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Early History of Terrorism

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posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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Terrorism, is it a new concept or an ancient concept? What do you know about it? Where did it begin? Did it begin in the Middle East during the 20th century? Who were the first known terrorists? How were terrorist dealt with and did they succeed or fail?

Terrorism, it's in our faces each and every day with no end in sight. Its the cause of innocent blood shed and excuses to go to war. We're all very familiar with terrorism but how familiar are we with it's past? The questions above I've asked myself and decided to do some googling and here's what I've found when I did, a quick summary of the early history of terrorism.

Early History of Terrorism


Terror in Antiquity: 1st -14th Century AD

The earliest known organization that exhibited aspects of a modern terrorist organization was the Zealots of Judea. Known to the Romans as sicarii, or dagger-men , they carried on an underground campaign of assassination of Roman occupation forces, as well as any Jews they felt had collaborated with the Romans. Their motive was an uncompromising belief that they could not remain faithful to the dictates of Judaism while living as Roman subjects. Eventually, the Zealot revolt became open, and they were finally besieged and committed mass suicide at the fortification of Masada.

The Assassins were the next group to show recognizable characteristics of terrorism, as we know it today. A breakaway faction of Shia Islam called the Nizari Ismalis adopted the tactic of assassination of enemy leaders because the cult's limited manpower prevented open combat. Their leader, Hassam-I Sabbah, based the cult in the mountains of Northern Iran. Their tactic of sending a lone assassin to successfully kill a key enemy leader at the certain sacrifice of his own life (the killers waited next to their victims to be killed or captured) inspired fearful awe in their enemies.

Even though both the Zealots and the Assassins operated in antiquity, they are relevant today: First as forerunners of modern terrorists in aspects of motivation, organization, targeting, and goals. Secondly, although both were ultimate failures, the fact that they are remembered hundreds of years later, demonstrates the deep psychological impact they caused.


How interesting, the earliest known terrorist group, and one that resembles modern day terrorists, were Jewish. Second known terrorist group were the Persian Assassins, who have more in common with western military's because of their ability to take out Muslim terrorists leaders while Muslim terrorists ignore western military/political leaders and target military forces/civilians instead. Interesting perception, no? In any case, here's a little more history on the two groups.

Zealotry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


Zealotry was originally a political movement in 1st century Second Temple Judaism which sought to incite the people of Iudaea Province to rebel against the Roman Empire and expel it from the Holy Land by force of arms, most notably during the Great Jewish Revolt (66-70). Zealotry was described by Josephus as one of the "four sects" at this time. The zealots have been described as one of the first examples of the use of terrorism.[1]



The Crisis under Caligula (37-41) has been proposed as the "first open break between Rome and the Jews", even though problems were already evident during the Census of Quirinius in 6 and under Sejanus (before 31).[7] See also Anti-Judaism in the pre-Christian Roman Empire.

Two of Judas' sons, Jacob and Simon, were involved in a revolt and were executed by Tiberius Alexander, the procurator of Iudaea province from 46 to 48.[8]

When Rome introduced the imperial cult, the Jews unsuccessfully rebelled in the Great Jewish Revolt (66–73 CE). The Zealots continued to oppose the Romans.

The Zealots had the leading role in the Jewish Revolt of 66. They succeeded in taking over Jerusalem, and held it until 70, when the son of Roman Emperor Vespasian, Titus, retook the city and destroyed Herod's Temple during the destruction of Jerusalem.

The Zealots objected to Roman rule and violently sought to eradicate it by generally targeting Romans and Greeks. Zealots who engaged in violence against other Jews were called the Sicarii.[9] They raided Jewish habitations and killed Jews they considered apostate and collaborators, while also urging Jews to fight Romans and other Jews for the cause. Josephus paints a very bleak picture of their activities as they instituted what he characterized as a murderous "reign of terror" prior to the Jewish Temple's destruction.

According to Josephus, the Zealots followed John of Gischala, who had fought the Romans in Galilee, escaped, came to Jerusalem, and then inspired the locals to a fanatical position that led to the Temple's destruction.


Assassins - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Assassins (Arabic: حشاشين Ḥashshāshīn, also Hashishin, Hassassin, or Hashashiyyin) were an order of Nizari Ismailis, particularly those of Persia and Syria that formed around 1091. Posing a strong military threat to Sunni Seljuq authority within the Persian territories, the Nizari Ismailis captured and inhabited many mountain fortresses under the leadership of Hassan-i Sabbah. The modern word "assassin" is derived from their name.


