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The History of Terrorism

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1 The History of Terrorism
US History – Mr. Tyna




5 I. What is Terrorism? An asymmetric form of conflict
US Dept of State: “Terrorism is premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.” Terrorism is a criminal act that influences an audience beyond the immediate victim Their strategy: to commit acts of violence that draws the attention of the local populace, the govt., & the world to their cause.

6 II. Early History of Terrorism
The Sicarii & the Zealots Jewish groups active during Roman occupation Sicarii (dagger men) Zealots (a fanatical partisan) An underground campaign of assassination of Roman occupation forces and Jews who collaborated w/ them Killing usually took place in daylight and w/ witnesses to send a message to Roman authorities

7 The Assassins The Thugees
11th century offshoot of a Shia Muslim sect known as the Ismailis Stabbed politicians and clerics who refused to adopt their form of Islam Assassin means “Hashish-eater” – rumored to have indulged in drugs prior to their killings The Thugees Indian religious cult Strangled victims (usually random travelers) as an offering to the Hindu goddess of terror and destruction, Kali

8 The French Revolution The Reign of Terror
First use of the term “Terror” and “Terrorists” Maximilien Robespierre and the Committee for Public Safety publicly executed over 40,000 people by guillotine “without virtue, terror is destructive; without terror, virtue is impotent. Terror is only justice prompt, severe and inflexible” M. Robespierre


10 In the latter half of the 19th century, terrorism was adopted by adherents of anarchism in Western Europe, Russia, and the United States. They believed that the best way to effect revolutionary political and social change was to assassinate persons in positions of power.





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