If you looked at the history of terrorism, you'd find it has a poor track record at achieving positive results for the groups conducting terrorist acts. It's a rather dangerous occupation to be involved in. Many terrorists end up forfeiting their own lives with nothing gained. This sad list that I've put together contains only some of the more well-known acts of terrorism. It also does not include all of the coups, riots, and Assassinations that could be categorized as terrorism, but are unfortunately too numerous to mention.
Members of the Popular Front for the Liberation Palestine (PFLP) hijacked an El Al flight en route to Tel Aviv and forced it to land in Algiers. The attack marked the first aircraft hijacking by a Palestinian group. The hijackers were said to have believed Israeli General Ariel Sharon was on the flight. The passengers and crew were detained by Algeria for six weeks.
The first mass hijacking occurred in 1970, when the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine seized control of two American planes and one Swiss airliner, all bound from Europe to the United States, to punish the United States for supporting Israel. The Pan Am, TWA and Swissair planes were blown up on the ground in Jordan and Egypt.
Palestinian Black September terrorists massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics. An airport shootout also leaves 5 captors and 1 policeman dead.
An Air France airliner is hijacked by a joint German Baader-Meinhof/Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terrorist group and its crew are forced to fly to Entebbe airport in Uganda. Some two hundred and fifty eight passengers and crew are held hostage but all non-Israeli passengers are eventually released. On 4 July Israeli commandos fly to Uganda and rescue the remaining hostages. All the terrorists were killed in the rescue, as are three passengers and one commando.
Seventy three people killed when Miami, Florida based El Condor Cuban exiles explode a bomb aboard a Cuban Airlines jet as it takes off from Barbados.
Four Palestinian terrorists hijack a German Lufthansa Boeing 737 and order it to fly around a number of Middle East destinations for four days. After the plane's pilot is killed by the terrorists, it is stormed by German GSG9 counter-terrorist troops, assisted by two British Army Special Air Service soldiers, when it puts down at Mogadishu, Somalia. All the ninety hostages are rescued and three terrorists killed.
A nine strong Al Fatah Palestinian seaborne raiding party lands in Israel and hijacks a bus, killing twenty six civilians and wounding seventy. All the terrorists are killed by Israeli security forces. The Israelis retaliate by invading southern Lebanon, under code name Operation Litani.
One person hurt in a package bomb explosion at Northwestern University, United States, which is designated as the first ever attack by the so-called Unabomber. After nearly 30 years of bombings, Theodore Kaczynski was eventually turned in by his brother and given a life Sentence.
Two hundred Islamic terrorists seize Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundred of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French security forces retake the Islamic world's most holy shrine after a intense battle, in which some two hundred and fifty people were killed and six hundred wounded.
Iranian Arabs seized the Iranian embassy in London, taking twenty-six people hostage. Two hostages were killed on May 5. Special forces stormed the embassy, rescuing the remaining hostages and killing five of the six terrorists. Much of the embassy was destroyed by fire.
Abu Nidal terrorists critically injured the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom in an attack in London. The shooting caused the government of Israel to launch an invasion of Lebanon in the "Peace for Galilee" operation.
Eleven persons were killed on July 20, 1982 in Regency Park and Hyde Park in London by bombs planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA), a Northern Ireland terrorist organization which is trying to force the U.K. out of Northern Ireland so that Ulster can be united with the Republic of Ireland.
Gunmen threw a grenade into a restaurant in Paris and then opened fire with automatic weapons, killing six people and wounding twenty-seven. Two of the dead and two of the wounded were Americans. Action Directe claimed, and then denied, responsibility for the attack.
A car bomb exploded in front of the U.S. embassy in Beirut, killing sixty-three people, including seventeen Americans. More than one hundred others were wounded. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, calling the bombing "part of the Islamic revolution." Iran subsequently denied having any role in the attack.
Terrorists bombed the U.S. Marine compound in Beirut, causing the largest loss of U.S. military personnel in a single event since the Vietnam War. The blast, which killed 241, was carried out by Muslim militias after U.S. warships intervened in Lebanon's civil war.
Harrod's department store in London was bombed on December 16, by the northern Ireland terrorist organization Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA). The bombing killed five, including one U.S. citizen, and injured ninety-one others.
Fourteen people were killed and seventy were wounded when a van loaded with four hundred pounds of explosives drove past the checkpoint in front of the U.S. embassy annex in Awkar and exploded. The driver of the van was shot and killed by British security guards. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the bombing in a call to the media.