Okay, lets go back to the first link and continue the history of terrorism. Whose next?


Early Origins of Terrorism: 14th -18th Century
From the time of the Assassins (late 13th century) to the 1700s, terror and barbarism were widely used in warfare and conflict , but key ingredients for terrorism were lacking. Until the rise of the modern nation state after the Treaty of Westphalia in 1648, the sort of central authority and cohesive society that terrorism attempts to influence barely existed. Communications were inadequate and controlled, and the causes that might inspire terrorism (religious schism, insurrection, ethnic strife) typically led to open warfare. By the time kingdoms and principalities became nations, they had sufficient means to enforce their authority and suppress activities such as terrorism.



The French Revolution provided the first uses of the words "Terrorist" and "Terrorism". Use of the word "terrorism" began in 1795 in reference to the Reign of Terror initiated by the Revolutionary government. The agents of the Committee of Public Safety and the National Convention that enforced the policies of "The Terror" were referred to as 'Terrorists". The French Revolution provided an example to future states in oppressing their populations. It also inspired a reaction by royalists and other opponents of the Revolution who employed terrorist tactics such as assassination and intimidation in resistance to the Revolutionary agents. The Parisian mobs played a critical role at key points before, during, and after the Revolution. Such extra-legal activities as killing prominent officials and aristocrats in gruesome spectacles started long before the guillotine was first used.


And from here we begin to enter into the modern era of terrorism (& I'm running out of characters) but interesting history, no? Please visit the link for more info.




posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 03:01 PM
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People will be crying that this thread is just meant to demonize Jews. Looking at the past it's no surprise that the starters of modern day terrorism was also Jews.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 03:11 PM
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reply to post by buster2010
 


Yeah I'm sure some may come in here and cry foul but this is what our history teaches us so they'll just have to man up. If I wanted to demonize Jews, or make them the focus point of this thread I would have incorporated this into the op,

Irgun - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Irgun (Hebrew: ארגון‎), (full title: Irgun Zevai Leumi) (from Hebrew: הארגון הצבאי הלאומי בארץ ישראל‎, "The National Military Organization in the Land of Israel"), was a Zionist paramilitary group that operated in Mandate Palestine between 1931 and 1948. It was an offshoot of the earlier and larger Jewish paramilitary organization Haganah (Hebrew: "Defense", הגנה). When the group broke from the Haganah it became known as the Haganah Bet (Hebrew: literally "Defense 'B' " or "Second Defense", הגנה ב), or alternatively as haHaganah haLeumit (ההגנה הלאומית) or Ha'ma'amad (המעמד‎).[1] Irgun members were absorbed into the Israel Defence Forces at the start of the 1948 Arab–Israeli war. The Irgun is also referred to as Etzel (אצ"ל), an acronym of the Hebrew initials, or by the abbreviation IZL.



The Irgun has been viewed as a terrorist organization or organization which carried out terrorist acts.[3] [4] In particular the Irgun was branded a terrorist organisation by Britain.[5] The Irgun was a political predecessor to Israel's right-wing Herut (or "Freedom") party, which led to today's Likud party.[6] Likud has led or been part of most Israeli governments since 1977.


Or we can discuss how present day terrorist groups like Hamas were formed? But to demonize Zionism is not the point of this thread so lets make that very clear right now so there is no confusion, even though the history of terrorism is very interesting.
edit on 29-7-2012 by Swills because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 04:16 PM
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reply to post by Swills
 


I flagged the topic to promote discussion but did not star your post as there is a major fail on your rational. First you need to define terrorism, only then can you look for the historical references of the activity.

I see the first post as a mixed bag, it bunches different things together as a single unified understanding of the term terrorism, even using a mixed bag of historic references to define the term, that has evolved over time.

Terrorism comes from terror, to terrorize, the activity of terrifying. The history of the practice is as old as murder, one could however define a line on the political use of terror. This would set us to the somewhere near the beginnings of the Roman Empire or even further back to the city-state conflicts of Ancient Greece or regional wars in India or China.

The Roman however have set the note in the West, they excelled in control by fear, of their own subjects and their enemies. The practice of decimation (that originated the term) is a pretty example on how they understood the policy of terror.

