Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Most Tragic Acts of Terrorism in History

We’ve been hearing, reading and watching news/issues regarding terrorism almost everyday. These incidents
are quite alarming especially in places where terrorists’ acts seem an ordinary scenario already like the case of
Iraq which is the scene of frequent terrorist attacks. Terrorism traced back its origin more than 2,000 years ago.
Terrorism is the deliberate creation and exploitation of fear for bringing about political change. All terrorist acts
involve violence or—equally important—the threat of violence. Terrorism is the systematic use of terror especially as a means of coercion.

Here are the 15 most tragic acts of terrorism from the 20th century onward.

Wall Street Bombing: USA

One of the worst terrorist incidents that occurred during the early stage of the 20th century was the Wall Street

bombing. It was a terrorist incident that occurred at 12:01 p.m. on September 16, 1920, in the Financial District

of New York City. Thirty-eight were killed and 400 persons were injured by the blast. A horse-drawn wagon

carrying 100 pounds or 45 kg of dynamite with 500 pounds or n230 kg of heavy slugs exploded in a timer-set

detonation, sending the slugs tearing through the air. The horse and wagon were vaporized. More than thirty people were killed immediately. The bomb claimed mostly messengers, stenographers, clerks and brokers as

its victims. It caused over $2 million in property damage and wrecked most of the interior spaces of the Morgan


Boeing 247 Incident: USA

In October 10 1933 a Boeing 247 exploded in mid-flight by a nitroglycerin bomb. All seven people aboard are

killed. This incident is the first proven case of air sabotage in the history of aviation

King David Hotel Bombing: Israel

The King David Hotel bombing was a deadly bomb strike by the Irgun, a militant Zionist group, on the

headquarters of the British Mandatory authorities of Palestine, located at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem.

The offensive was carried out on July 22 1946 and was the deadliest attack against the British during the

Mandate era (1920-1948).

Operating in disguise, Irgun members planted a bomb in the basement of the main building of the hotel, part of

which housed the Mandate Secretariat and the British military headquarters. Telephoned warnings were sent to

the main switchboard of the hotel, the Palestine Post newspaper and the French consulate, but no evacuation

was carried out, giving rise to much controversy over the reasons why people were not cleared from the building.

The ensuing explosion caused the collapse of the southwestern corner of the southern wing of the hotel.

Ninety-one people were killed and 46 were injured, with some of the deaths and injuries occurring in the road

outside the hotel and in adjacent buildings.

Beirut Barracks Bombing: Lebanon

One of the most tragic incidents of terrorism in the 1980s was the Beirut barracks bombing. This was a major

incident on October 23, 1983, during the Lebanese Civil war. 241 people perish on this terrorists attacked.

Two truck bombs struck separate buildings in Beirut housing US and French military forces—members of the

Multinational Force in Lebanon—killing hundreds of servicemen, the majority being US Marines. The blasts led

to the withdrawal of the international peacekeeping force from Lebanon, where they had been stationed since

the Israeli 1982 invasion of Lebanon. The organization Islamic Jihad took responsibility for the bombing, but that

organization is thought to have been a nom de guere for Hezbollah receiving help from the Islamic Republic of


1993 Bombay Bombings: India

Another tragic terrorists attack occurred in India known as the 1993 Bombay bombings. The bombings were a

series of thirteen bomb explosions that took place in Bombay (now Mumbai), India on March 12, 1993. The

coordinated attacks were the most destructive bomb explosions in Indian history. The single-day attacks resulted

in up to 250 civilian fatalities and 700 injuries. The attacks are believed to have been coordinated by Dawood

Ibrahim, don of the organized crime syndicate named D-Company, which had operated as a terrorist organization.

It is believed that the attacks were carried out in retaliation for widespread massacre of Muslims in Mumbai during

December and January, and also the demolition of the Babri Masjid.

Oklahoma City Bombing: USA

The United States of America have suffered numerous terrorist attacks in and outside her territory. One of the

most tragic attack is the Oklahoma City bombing. It was a domestic terrorist attack on April 19, 1995 aimed at

the US government in which the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, an office complex in downtown Oklahoma City,

was bombed. The attack claimed 168 lives and left over 800 people injured. Until the 911 attacks, it was the

deadliest act of terrorism on U.S. soil.

1998 U.S. Embassy Bombings

Another tragic attack by terrorist occurred in August 7, 1998. Hundreds of people were killed in simultaneous car

bomb explosions at the US embassies in the East African capital cities of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi,

Kenya. It was known as the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings. The attacks, linked to local members of the al Qaeda

terrorist network headed by Osama bin Laden, brought bin Laden and al Qaeda to international attention for the

first time, and resulted in the U.S. Federal Bureau Investigation placing bin Laden on its 10 Most Wanted list.

