Terrorism has been in our society as early as 1793 when the Reign of Terror in the French Revolution occurred. During this earliest event of terrorist attack, violence and mass executions by guillotines were done to intimidate people and ensure obedience to the state. Terrorism is the use of force and violence, usually political in nature, to inculcate fear and intimidation, send a message or attract attention towards a cause. It can affect people, government, organizations and the world as a whole.
There are several types of terrorist incidents – bombings, kidnappings and hostage takings, armed attacks and assassinations, arsons and fire bombings, hijackings and skyjackings and cyber terrorism. All of these types result to mass casualties from hundreds to thousands of civilians. They are usually featured on the news on newspapers, television, internet and other forms of media. Here are some of the world’s largest terrorist attacks based on the number of deaths.
- 1993 World Trade Center (WTC) Bombing
Before the 9/11 incident, the WTC had already been targeted by the terrorist group Liberation Army, led by Ramzi Yousef, with the goals to end all US aid and diplomatic relations to Israel and for the US to pledge not to interfere with any of the Middle East countries’ interior affairs. The attack was done by parking a van full of bombing materials in the public parking garage. The plan was to blow up the North Tower so that it will collapse and destroy the South Tower. This terrorist attack was considered as a failure since the twin towers weren’t destroyed. Instead, it killed 6 people and injured more than a thousand.
- 1920 Wall Street Bombing
The attack occurred on September 16, 1920, at the corner of Wall and Broad Streets, in the Financial District of New York City. During the lunch breaks of the employees, a horse-drawn wagon exploded into the crowd and killed 38 people and injured 143. At first, the bombing wasn’t concluded as an act of terrorism due to the lack of a specific target and motive. Later on, it was believed that the attack was related to social unrest, labor struggles and anti-capitalist agitation. To this day, the bombing has never been solved.
- 2008 Mumbai Attacks
These attacks happened during November 26, 2008 and were a series of twelve coordinated shooting and bombing incidents across Mumbai. The terrorist group responsible for this was Lashkar-e-Taiba which supported Pakistan to extend jurisdiction over Kashmir. One of the targeted sites was the Taj Mahal Hotel which suffered from 6 explosions in the lobby, elevators and restaurants. As a result, there were 164 casualties and 308 who were wounded.
- 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing
The federal government was the target of this bombing since the terrorists Timothy McVeigh, Terry Nichols and Michael Fortier were angered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s actions in the 1993 Waco Siege – a raid of the compound belonging to the religious group Branch Davidians. On April 19, 1995, the explosion of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building and the destruction of 300 neighboring buildings resulted to the death of 168 people and injury of several hundreds.
- 9/11 Attacks
The largest and worst terrorist attack in history happened during September 11, 2001. The 9/11 attacks were a series of 4 coordinated attacks that targeted New York City and Washington, D.C. Four passenger planes were hijacked by the terrorist group Al-Qaeda, 2 of which hit the World Trade Center, the other hit Pentagon and the last one crashed. Over 3,000 people were killed and 9,000 were injured.
With all the incidents that happened throughout history, people should know by now that terrorism is not the answer. Using force and violence cannot achieve results and aggravates the situation.