This raises also a new concept, the use of terror as a political tool should be considered more vile as more civilized (technological and social advanced) is the one that applies it, because it should know better.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by Panic2k11
The Roman however have set the note in the West, they excelled in control by fear, of their own subjects and their enemies. The practice of decimation (that originated the term) is a pretty example on how they understood the policy of terror.

This raises also a new concept, the use of terror as a political tool should be considered more vile as more civilized (technological and social advanced) is the one that applies it, because it should know better.




I'm not overly fond of the term 'terrorism' as it is applied currently, but in this context, I think the Zealots would, either way, qualify as 'freedom fighters'. The Terrorist moniker seems now, really to apply to the otherside of whatever side of the fence that you are sitting on, but if a person or persons is suffering oppression, and the potential of loss of life because of that oppression, then they are fighting for their freedom and it is the state that is the Terrorist. Gets a little bit shadier in modern times with states fighting for their freedom against other states...as well as individuals fighting for personal freedoms...massive can of worms that is in reality more a question of guerilla warfare, with each pointing the finger at the other and calling them terrorists in an attempt to gain some moral high ground or a psychological edge for the manufacture of consent.


edit on 29-7-2012 by Biliverdin because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


Obviously terrorism comes in different shapes and sizes, no? Hence the differences between the first two early forms of terrorist. In fact, no where in the op did I ever say this is the one and only form of terrorism. So don't mad at my thread because it's based off of history, or better yet, a webiste

edit on 29-7-2012 by Swills because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 06:07 PM
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Originally posted by Swills
reply to post by Panic2k11
 


Obviously terrorism comes in different shapes and sizes, no? Hence the differences between the first two early forms of terrorist. In fact, no where in the op did I ever say this is the one and only form of terrorism. So don't mad at my thread because it's based off of history, or better yet, a webiste


It is a fascinating dichotomy though...that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter, and here on ATS we know all about the victors being the writers of history. One of my favourite examples was a Forbes article some years ago called Top Ten Sinister Secret Societies...sadly no longer available from Forbes...but copied on this website...

burningtaper.blogspot.co.uk...

It really tried to blur the lines between freedom fighters and terrorists...



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 06:19 PM
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Terrorism is just a 'definition'. It is used by the establishment to define a criminal act. Revolutions,invasions, rebellions, strikes, crimes of any kind etc. can all be defined as an act of terrorism. Terrorism exists ONLY if you accept it.



posted on Jul, 29 2012 @ 08:25 PM
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reply to post by Biliverdin
 


I can be a zealot but be peaceful, Gandhi could be classified as a zealot about India's self determination and civil rights...

'freedom fighters' is generally armed militants that trough guerrilla warfare take actions that furthers the interests of those that call them so. They may even not be fighting for freedom. Take the Maoist terrorists that took over Nepal, now an almost a full fledged satellite/puppet of China. (I'm still on the fence about Vietnam but if China has no major hold on them it lost a great strategic opportunity there). I'm not supporting sides here only providing a realization that your view is flawed...

The 'terrorism' talking point is fully controlled by the US led media machine, this is why I never saw the Israelis portrayed as terrorist (astonishingly there are some movies that still manage to do it at times, but under a very benevolent light).

Individuals fighting for personal freedoms do not use weapons are rarely terrorize unless violence is first applied to them. Movements may get belligerent to the point of terrorism but at that point they will have other interests and most of the time are simply tools and puppets of those that finance and provide them structure.

It is very easy to end terrorism, first fallow the money, then the weapons then remove any reason that validated the violent ideology. This requires in the end compromise and acknowledgment of errors and abuses. It still amazes me how South Africa managed to keep the lid on the pot.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 05:15 AM
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Originally posted by Panic2k11
Individuals fighting for personal freedoms do not use weapons are rarely terrorize unless violence is first applied to them. Movements may get belligerent to the point of terrorism but at that point they will have other interests and most of the time are simply tools and puppets of those that finance and provide them structure.


I agree entirely. I think that we could argue Ghandi's effectiveness, but I personally feel that civil disobediance is the only effective means of combating violence and oppression without resorting to the same tools as the oppressor and therefore sinking to their level and becoming that which you most despise. That said, there are times when groups have been fighting for their very survival, and I do believe that a person has the right to defend themselves by meeting force with force. There is passive resistence, but then there is simply passive inaction that gets you and your family killed.