2002 Bali Bombings: Indonesia

The 2002 Bali bombings occurred on October 12, 2002 in the tourist district of Kuta on the Island of Bali,

Indonesia. The attack was the deadliest act of terrorism in the country’s history, killing 202 people, 164 of whom

were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured. The attack involved the

detonation of three bombs: a backpack-mounted device carried by a suicide bomber; a large car bomb, both of

which were detonated in or near popular nightclubs in Kuta; and a third much smaller device detonated outside

the United States consulate in Denpansar, causing only minor damage. Jemaah Islamiyah, a violent Islamist

group, was responsible for the said attack. Many of their members were convicted and were sentence to death.

11 March 2004 Madrid Train Bombings: Spain

One of the most tragic terrorist attacks in Europe happened in Spain on March 11, 2004. The incident was a

coordinated bombing of commuter trains in Madrid that killed 191 people and injured more than 1,750. Al-Qaeda

was responsible for the said attacked. The official investigation by the Spanish Judiciary determined the attacks

were directed by an al-Qaeda-inspired terrorist cell although no direct al-Qaeda participation (only “inspiration”)

has been established. Spanish nationals who sold the explosives to the terrorists were also arrested.

2004 SuperFerry 14 Bombing: Philippines

The Philippines had also suffered numerous terrorist attacks one of the most notable and most tragic attacks

occurred on February 27, 2004 and was known as the SuperFerry 14 bombings. Abu Sayyaf admitted

responsibility for the said incident killing 116. This act of terrorism was regarded as the world’s deadliest terrorist

attack at sea to date. A television set containing an 8-pound (4 kilograms) TNT bomb had been placed on board.

90 minutes out of port, the bomb exploded. 63 people were killed immediately and 53 were missing and presumed

dead. Despite claims from various terrorist groups, the blast was initially thought to have been an accident,

caused by a gas explosion. However, after divers righted the ferry five months after it sank, they found evidence

of a bomb blast.

2006 Sadr City Bombings: Iraq

The 2006 Sadr City bombings in Baghdad, Iraq is one of the most tragic terrorist attacks in the city. The bombings

were a series of car bombs and mortar attacks in Iraq that began on November 23. Six car bombs and two mortar

rounds were used in the attack on the Shi’ite Muslim slum in Sadr City. The attacks killed at least 215 people and

injured 257 others, making it the second deadliest sectarian attack since the beginning of the Iraq War in 2003.

18 April 2007 Baghdad Bombings: Iraq

Another tragic terrorist attack in Iraq is the 18 April 2007 Baghdad bombings. The bombings were another series

of attacks that occurred when five car bombs exploded across Baghdad, the capital city of Iraq, killing nearly 200

people. The attacks targeted mainly Shia locations and civilians. The Sadriya market had already been struck by

a massive truck bombing on February 3 of the same year and was in the process of being rebuilt when the attack

took place. The bombings were reminiscent of the level of violence before Operation Law and Order was

implemented to secure the Iraqi capital in February 2007.The attacks came as Prime Minister Nouri al- Maliki said

that Iraqi forces would assume control of the country's security by the end of the year, and they also came as

officials from more than 60 countries attended a UN conference in Geneva on the plight of Iraqi refugees

2007 Yazidi Communities Bombings: Iraq

The 2007 Yazidi Communities bombings is one of the most tragic terrorist attacks in Iraq. This incident occurred

on August 14, 2007, when four coordinated suicide bomb attacks detonated in the Iraqi towns of Qahtaniya and

Jazeera (Siba Sheikh Khidir), near Mosul. Iraqi Red Crescent’s estimates say the bombs have killed 796 and

wounded 1,562 people, that would make this the Iraq War’s most deadly car bomb attack to date.

2007 Karachi Bombing: Pakistan

The 2007 Karachi bombing of October 18, 2007 in Karachi, Pakistan, was an attack on a motorcade carrying

former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. The bombing occurred two months before she was assassinated. The

bombing resulted in at least 139 deaths and 450 injuries. Most of the dead were members of the Pakistan

Peoples party (PPP).

911 Attacks

The most tragic terrorist attack in history is the 911 Attacks. The September 11, 2001 attacks killed 2,997

immediately, and many more lately from exposure to toxic dust in a series of hijacked airliner crashes into two U.S.

landmarks: the World trade Center in New York City, New York, and The Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia. A fourth

plane, originally intended to hit the United States Capitol Building, crashes in Somerset County, Pennsylvania,

after an apparent revolt against the hijackers by the plane’s passengers; being the most catastrophic terrorist

event ever known.

Tragic pages in history, let’s not forget these sorrowful events and pray for the souls of those who perished on the said events.


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