So, where does the history of modern terrorism begin? Although it could possibly be disputed, we will call it the late twentieth century. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, the militancy for the Islamic nation (in pursuing of political as well as religious goals) perpetrated such acts as the bombing of the World Trade Center. There was also the bombing of Oklahoma City’s Murrah Federal Building and on the Tokyo subway that the gas attack of Sarin was on. The same time period also saw a rise in what is known as “single issue terrorism”. In other words, if the extension of domestic politics is terrorism, it is in the same way the war is for diplomacy, then it was the age of Environmental activism becoming Environmental terrorism, and the Right-to-Life movement becoming Anti-abortion terrorism.
Some other massive events that took place after the September 11 attacks in 2001 included the Moscow theatre hostage crisis in Moscow by Chechens who claimed allegiance to an Islamist separatist movement. Their goal was to get the Russians to withdraw from Chechnya. After a couple of days, the Russians pumped gas into the building and ended up killing more hostages than attackers. Things that make you go “huh”. A little heavy handed? Anyway, some of us remember that incident.
While Islamic forces, people for Beirut, ISIS and related middle eastern groups are definitely the major players in modern terrorism, we cannot blame them alone. We can’t even say they were first, if we go farther back in history (but that’s another story). Acts of terrorism take place all over the world, at any venue, at any time. They mostly target civilians, and women and children are not safe. The atrocities are unspeakable. Yet, these terrorists are a small subset of the religions they claim to represent. If we let them scare us, if we let them dictate the way we live our lives, then they win.