The oxford dictionary defines the word terrorism as, ‘’the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims.’’ However, if you search the internet for other definitions of terrorism then you will come across many that would astound you; one of the preferred definitions is simply the act of going against or resisting a government using terroristic methods. As busy, ever-moving 21st century individuals, we might not really be aware about all the terror that goes on around, but let me tell you there is in fact a lot of it that circles the earth, sometimes even without any particular reason.
If we start counting these horrifying attacks from the start of the 18th century, there are more than thousands of such instances when terror has been fueled and drilled into the minds of innocent people. So this list features history’s top 10 most dreadful terrorist attacks.
10 Wall Street Bombing/United States (16th September, 1920)
The bombing occurred in the Financial District of New York City at around 12:01 pm, on a Thursday. The blast killed 38 people on site and seriously injured another 143. Investigators and historians have speculated that the bombing was carried out by an Italian anarchists group the Galleanists, they were also responsible for a series of bombings that occurred in the previous year, however the case was never solved and none were given justice.
9. British Mandate for Palestine (1937-1948)
The Arab revolt in Palestine against the British Mandate, the militant Zionist group the Irgun carried out a total of sixty attacks against Arabs and the British soldiers. Described as a underground terrorist organization Irgun launched series of attacks against the Arabs and the Brits in the 30s which lasted till the start of World War II. This terror that lasted for around 11 years resulted in 250 deaths of targeted Arabs.
George P. Metesky, better known as the Mad Bomber who single handedly terrorized New York City for more than 16 years in the 40s and 50s. For someone who was declared legally insane and admitted to a mental facility years later, placing 33 bombs in different crowded parts of the city like storage lockers, or rest rooms was surely something you could only expect from a psycho-path. Some of the most important places that he planted his explosives include the Grand Central Terminal, Pennsylvania Station, Radio City Music Hall, the New York Public Library and a lot more. Out of the 33 bombs Metesky had planted only 22 exploded injuring ten during this period of protest against the local electric utility.
7. Menarsha Synagogue Attack/Syria (5th August, 1949)
In the Jewish quarter of Damascus, Syria Menarsha Synagogue was under a grenade attack that resulted in 12 deaths, out of which eight were children. The attack took place on a Friday evening which was to coincide with the Lausanne Conference, following the 1949 Armistice Agreement which was signed on July, 20 of the same year. Several hand grenades were thrown into the synagogue resulting in serious injuries of at least 30.
6. Airliner Explosion/Philippines (7th May, 1949)
A Philippine-o airliner exploded in mid air after 30 minutes into flight on 7th of May, Saturday; killing 13 passengers including the flight crew. The flight was scheduled to travel from Daet to Manila. Investigators and historians believe that the job must have been done with the help of a time-bomb, which detonated right after 30 minutes of the flight’s departure near Alabat Island.
5. Ma’le Akrabim massacre/Israel (17th March, 1954)
Eleven passengers on a carrier bus were shot dead by attackers who ambushed and boarded the bus in the middle of the day. Ma’le Akrabim is Hebrew for the Scorpions Pass, which is a narrow, winding grade old road that connects Eilat and Beersheba, just south of Makhtesh Katan. The pass was on the primary route between Eilat and central Israel in 1954. Four passengers survived the attack, from whom two were Israeli soldiers, a woman and a five-year old girl – Miri Fristenberg, whose parents were killed in the attack.
4. Beirut Barracks Bombing/ Lebanon (23rd Oct, 1989)
Occurred during the Lebanese Civil War, the Beirut Bombing was basically two truck bombs that had struck separate buildings housing United States and French military forces – members of the multinational force – on the 23rd of October, resulting in more than 299 fatalities. The trucks were driven and struck on the respective buildings by suicide bombers. 241 American servicemen: consisting 220 Marines, 18 sailors and three soldiers were killed in the attack on the American Barracks along with sixty Americans that were seriously injured representing the deadliest single-day death toll for the United States Marin Corps since the World War II’s, Battle of Iwo Jima.
3. Dubrovka Theater Siege/Russia (23rd Oct, 2002)
Also known as the 2002 Nord-Ost siege, Dubrovka theater siege was carried out by some 40 to 50 armed Chechens who claimed allegiance to the Islamist militant separatist movement in Chechnya. More than 850 people were taken hostage demanding the withdrawal of Russian forces from Chechnya putting an end to the Second Chechen war. The siege was brought to a halt after two and half days as Russian Alpha Group forces pumped an unknown gas into the building and raided it. Around 40 of the attackers were killed by the forces during the raid and almost 130 innocent hostages died due to adverse reactions to the gas.
2. Piazza Fontana Bombing/Italy (12th Dec, 1969)
The Piazza Fontana Bombing was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in history, which took place around 4:30 pm, when a bomb exploded at the headquarters of the National Agrarian Bank some 200m from the Duomo in Milan, Italy. The attack resulted in 17 fatalities with more than 88 wounded. The same afternoon, 3 more bombs were said to be planted in different cities around Italy. 2 of them exploded in Rome and Milan and the 3rd one was retrieved before detonation.
1. 911 Attacks/United States (11th Sept, 2001)
Also referred to as the twin-tower bombing that occurred on the 11th of September, 2011 is still believed to be a series of coordinated attacks launched by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda led by the notorious Osama bin laden who was killed by special American military forces on the 2nd of May, 2011. According to the mainstream media, four passenger airlines were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists so they could be flown right into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. In total, almost 3000 people died in the attacks, including the 227 civilians and 19 hijackers aboard the four planes. Bin Laden first denied any involvement in the attacks; however in 2004 he claimed full responsibility. Anyway the deeper we investigate these attacks, the harder we find it to gulp the whole story down and makes it very hard to believe whatever the mainstream media and the United States government want us to see.
These attacks are really nothing but a clear reflection of where we really are as a race. Although we’ve come a long way since the Stone Age days, we still have a lot to understand as to what we really are as beings. Emotions like hatred and jealousy are tearing us apart with each passing moment; it is in fact hilarious that we still let such things drive our ego. Well, we might have this general misconception, ‘’I’m
Nikhil is musician by choice, writer by profession. Currently, studying Bachelors in Hospitality.