In England, there was the IRA.
In Srilanka, the Tamil separatist group, the LTTE, has been active for many years. It was an LTTE suicide bomber who killed Rajiv Gandhi, the son of former Indian PM Indira Gandhi, and an ex-Prime Minister himself. There is terrorism in Africa and the Balkans as well. Terrorism has been practiced by all kinds of political organizations. They include right- wing and left-wing political parties, nationalistic groups, religious groups, revolutionaries, and ruling governments. The Jacobins’ Reign of Terror during the French Revolution was an example of government-sponsored terrorism. In modern times, the reign of Idi Amin in Uganda could also be described as a reign of terror.
Militant Islam is one of the most dangerous breeding grounds for terror in this century. Groups like the Al Qaeda, the Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Taliban are known for their ghastly terror attacks on countries like the US, India, the UK, etc. The very name of Osama bin laden strikes fear in the hearts of Americans. The Al Qaeda is supposed to have masterminded the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. India is no stranger to terrorism either.
The Kashmir problem has led Pakistani terrorists or jihadists as they call themselves to target India intermittently. The most recent incident was the audacious Mumbai attacks when the terrorists arrived by boats and attacked Mumbai. Terrorists do not care for negotiation. Their intention is to create fear which they hope will achieve their objectives. There are many reasons for terrorism. Poverty, political conflicts, differences of world view, all contributes to it.
But whatever the reason, there is no justification for killing innocent people. No religion sanctifies it. Terrorism can cripple the economy of a nation. In his latest book, ‘Hot, Flat and Crowded,’ Thomas Friedman argues that America’s dependence on the Arab world for fuel has created a petro dictatorship which is ironically funding the Islamic terrorists. In other words, American dollars are finding their way to the very people who want to destroy America. Therefore he says that it is imperative for America to find alternative energy sources to break this unholy nexus. The war on Iraq, the quest for Palestine state, Kashmir and the rise of the Taliban- all these have contributed to the growth of militant Islam which is the main sponsor of global terrorism.
Unless a solution is found quickly to all these, global terrorism will continue to cast a shadow on the world.