of the enemy’s leader at the cost of his life (Law, 2009). Both groups expressed characteristics similar to the terrorist groups observed today. They depict similarities in the aspects of motivation, organization, targeting and goals.

During the 14th-18th century, the concepts of terror and barbarism were used as ploys in warfare and conflict; however, the major characteristics that would link the act of terrorism to the modern acts. That was mainly due to the development of nations with limited and controlled information that cut off any aspirations or causes that may inspire terror (Coady, 2002). Nations also developed adequate means to suppress any form of terror threats.  During the classical period, another form of terrorism emerged that entailed the oppression of the public by the government (Coady, 2002). It got set by the French government whose revolutionary government used oppressive methods as a form of governance (Law, 2009). They employed assassinations and intimidation tactics to ensure that the citizens remained loyal to their governance (Law, 2009). It is imminent that the platform of objectives for terrorism in the classical period lay their basis on the beliefs and ideas of people on leadership.

During what the world marks as the modern period that is the 19th century there were advances in the political theories and weapon technology that sparked the formation of small groups of revolutionaries (Whapoe, 2009). These groups are drawing their motivation for the attacks from anarchistic belief assassinated heads of state from leading states. These groups believed that all governments should the governments should not exist and that the existing governments should get abolished. The anarchists believed that people should live in free will rather than forced governance (Whapoe, 2009). A large percentage of the anarchists in the modern period felt that actions speak better than words (propaganda of deeds) that sparked violent acts such as assassinations and bombings (Whapoe, 2009). The modern era was marked by the emergence of political terrorism due to the realization and increasing trends in nationalism throughout the world. The growing knowledge of the identity of people and states propelled the development of terrorist groups that created mayhem and anarchy under the disguise of liberation from colonialism and politics (Whapoe, 2009).

During the 20th century, the emergent events in the history defined the nature of terrorism to date. The development of the two world wars changed the perspectives of most of the international order and governments (Law, 2009). The concepts of nationalism began intensifying rampantly throughout the world. Many states under the colonialism of another state chose terrorist methods with tactics such as guerilla wars whose intent was to shed the blood of the colonial officers and the collaborators. These groups shed the blood of many foreigners around the world at the cost of the residents (Law, 2009). Most of these terrorist groups were successful as they led to the liberation of most states. Gradually nations became closely tied to concepts of race and ethnicity and religion with international political developments supporting such concepts. There was collaboration among nations with a large percentage of the individuals forming alliances and sharing concepts (Law, 2009). However, it created a field for international terrorism and the development of radical groups. The first international terrorist group that recorded on international terrorism was the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that hijacked an airliner to air out their demands (Pandey, 2006). This development led to the formation of many other radical groups that initiated all forms of violent attacks to enforce their views on others (Pandey, 2006). During the 21st century, the international terrorism has become one of the largest nuisances in the world today with radical groups forming all over the world. These groups were using heinous tactics to spread mayhem and turmoil (Pandey, 2006). The center of these terrorist events is religious beliefs. The extremist groups are normally advocating for Islamic religion use the currently advanced technology in weaponry to threaten and even take the lives of those that do not conform to their religious beliefs (Pandey, 2006).

Currently, the advances in the world in terms of technology have developed a new form of terrorism. The world has become tremendously computerized with extraneous advances in the technology of communication (Pandey, 2006). These advances are developing extensive communication systems. People are taking advantage of these advances in technologies to carry out cyber bullying. Cyberbullying is the latest form of terrorism that takes advantage of the expansion of the internet coverage of the Globe (Pandey, 2006).


It is imminent that the intent of an action does not define terrorism but the outcome of the action. It is evident that the evolution of terrorism correlates to the progress made in the world. The advances in technology and also the concepts and ideas also advances the terrorist events such that they are becoming more and bolder as time passes. Conflict is imminent; therefore the world should develop tactics for combating the evolving threat that is terrorism.


Coady, J. (2002). Terrorism and Justice: Moral argument in a threatened world. Carlton South, Vic: Melbourne Univ. Press.

Law, D. (2009). Terrorism: A history. Cambridge, U.K: Polity.

Pandey, S. C. (2006). International terrorism and the contemporary world. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons.

Whapoe, Z. (2009). Diagnosis and prescription to combat global terrorism: An insight in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddhism. Bloomington: AuthorHouse

Sherry Roberts is the author of this paper. A senior editor at MeldaResearch.Com in nursing essay writing service services. If you need a similar paper you can place your order from research paper services.

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