Originally posted by Panic2k11
It is very easy to end terrorism, first fallow the money, then the weapons then remove any reason that validated the violent ideology. This requires in the end compromise and acknowledgment of errors and abuses. It still amazes me how South Africa managed to keep the lid on the pot.


The example set by South Africa is awe inspiring, and just goes to show what can be achieved in an open and honest, forgiving atmosphere. However, those that criticise such methods will always point out that South Africa has massive social inequity, and use that to undermine their effort, as if ending oppression suddenly transforms a country into a utopia. These things though take time, and a strong uncorrupted governance is one of the essential building blocks to achieving that.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 05:40 AM
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Hogwash. It wasn't the *Jewish Zealots* who perpetrated the first acts of terrorism (what a convenient way to spew anti-semitism though) - go look to the Romans, Greeks and Christians. All who relished bloodshed. Need convincing? My pleasure:

The Romans - among a very long bloody laundry list:

*Ordered Suicides and "Proscription"

If an emperor wanted rid of a particular senator, he would simply write him a letter, ordering him to kill himself (or else he would send someone round to kill him). Emperor Nero ordered a great many such suicides.
The dictator Sulla during the time of the Roman republic invented the "proscription", by which he would just announce whom he wanted dead. This would be read out in public places and he then would reward anyone who would kill that particular person. www.roman-empire.net... and let us not forget that minor thing aka the Burning of the Temple in Jerusalem and massacres of millions.

The Greeks - and a killing machine of epic proportions it was
*For three days the miserable inhabitants were given over to lust and cruelty of a mob of savages. Neither sex nor age was spared. Women and children were tortured before being put to death. So great was the slaughter that Kolokotronis himself says that, from the gate to the citadel his horse’s hoofs never touched the ground. His path of triumph was carpeted with corpses. At the end of two days, the wretched remnant of the Mussulmans were deliberately collected, to the number of some two thousand souls, of every age and sex, but principally women and children, were led out to a ravine in the neighboring mountains and there butchered like cattle.[12]*
en.wikipedia.org...

The Xtians - The entire ATS would run out of space to include all the acts of terror committed by the cross-wielding madmen WORSE than Al Queda, Fatah and PLO combined.
*




reply to post by Swills
 



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 09:50 AM
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reply to post by rootbranch2012
 


And there you are pulling out the hate card calling me an anti Semite because the history books aren't to your liking. Just so you know, my mother is Jewish Orthodox, but I am not, either way though I'm no anti Semite nor am I a racist. Now anyone is capable of terrorism, Jews, Romans, the Catholic Church, the US Gov't, Muslim extremists, etc. I'm pretty sure most modern cultures have been/are guilty of terrorism in one form or another so stop calling people/history anti semites.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 10:04 AM
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reply to post by rootbranch2012
 


Open state terrorism in the modern age was initiated by Israel, there is no deny this. The fact that a state can engage in this type of actions is highly demonstrative of a lack of respect for the rule of law, civil liberties and long term vision, it is corruptive to the core...

Other modern state terror actions have been for example in Spain where the government used a special unit to persecute the ETA group (but in a demonstration of the rule of law they were later prosecuted) . But after Israel there are many more examples, but all culminate in the US today that can kill anyone, even its own citizens anywhere in the world without a proper and public legal process. To me that is the ultimate terror, no one will ever ear of the mistakes.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 10:25 AM
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The definition of terrorism is fairly new, and honestly is so vague you could attribute this phrase to a group of chimpanzees if you so chose.

Id be very wary of attributing the phrase "terrorism" to any act as the world itself is highly politicised, often contributing to a highly one sided, partisan view of events.

One mans terrorist is another freedom fighter etc.




Open state terrorism in the modern age was initiated by Israel, there is no deny this


Ill deny that, and tell you it was infact the British Empire.
edit on 30-7-2012 by Murad because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-7-2012 by Murad because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 01:52 PM
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Originally posted by Murad


Open state terrorism in the modern age was initiated by Israel, there is no deny this


Ill deny that, and tell you it was infact the British Empire.


I think I would have to pretty much agree with that. In fact, there is one or two, if we want to split hairs, well ahead of Israel...which of course is no exoneration, but they practiced learnt behaviour rather than pioneered it.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 02:45 PM
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reply to post by Biliverdin
 


Exactly, Israel is one of the youngest nation states in the history of our planet, it is totaly unreasonable to think at there very inception they had some sort of racial, genetic bent towards "terrorism". Its ludicrous in the extreme to think any group of persons is brought into existence with an inherent desire to carry out what others may deem as terrorism. Israel learned, were taught and trained proffesionaly by other nations who were well versed in terrorism by a matter of centuries already.

