Terrorism - History

History

The history of terrorism goes back to Sicarii Zealots — Jewish extremist group active in Iudaea Province at the beginning of the 1st century AD. After Zealotry rebellion in the 1st century AD, when some prominent collaborators with Roman rule were killed, according to contemporary historian Josephus, in 6 AD Judas of Galilee formed a small and more extreme offshoot of the Zealots, the Sicarii. Their terror also was directed against Jewish "collaborators", including temple priests, Sadducees, Herodians, and other wealthy elites.

The term "terrorism" itself was originally used to describe the actions of the Jacobin Club during the "Reign of Terror" in the French Revolution. "Terror is nothing other than justice, prompt, severe, inflexible," said Jacobin leader Maximilien Robespierre. In 1795, Edmund Burke denounced the Jacobins for letting "thousands of those hell-hounds called Terrorists...loose on the people" of France.

In January 1858, Italian patriot Felice Orsini threw three bombs in an attempt to assassinate French Emperor Napoleon III. Eight bystanders were killed and 142 injured. The incident played a crucial role as an inspiration for the development of the early Russian terrorist groups. Russian Sergey Nechayev, who founded People's Retribution in 1869, described himself as a "terrorist", an early example of the term being employed in its modern meaning. Nechayev's story is told in fictionalized form by Fyodor Dostoevsky in the novel The Possessed. German anarchist writer Johann Most dispensed "advice for terrorists" in the 1880s.

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