The Evolution Of Terrorism

Terrorism has been around for hundreds and hundreds of years. Terrorism could have a lot of definitions to explain it. Terrorism is a problem that the western world still faces today. With technological advances, it can make it difficult for countries to try to counter these horrific acts. It is an ever-changing subject that will sadly continue to cause destruction in our world.

The Start of the Word Terrorism

The word terrorism came to be during a tough time during the French Revolution (Roberts, 2002).

In 1789 during the french revolution governments tried to use horrific violence to control their citizens. Terrorism was made during this time to describe “a system of terror” (Roberts, 2002). This word would go on to describe horrible acts of violence caused by governments. Terrorism would go on to be used by the bloodiest of governments against their own people.

Assassination Terrorism

Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated over the tensions between two powerful countries. The reason for the assassination was because an angry young Bosnian teen wanted his country free from Austria-Hungary (Dearden, 2014).

Archduke was of course, next in line to the throne of Austria-Hungary (Dearden, 2014). Ferdinand was in a parade that showed Serbian patriotism, during these times of tensions this was actually a slap in the face for Serbians (Dearden, 2014). A small group of six assassins followed the route of the parade and tried to throw a bomb at Archduke Ferdinand, the bomb missed (Dearden, 2014). Later on, the car carrying Archduke took a wrong turn right into the group of assassins.

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Gavrilo Princip fired two shots, hitting the archduke and his wife (Dearden, 2014). This terrorist attack set forth WW1. This horrific act can show how powerful terroristic acts can be.

Terrorist Groups Forming into Powerhouses

Groups like the IRA began to form throughout the western world. These groups planned and conspired their attacks. They would cause thousands of deaths during their destruction. With a group as powerful as the IRA, they were able to kill around 1,800 people, this also includes 650 civilians (Gregory, 2010). IRA would try and target anyone in government positions, like British troops, police officers, and judges (Gregory, 2010). The IRA would majorly bomb, assassinate all of these individuals. A major historical event was bloody Friday, the IRA bombed downtown Belfast twenty-two times (Gregory, 2010). Groups like the IRA would continue to grow in the western world, showing how powerful terrorist groups can become.

Modern Terrorism

The world is a forever-changing place. With this change comes changes to terroristic tactics. Terrorist groups will find new ways in order to recruit or inspire individuals to commit horrific acts. Terrorist groups today, use websites and chat rooms to conspire and inspire young individuals in the west to cause terroristic acts (Sageman, 2012). ClearGuidance Website and chat-room have caused multiple terrorist plans in countries like Canada and the United States (Sageman, 2012). With chats like this spawning all the time, it can be hard for governments to stop it. The FBI has talked about the struggle of how a person in another country can persuade another person who is on the other side of the world. Social media is an outlet for these terrorists to communicate rapidly and do so anonymously (Alcoke, 2019). Another scarier thought about terrorism today, is the people performing these acts of violence are getting younger and younger. Juveniles caused almost one-third of homeland attacks in the year 2018 (Alcoke, 2019). These attacks were brought on by foreign terrorist groups. These groups included ISIS and al Qaeda. This statistical evidence is a scary thought because it shows that terrorist groups are having success in finding these young juveniles and convincing them to act on these plots.


The evolution of terrorism has changed drastically throughout the years. With the ever-changing world comes the ever-changing ways of causing terror. Technology has changed how terrorist groups perform their acts. Technology has made it harder for governments to track the plans of these terrorist groups. It also makes it harder for governments because terrorist groups can convince anyone of any age to commit these acts. Sadly, terrorism will always change and be in our world.

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The Evolution Of Terrorism. (2021, Apr 16). Retrieved from

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