Scan the code below


The History of Terrorism
Published by Air Vice Marshall Hamoud bin Mohammed Al Asmari
Air Vice Marshall Hamoud bin Mohammed Al Asmari.  

The phenomenon of terrorism is as old as humanity. It is linked to the existence of social relations between human beings and to the existence of the conflict between right and wrong, good and evil. Terrorist acts are closely linked to human culture on love of control, snubbing and terrifying people in order to obtain their desire in a way that runs counter to the static social concepts. Although terrorism is as old as humanity, it is only commonly known in modern times. The world's first murder by killing Abel is a clear evidence of the mentioned fact above. The phenomenon of violence was the distinguishing feature of primitive communities- the law of the jungle communities- which survival is for the fittest. Pharaohs knew the crime of terrorism in 1198 BC and called it (the crime of terrorists) where there was an attempt to murder King Ramses III, known as The Harem Conspiracy. The Assyrians knew terrorism in the seventh century BC, where they used terrorist means against their foes the barbarians on a large scale. In the Roman era, it was difficult to distinguish between terrorism and political crimes. The political criminal was tagged as an enemy of the nation, and political crimes were considered general crimes. Such crimes had dangerous impacts on individuals as well as the entire community, including conspiring with the enemies of the homeland, crimes against state security, stir up sedition, unrest, rebellion and revolt against the ruling power.

As for the Greeks, the political crime was linked to the religious concept, but this idea began to change with the development of Greek civilization. The concept of political crime was later be distinguished from the concept of religious crime. In other words, the political crime became a crime against the state, its social construction or against the sovereignty of the people. History records one of the first manifestations of organized terrorism in the Middle East in first-century. Palestine was the scene the first rise of organized turmoil when the first century BC, where a small Jewish group called The Zealots revolted against the Romans calling for independence in the year 6 b.c.e, and launched organized systematic protests. The Roman authorities, however, stroke with a fist of iron on the rebels, crucifying 2,000 of them brutally. The goal was to deal a psychological blow strong enough to dissuade the populace from further turmoil. It was the first use of terror in a war that lasted for several decades.

History tells us that the Zealots nevertheless were also spreading terror, slaughtering their enemies in public places. The war waged by the Zealots took the form of guerrilla warfare, a heritage that continued to be seen even today. The authors note the terrorist of those days had no distinction between their political and religious goals. The Zealots did not only launch a war of liberation against the Romans, but they also waged a war against their own Jewish compatriots whom they looked upon as moderates. In the pre-Islamic era that preceded the early days of Islam, violence, terrorism and forceful control dominated in the entire community. Some scholars believe that in the history of Islam terrorism dates back to wayward of Khawarij movement which has also the source of a number of dissident movements in the history of Islam.

In the eleventh century, the eastern, Nizari Ismailis sect, a branch of Shite Islam, known as the Assassins arose in two regions, Iran and Syria. Authors believe that Ismailis sect defended alleged religious and political goals under the leadership of its leader, Hassan Al-Sabbah, by spreading terror among the innocent people using assassinations. For two centuries, the Assassins resisted the efforts of the state to suppress them and neutralize their terrorism. They continued to pursue their political goals through terrorism, as they were assassinating governors and ministers of the Abbasids and Seljuks. The assassination of the grand vizier of the second Seljuk sultans Alp Arslan was one of the first great terrorist assaults to be identified as such. Scholars believe that assault was one of the most important terrorist techniques that went down history, arousing similar consequences to the assassination of the Crown Prince of Austria or the September 11 attacks of our time. The Middle Ages witnessed the most brutal forms of violence represented by the Inquisition, which was set up by the popes to avenge themselves on their opponents and those who did not submit allegiance to the Catholic church. This violence continued to take a collective form during the period of the French Revolution between 1789 and 1799. Historians call this period the "Reign of terror" or "state terrorism". The Reign of Terror (also known as the terror) was essentially created by the radical leader of the revolution Maximilien de Robespierre. During the Terror, the Committee of Public Safety (of which Maximilien de Robespierre was the most prominent member) exercised brutal actions under the pretext of defending the Republic and its principles. Panic and horror did not beset the French people, but also spread out to affect the European aristocratic class in general.

In the 19th century, a Russian terrorist organization called Narodnaya Volya ("People's Will") appeared as an attempt to violently destabilize the Russian Empire. The assassination of Alexander II earned the organization a great fame. The term “terrorism” was first circulated/ entered the modern political forma in contemporary political discourse in the European continent, but it has taken the form of a movement since the wars of secession (1861-1856) in the United States of America. Those movements and political parties differed from the parties and movements that prevailed across the world. Most notably, Know Nothing party, which was responsible for mass killing of the black people in America. Before the start of World War I, The world witnessed the most prominent international terrorist act. It was also a prominent point that has drawn attention of the international community to the threat of terrorism on international relations. Such act, the assassination of the Crown Prince of Austria and his wife in Sarajevo by a political murderer from Serbia in 1914/28/6, led directly to the break out of World War I that lasted for four years. In Germany, the organized terror of the Nazi state that used its military forces to commit crimes against all those who opposed Hitler’s policies paved the way for Nazi terrorism beyond Germany led to the second global conflict of the twentieth century, leading to World War II. In the 1990s, terrorist groups adopted new strategies aimed at destroying opponents completely and exhausting state forces continuously, and destroying the state itself by causing maximum casualties.

"The crime of terrorism was deemed to be one of the most serious crimes against the international community. For this reason, the phenomenon of terrorism has got full international attention in all walks of life" In the 20th century, the crime of terrorism was deemed to be one of the most serious crimes against the international community. In 1972, the United Nations therefore called for adding the description of “international” to the terrorism term, which used to describe terrorist acts and establishing a specialized committee to study the root causes and motives of international terrorist acts. The terrorist acts ended to become more threatening and intensive at the international level. For this reason, the phenomenon of terrorism has got full international attention in all walks of life.

" International terrorism developed at the beginning of the third millennium in a new different way due to the different structure of the new world order. Hence, the idea of international terrorism has become more common and much more in use than ever" Finally, international terrorism developed at the beginning of the third millennium in a new different way due to the different structure of the new world order. Hence, the idea of international terrorism has become more common and much more in use than ever, especially after the September 11 attacks. Today, the most dangerous organization is called Daesh (ISIS), which was formed after the Unites States invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, and after America supported the rise of the Shiites to power in Iraq. The great majority of Iraqi army was from the Sunni sect. it was, however, disbanded after the US invasion. After the withdrawal of most of the US forces from Iraq, the Shiite controlled the government and formed a new army, the most of which came from Shiites. As a result, a number of disbanded army leaders moved to form an anti-government organization, especially Shiite rule. Those officers became later the root cause that led to the rise of Daesh (ISIS) organization (the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). Therefore, we see that Daesh (ISIS) organization was an unintended consequence of the US invasion of Iraq, and then was used by other parties and governments to distort the image of Sunni Islam. What we can say more of this subject is known to everybody.

Air Vice Marshall Hamoud bin Mohammed Al Asmari
Researcher at Nasser Military Academy On Future vision for developing and continuing the Islamic Military Counter-Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) and its impact on the Arab and Islamic nations
control font size