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Terrorism is a premeditated, politically motivated violence, aimed on civilians and carried out by sub-national groups. It usually takes the form of bombing, shooting, hijacking, hostage capture and assassinations.

It may sound strange but terrorism as a phenomenon existed even in Ancient Greece. First known terroristic act was setting Arthemida's temple on fire, that took place in the year 356 B.C. and was made by a man called Gerostratus. But at that time such acts were an exception, not a rule.

Things first changed when the sea piracy came to the period of temporary legalization. Then it had some traits of the "classical" terrorism, for example the pirates could act as mercenaries, and a huge fleet of hired pirates' ships could be a major threat for most cities and fortresses at that time. This was often used then for existing political pressure on hostile countries.

The next period of terrorism started in the end of the 18th century. In 1893 in France the Jacobinean part of parliament established the dictature. All the power came into the hands of radical bourgeoisie. They then established an emergency regime of revolutionary dictature - revolutionary terrorism. Though the opposing force used the same way of political fight. For example, the summer of 1793 was the last one to be seen by one of the Jacobinean leaders called Marath - he was assassinated by Charlotte Cordes. By the way, assassination was then the easiest and most common way of solving very difficult problems connected with personal enemies or opposite-thinkers.

All the enumerated terroristic acts have happened in the European countries. However, this doesn't mean that there was no terrorism in Russia. Of course there was some, but it only began in the 19th century. Then the radical political party's organization, called "The Hell" (leaded by N.A.Ishutin) tried to assassinate Russian tzar Alexander II (April, 1866). It was unsuccessful, the hitman was captured and the organization - completely destroyed. A bit later (1869-1875), a lot of similar groups tried to start the revolution, sometimes by trying to understand poor people (especially peasants) and using the propaganda, sometimes by trying to continue the business of "The Hell" organization.

Only in 1879, when the most successful radical terroristic group "Land and Will" split into two smaller ones - more and less radical - its "child" called "Folk's Will" started a series of terroristic acts, that finally killed Alexander II who survived in seven ones and died because of two bombers who attacked him one after another.

Unfortunately, nowadays terrorism is a usual thing. The best example would be a terroristic war between two neighbouring countries - Palestine and Israel. There are many different terroristic organizations in both of them that try to exest political pressure by killing innocent people. As for my opinion, this is ridiculous - the total number of victims is bigger than the total number of governments of both countries. Isn't it easier and faster to assassinate them, if you want to change the political situation? Or, if you're in the government, maybe it is worth trying to give Palestine the independence they want to get? But anyway, this is not the only example of the terroristic war. We have the same situation right in front of us - Chechnya vs. Russia. Here, Chechnya also needs independence, but we were ready to give it to them. In fact, it seems that some who needs this war to be continued - the terrorists are fighting not because of their religion, independence they wanted earlier or just because the lack of the tolerance. Now (and it is proved) they fight for money -some who pays the leaders, some who gives them money to buy weapons, to hire Arabian mercenaries etc. The question is "WHO?", and of course "WHY?".

Also nowadays some countries use terrorism to legalize their expansion and aggression aimed on the strategically important territories of poor and undeveloped countries. The brightest example is Iraq. USA suffered from severe terroristic acts on 11th of September, 2001. Three planes were hijacked and pointed at the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. United States claims that Usama Ben Laden is responsible for these horrible and heartless actions that took hundreds of victims. Nevertheless, some newspapers (even american) tell that: 1) USA didn't prevent these events to use them as a reason for starting a war against Iraq; 2) when after the disaster all flights above this part of America were banned, some plane, looking like a presidential one, took off form Washington (suppositionly, carrying members of Ben Laden's family to save them from judgement). After such thoughts it is even interesting to know what happens if George Bush won't win the election.

During the last two weeks the world was shocked by a series of terroristic acts of gigantic dimension. Here is the chronologic list of some latest events:


01.09. - 03.09.  Hostage capture in the school №1 at Beslan. This violent act involving more than a thousand of innocent people was made by a group of terrorists from Chechnya heightened by a group of Arabian mercenaries. They were sent by the Maschadov, Basaev and other leaders by a direct order sent with reinforcement. One of them was captured, all the others - destroyed. Unfortunately, many children died in an unplanned attack of the building caused by malfunction of one of the terrorists' bombs.


16.09. A bomb was disarmed in Makhachkala. Federal Security Service agents disarmed a hand-made explosive pack, planted in a car VAZ 2101. It consisted of a 400 grams of TNT, a full fuel canister and a remote control.

Operatives noticed that it was standing not far from the building, in which yard the ATCRM (anti-tank controlled reactive missile) rocket. This is considered to be an another failed terroristic act - on the next building's roof an ATCRM weapon with several missies was found. And it was targeted directly at the city center. So its shot could have reached any of the administrative buildings situated there.


18.09. The militia workers of Moscow captured a man called Alexander Pumane, who, being under the narcotic effect, was driving a car, filled with a huge amount of explosive items: two powerful landmines MON-50, 200 grams of TNT and a canister filled with some strange substance that is now examined by specialists. Pumane told, he would cooperate and gave some precious information about a terroristic organization, but then he was beaten to death by militia workers.


20.09. Explosion at the turkish city of Mercina. Eighteen men injured, some of them are now critical. The bomb was planted under the police car, patrolling the concert of a famous turkish singer. The explosion caused panic among the people on the concert. Sappers disarmed another bomb not far from that place, perhaps saving hundreds of lives. This act is the fourth one it this city.


As a conclusion, I want to say, that now terrorism can become (no matter how awful it sounds) an essential part of our lives. At the moment, there is no watchable end for terroristic war in Israel or Chechnya. Soon we'll start living like fatalists - always walking on the blade of the razor will change our lifestyle and our attitude to life. I can't talk about the ways of ending this - it can't end until the leading countries of the world support it, even indirectly. Terrorism can become a strategical weapon just like nuclear bombs and a huge collection of viruses and poisons. But it will be a new type - psychological one, that will have a wider effect area. Just imagine a terrorist, demanding banning of some law and killing a lot of innocent people - of course this law will be accepted. This is going to be a reign of horror, and, unfortunately, we'll have to live over it.


Leybovich Kirill,

10th form, school #63

Novosibirsk, 2004

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