Terrorism has become today’s hot topic since the attacks of September 11, 2001, the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, the war on terrorism, and the events in Iraq; consequently, terrorism is often seen as a recent phenomenon. One view is that modern terrorism began with the Munich Olympics in 1972, when Israeli athletes were taken hostage.1 For many Americans the starting point would be later with the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, while citizens of other countries might well choose other events to signify the beginning point for modern terrorism. Analysts have also tended to view terrorism as a relatively recent phenomenon even though they look somewhat further into the past than many ordinary citizens. One earlier volume dealing with terrorism starts the discussion with the French Revolution.2 Others suggest that except for a few special cases from the remote past, terrorism really began with the anarchists in the late nineteenth century.3 Whether the real beginning is placed with the French Revolution or with the anarchists, the general view appears to be that terrorism is a relatively recent phenomenon. Terrorism, however, ultimately needs to be viewed in a historic context rather than just as a recent occurrence or even an occurrence that began in the late nineteenth century.
KeywordsLate Nineteenth Century Oklahoma City French Revolution Ordinary Citizen Recent Phenomenon
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