A Report on Terrorism: History, Types, and Effects

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About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1465 |

Pages: 2|

8 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2018

Words: 1465|Pages: 2|8 min read

Published: Aug 14, 2018

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Target
    Types of Terror Activities
  3. History
  4. Implications of terrorism
  5. Conclusion


It is the use of violence to create fear in a population using a systematic way in order to gain financial, political, religious, or any other ideological cause. Though a definitive definition is not available, definitions treat all acts of terrorism, regardless of their motivations, as simple criminal activity. Terrorism with different basis have different and very distinct ways of manifestation but they all share several elements.

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The main involvement of terrorism is the creation and spread of fear, not only for the direct victims but in a wide audience.


Terrorists seek to attract publicity and maintain it in order to generate widespread fear. They must increase violent and high-profile attacks like kidnappings, car bombings, suicide bombings, hostage taking and hijacking.

Although the victims are random, locations are carefully selected for their shock value. Locations like schools. Shopping malls, train stations, nightclubs and churches have always been targets because they attract both large crowds and because the civilian population feel safe and at ease. The main goal of terrorism being to destroy the sense of security by the public in places most familiar to them. Major targets include buildings or locations that are important political symbols, such as military installations or embassies. With this acts provoke will induce the population to put pressure on political leaders towards a certain political direction.

Types of Terror Activities

There are so many different types of terrorist activities. Therefore, the fact that there many terror movements make it impossible for a single theory to cover them all . not only because of aims, members, beliefs and resources of the groups involved are extremely diverse, but are political contexts of their campaigns. There is a popular typology that identifies three types of terrorism:

  1. Revolutionary
  2. Sub revolutionary
  3. Establishment terrorism.


Revolutionary is considered the most common form of terrorism. Those who practise this form of terrorism activities are opposed to a political system seeking its abolition and its replacement with new structures. Its modern examples are activity campaigns of German’s red army faction, the Peruvian shining path etc. each of which attempted to knock over a national regime in the respective countries.


Sub revolutionary is less common form of terrorism. It’s used to modify the existing socio-political structure but not to overthrow the existing regime. Members of sub revolutionary groups are difficult to identify since this is accomplished through the use of threats to deposing the existing government or regime.

A quick example is the South African anc whose complain was aimed at ending apartheid in the country.


Establishment terrorism which is sometimes referred to as state or state-sponsored terrorism is employed by governments or more often by factions within the government against the citizens, factions within the government, or against foreign governments or groups. This type or form of terrorism is difficult to identify yet the most common of them all. This would be mainly because state support is always concealed. The most persistent elements of establishment terrorism, unlike the other forms of terrorism, is that of secrecy. States seek to disavow their active involvement in such acts, in order to evade international criticism and avoid political or military revenge by their target.


Terror has been practiced by non-state and state sponsored for many years throughout the world. Early examples of terror cited today are the activity of the Jewish Sicarii who frequently and violently attacked fellow Hebrews who were suspected of conspiracy with the roman authority. Likewise during the French revolution terror was openly advocated for by Robspierre, while the Spain inquisition arbitrary arrested tortured and executed to punish what was viewed as religious dissent. With the American civil war ending in 1865, the southerners who were defiant form Ku Klux Klan to intimidate those who supported reconstruction (1865-1877) and those who were previously slaves. In the middle of the 19th century, terror was also adopted in Russia, Western Europe and the United States by advocates of revolution who believed that assassinating people in the position of power is the best way to effect revolutionary socio-political. This led to assignations of Kings, prime misters, government officials and even presidents, from 1865 to 1905 by anarchists. 20th and 21st centuries we have witnessed intense changes in use and practice of terror to drive political agendas.

The 20th century in itself became a hallmark of many different political movements stretching extremely from left to right of the political field. Wide technological advancement gave terrorists a new mobility and lethality. The innovations like automatic weapons and electrically denoted devices brought about this level of evolution. Terrorism seems to endure the feature of political life. Prior to major world attacks in the recent past, there was widespread fear that terrorists’ destructive power might escalate vastly to greater proportions by the use of mass destruction weapons such as nuclear, biologicalor chemical weapons. An example is the Tokyo subway nerve gas of 1995 by Japanese AUM Shinrikyo cult.

Since the 20th century, ideologies and political interventions have led many countries to engage in international terrorism, often under the guise of supporting national liberation movements. Thus, it became a common saying that “one-man terrorism is the liberation struggle of another.” The distinction between terrorism and other forms of political violence faded - especially as many terrorist groups often resorted to terrorist tactics - and administrative and legal issues were equally hidden. These problems have led social scientists to come up with a definition of terrorism that is not based on crime but on the fact that victims of terrorist violence are often innocent citizens. Although this definition is flexible, it is sometimes expanded to include a variety of other factors, such as whether terrorist acts are carried out secretly or subtly and that terrorist acts are intended to create great fear.

Toward the end of the 20th century, the term “ecoterrorism” was used to describe acts of environmental destruction that were carried out for further political or military purposes, such as the burning of Kuwaiti oil resources by the Iraqi army during the Persian Gulf War. The term was also applied to certain environmental hazards even though criminal acts, such as twisting timber, were intended to disrupt or prevent activities suspected of being harmful to the environment.

Implications of terrorism

Terrorism aims to create terror, a sense of insecurity, and the notion that leaders can no longer protect those in power. It leaves people in awe, and it has an emotional impact that lives on its political influence. These political influences are for the first time and are almost linked to democracy and the division of power, and can lead to the disclosure and misuse of existing structures, in ways that work for the government.They can also benefit from the causes of popular or patriotic, playful dictatorships.

If the impact of terrorism is permanent, it becomes a tradition: people change their habits and behavior, learn for example to be idle when terrorist attacks, and to go about their daily lives keeping in mind that terrorist attacks are possible. They also eat differently, with many side effects, including many economies. Terrorism perverts people's understanding of the truth.

The influx of tourists is also affected by terrorist attacks, and new investments are being made, especially in security. It forces companies to take new initiatives, enabling them to monitor their employees in new ways and in terms of conditions - especially religious practices - that could be very contradictory. It also affects prison staff, prison life, and how prisons operate.

Today's terrorism is becoming a global phenomenon, focusing on the ideals that exist within and outside the communities that affect them. Also, this influences dialogue, intelligence and war.

It affects some communities that have been willing to accept victims for half a century now, and that today they are commemorating great memories, even though this has an impact on history. A large number of terrorist victims have led to the establishment of victim organizations, monuments and memorial projects, and museums.

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Terrorism is defined as the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes (, 2019). It has been around for centuries. In the post-World War II 20th century it seems that terrorism had become more common place with the creation of new countries after the war. Ideology became the main reason for the rise in terrorism. Whether it was a radical interpretation of types of religion, the desire for independents from a ruling nation, or the idea that another political system is better than the one currently ruling a nation. Very few countries in the world have not had their own issues with terrorism through the years. Some terrorist groups are home grown within nations and others are foreign grown trying to spread their ideology. Terrorism is not just a problem for the United States, it’s a world problem.

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Cite this Essay

Terrorism and Political Life. (2022, November 25). GradesFixer. Retrieved June 14, 2024, from
“Terrorism and Political Life.” GradesFixer, 25 Nov. 2022,
Terrorism and Political Life. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 14 Jun. 2024].
Terrorism and Political Life [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2022 Nov 25 [cited 2024 Jun 14]. Available from:
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