1. Intro 2. The Terrorist in the Ancient world 3. 17th, 18th & 19th Century Terror 4. The Anti-Colonial Wave 5. Extremism and Technology 6. Spectaculars 7. State Sponsored Terrorism and the Lone Wolf 8. The Future p.s. The Reaper
Whether the Sicarii of ancient Judea or Al-Qaeda of modern times, terrorist groups and their accompanying violence have scarred human existence for millennia. Technology and human interdependence – along with the rise of air travel, computing and the advent of high explosives – have ensured that anyone with a grudge or malign political motive, can resort to violence in order to achieve their aims. Sometimes that very violence is an end in itself and the late twentieth century saw the rise of terrorist organisations whose aim was to create as much destruction and bloodshed as possible. The late 1960s saw Palestinian terrorism on the rise, closely followed by the radical left wing European groups such as the Red Army faction. Later, there came the mercenary types such as Abu Nidal and Carlos the Jackal. Finally there came the extremist Islamic groups: Al Qaeda and Isis.
But the tactics of all these groups flowed from the post-Colonial era, when kidnapping, hostage-taking and car bombings were the norm, and often achieved results. This then is the blood-soaked trail, and the placing of terrorist incidents in the context of wider asymmetric threats. Terrorism can be a tool of both the deranged individual and the oppressive state. We ignore such threats at our peril.
So it goes,
Tom Assheton & James Jackson
The Reaper and others articles by James Jackson read by Joe Pelissier
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