For anyone interested this is a good example.

en.wikipedia.org...

No two ways about it, this great British legend was what we have come to understand as a terrorist. Before Israel had U.N recognition of independence, Britain was busy carving up the middle east from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire and teaching arabs how to BLOW STUFF UP and engage in terrorism.

ah the irony.



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 04:29 PM
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reply to post by Murad
 


Pretty much, but I dunno if it's as new as you think it is. Either way, the definition of terrorism can fit the profile of a school yard bully. Any person(s) who engage in terrorizing a person or group of people for their own gain is a terrorist, and many groups of people fall into this definition throughout our history, even before there were Jewish Zealots, Greeks, Romans, etc, there were terrorists.
edit on 30-7-2012 by Swills because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 30 2012 @ 04:39 PM
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reply to post by Panic2k11
 


I really don't want this thread turning into an anti Israel thread but I am curious about your accusations that Israel started modern terrorism. Unfortunately, if and when you answer I'm afraid it'll start snowball into an avalanche of drama, so lets all try to avoid that. Looking back at the link in my op I read this,


The Internationalization of Terror
The age of modern terrorism might be said to have begun in 1968 when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked an El Al airliner en route from Tel Aviv to Rome. While hijackings of airliners had occurred before, this was the first time that the nationality of the carrier (Israeli) and its symbolic value was a specific operational aim. Also a first was the deliberate use of the passengers as hostages for demands made publicly against the Israeli government. The combination of these unique events, added to the international scope of the operation, gained significant media attention. The founder of PFLP, Dr. George Habash observed that the level of coverage was tremendously greater than battles with Israeli soldiers in their previous area of operations. "At least the world is talking about us now."


news.bbc.co.uk...


Founded by George Habash after the occupation of the West Bank by Israel in 1967, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was formed as a resistance movement.


Is this what you mean as a cause and effect scenario?
edit on 30-7-2012 by Swills because: (no reason given)



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 03:20 AM
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reply to post by Swills
 


Not modern terrorism, I clearly stated State Terrorism. Meaning that an established government decided to take terror actions against civilians (that includes non-governmental sanctioned groups) in other nations or its own soil (like the ETA/Spain example I gave).

The term state terrorism is so specific that it does not merit the discussion about defining it. This also includes intelligence agencies actions against non-governmental targets, I believe that even the CIA refused to take up those for instance in CUBA where plans to poison milk etc were discussed (from memory I saw it mentioned in some documentary)...



posted on Jul, 31 2012 @ 03:44 AM
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The Torah gives man the inviolable right to self-defense: "If someone comes to kill you, get up and kill him first" (Talmud Bavli, Berachot 5a based on Exodus 22:1).

The Torah gives explicit lessons on warfare in our present portion of SHOFTIM, whose laws are mainly concerned with the judiciary, kingship, priesthood and government, who are charged with responsibility in matters of state:

"When you go forth to war against your enemies. do not fear them, for HaShem your God is with you. Hear O Israel: HaShem is your God. When you draw close to a city to fight against it, then call them to PEACE.,,

Deuteronomy 20 vv. 1, 3-4, 10

Israel were commanded to make war against certain nations, and much of the history told in the Bible concerns Israel's various wars. This has led some to slander Israel as if the Torah glorifies warfare and conquest, but that is a fallacy and a distortion. The actual number of wars recorded in the Bible during the 1390 years from the birth of Abraham (1812 B.C.E.) until the destruction of King Solomon's Temple (422 B.C.E.) is small compared to the numbers of wars that have gripped the world incessantly in later times.

Israel were explicitly commanded not to wage war against certain neighboring peoples such as Edom (Deut. 2:4-5), Moab (Deut 2:9) and Ammon (Deut 2:19). Israel could only fight these peoples if they attacked.

The only nations against whom Israel were commanded to wage war were the Amalekites - inveterate, unrepentant terrorist killers (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) - and the Seven Canaanite Nations, who were irredeemably corrupt idol-worshipers (Leviticus 20:18). Even so, before attacking them, Israel were first to invite them to make PEACE.

TORAH FOR THE NATIONS: HOW TO WAGE WAR


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