Terrorism - in this age of ours !
terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion At present, there is no internationally agreed definition of terrorism. Common definitions of terrorism refer only to those acts which are intended to create fear (terror), are perpetrated for an ideological goal (as opposed to a lone attack), and deliberately target or disregard the safety of non-combatants. Some definitions also include acts of unlawful violence and war. The history of terrorist organizations suggests that they do not select terrorism for its political effectiveness. Individual terrorists tend to be motivated more by a desire for social solidarity with other members of their organization than by political platforms or strategic objectives, which are often murky and undefined. The word "terrorism" is politically and emotionally charged, and this greatly compounds the difficulty of providing a precise definition.
One 1988 study by the US Army found that over 100 definitions of the word "terrorism" have been used. A person who practices terrorism is a terrorist. The concept of terrorism is itself controversial because it is often used by states to delegitimize political opponents, and thus legitimize the state's own use of terror against those opponents.
Terrorism has been used by a broad array of political organizations in furthering their objectives; both right-wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic, and religious groups, revolutionaries and ruling governments. The presence of non-state actors in widespread armed conflict has created controversy regarding the application of the laws of war.
"Terror" comes a Latin word meaning "to frighten". The terror cimbricus was a panic and state of emergency in Rome in response to the approach of warriors of the Cimbri tribe in 105BC. The Jacobins cited this precedent when imposing a Reign of Terror during the French Revolution. After the Jacobins lost power, the word "terrorist" became a term of abuse. Although the Reign of Terror was imposed by a government, in modern times "terrorism" usually refers to the killing of innocent people by a private group in such a way as to create a media spectacle. This meaning can be traced back to Sergey Nechayev, who described himself as a "terrorist". Nechayev founded the Russian terrorist group "People's Retribution"
In many countries, acts of terrorism are legally distinguished from criminal acts done for other purposes, and "terrorism" is defined by statute; see definition of terrorism for particular definitions. Common principles among legal definitions of terrorism provide an emerging consensus as to meaning and also foster cooperation between law enforcement personnel in different countries. Among these definitions there are several that do not recognize the possibility of legitimate use of violence by civilians against an invader in an occupied country and would, thus label all resistance movements as terrorist groups. Others make a distinction between lawful and unlawful use of violence. Ultimately, the distinction is a political judgment.
History of Terrorism :Ancient world :
Sicarii Zealots Political scientists see the radical Sicarii offshoot of the Jewish Zealots as one of the earliest forerunners of modern terrorism. Like modern terrorists, they intended their actions to suggest a message to a wider target audience: in this instance, the Roman imperial officials and all pro-Roman and collaborationist Jews.
Al-Assasin The Hashshashin (also Hashishin, Hashashiyyin or Assassins) were an offshoot of the Ismā'īlī sect of Shia Muslims. After a quarrel about the succession of leadership in the ruling Fatimide dynasty in Cairo around the year 1090, the losing Nizāriyya faction were driven from Egypt. They established a number of fortified settlements in present day Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon (see Shia Crescent) under the charismatic leader Hasan i Sabbah. Persecuted as infidels by the dominant Sunni sect in the Muslim world, they sent dedicated suicidal assassins to eliminate prominent Sunni leaders  whom they considered "impious usurpers." The sect was reduced by the invading Mongols, their last stronghold being flattened by Hülegü Khan in the year 1272. Some scholars believe the term Hashshashin, a name given to them by their enemies, was derived from the Arabic, which they are alleged to have ingested prior to their attacks, but this etymology is disputed. The sect referred to themselves as al-da'wa al-jadīda, which means the new doctrine, and were known within the organization as Fedayeen.
Gunpowder Plot (1605) Main article: Gunpowder Plot On November 5, 1605 a group of conspirators, led by Guy Fawkes, attempted to destroy the English Parliament on the State Opening, by detonating a large quantity of gunpowder secretly placed beneath the building. The design was to kill King James I and the members of both houses of Parliament. In the resulting anarchy, the conspirators planned to implement a coup and restore the Catholic faith to England. However the plan was betrayed and then thwarted. The event is still annually celebrated in Britain with fireworks displays and large bonfires on 5 November each year.
The aims of the conspirators are frequently compared to modern terrorists; however, this is disputed.. The plotter's aims were nothing short of a total revolution in the government of England, which would have killed the King along with leading noblemen and led to the installation of a Catholic monarch. As such the plot can be regarded as a treasonous act of attempted regicide.
Sons of Liberty The Sons of Liberty were an underground group opposed to British Rule in the colonies, who committed several attacks, most famous among these was the Boston Tea Party.
The Terror (1793-1794)
The Reign of Terror (September 5, 1793 – July 28, 1794) or simply The Terror (French: la Terreur) was a period of about eleven months during the French Revolution when struggles between rival factions led to mutual radicalization which took on a violent character with mass executions by guillotine.
The victims of the Reign of Terror totaled approximately 40,000. Among people who were condemned by the revolutionary tribunals, about 8 percent were aristocrats, 6 percent clergy, 14 percent middle class, and 70 percent were workers or peasants accused of hoarding, evading the draft, desertion, rebellion, and other purported crimes.
Anarchism Anarchists were the most prolific terrorists of the 19th century, with the terroristic tendencies of both nationalism and political movements of communism or fascism still in their infancy. The disjointed attacks of various anarchist groups lead to the assassination of Russian Tsars and US Presidents but had little real political impact.
Tsarist Russia In Russia, by the mid-19th century, the intelligentsia grew impatient with the slow pace of Tsarist reforms, which had slowed considerably after the attempted assassination of Alexander II of Russia. Radicals then sought instead to transform peasant discontent into open revolution. Anarchists like Mikhail Bakunin maintained that progress was impossible without destruction. Their objective was nothing less than complete destruction of the state. Anything that contributed to this goal was regarded as moral. With the development of sufficiently powerful, stable, and affordable explosives, the gap closed between the firepower of the state and the means available to dissidents. The main group responsible for the resulting campaign of terror - Narodnaya Volya (1878-81) - used the word 'terrorist' proudly. They developed certain ideas that were to become the hallmark of subsequent terrorism in many countries. They believed in the targeted killing of the 'leaders of oppression'; they were convinced that the developing technologies of the age - symbolized by bombs and bullets - enabled them to strike directly and discriminately. People's Will had only 30 members. Despite the efforts of the state police People's Will attempted several assassination attempts upon the Tsar, culminating in the assassination of Tsar Alexander II on 13 March 1881, killing him as he was travelling by train.
Irish Republican Brotherhood In 1867 the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a revolutionary nationalist group with support from Irish-Americans, carried out attacks in England. These were the first acts of "republican terrorism", which became a recurrent feature of British history, and these Fenians were the precursor of the Irish Republican Army. The ideology of the group was Irish nationalism.
Nationalist terrorism The Fenians/IRA, and the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) may be considered the prototype of all 'nationalist terrorism', and equally illustrate the (itself controversial) expression that "one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter". At least one of these groups achieved its goals: an independent Ireland came into being. So did an independent Macedonia, but the original IMRO probably contributed little to this outcome
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