A bomb exploded on an Air India flight over the North Atlantic following its departure from Canada, killing all three hundred twenty-nine passengers on board. A second bomb exploded at Narita Airport in Japan, killing two people. Sikh extremists claimed responsibility for both bombings.
Abu Nidal terrorists bombed a British Airways ticket office in Madrid, killing one person and injuring twenty-seven. A TWA office also was destroyed. The bombings apparently were in retaliation against President Reagan's threat the previous day to strike against terrorism.
Four Palestinian gunmen hijacked the Italian cruise ship "Achille Lauro" off Alexandria, Egypt. While off the Syrian port of Tartus, the terrorists killed a wheelchair-bound American. Egypt and Italy negotiated the return of the ship and the remaining passengers. U.S. fighters intercepted an Egyptian jet carrying the hijackers and forced it down at a NATO base in Italy.
An Egyptian jet was hijacked to Malta. Fifty-nine passengers, including one American, were killed when Egyptian troops stormed the plane in Malta on November 24.
Four Americans were killed and nine people, including five Americans, were injured when a bomb exploded aboard TWA flight 840 as it traveled from Rome to Athens. The aircraft was able to land safely at Athens airport.
Le Belle Disco, a nightclub in West Berlin frequented by U.S. servicemen, was bombed, killing two American soldiers and one Turkish woman. Two hundred others were wounded in the bombing. Libya was implicated in the bombing.
Twenty-one Jewish worshipers were killed in Istanbul during an attack on a synagogue by an Abu Nidal terrorist team.
A car bomb exploded outside the back gate of the U.S. Embassy in Rome and rockets were fired at the compound from across the street. One passerby was injured in the attacks.
Korean Air Lines Flight 858 was blown up over the Andaman Sea near Burma by two North Korean agents, killing all 115 persons aboard.
Thirteen people were killed in the Northern Ireland town of Enniskillen when the Provisional Irish Republican Army (PIRA) detonated a bomb during the town's observance of Remembrance Day.
Pan Am Flight 103, outbound from London for New York with 259 people aboard, was destroyed by a bomb on December 21, 1988 while over Lockerbie, Scotland. All aboard the aircraft were killed as were eleven persons on the ground at Lockerbie.
UTA Flight 772 from Chad was blown up by bomb while flying over the Sahara desert in Niger, killing all 171 passengers and crew onboard.
Terrorism came to U.S. soil for the first time in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, which killed six and injured 1,000. The mastermind was Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, a Pakistani militant trained in Afghanistan. Yousef was captured in 1995 in Pakistan. When he was brought to New York for trial, he bragged to FBI agents that he could have destroyed the complex if he'd had sufficient funds and equipment.
Terrorists used chemical weapons for the first time when Aum Shinrikyo, also known as the Aum Supreme Truth, simultaneously released the chemical nerve agent sarin on several Tokyo subway trains. Twelve people were killed and up to 6,000 injured.
At 9:03 AM, a truck bomb shattered the Alfred P Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City, killing 168 people-including children playing in the building's day care center.
The explosion of a fuel truck set off by terrorists outside the northern fence of the Khobar Towers complex near King Abdul Aziz Air Base, Saudi Arabia, killed 19 U.S. military service members and injured over 260.
In Nairobi, Kenya a car bomb exploded behind the US Embassy, killing 291 persons and wounding about 5,000. Terrorists associated with Usama Bin Ladin' al-Qaida organization also detonated an extremely large truck bomb outside the US Embassy in Tanzania, killing 10 Tanzanians and injured 77 persons.
America experiences its worst case of terrorism when Usama Bin Ladin trained and funded agents take over four domestic airliners. Two jets are flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, causing an estimated number of 3,000 people to lose their lives. A third plane is flown into the Pentagon, killing around 180 people. In western Pennsylvania the fourth hijacked jet crashes after passengers struggle with the terrorists.
More than 180 people are killed in a double terrorist bombing in Bali, Indonesia. Over 300 people — many of whom were foreign tourists — are injured in the attack on a nightclub on the resort island. Jemaah Islamiyah, an Islamic extremist group allied with Al Qaeda, is believed to be behind the blasts.
Ten terrorist bombs exploded during the morning rush hour in Madrid, Spain, killing 202 and injuring more than 1,400. Islamic militants were behind the attack.
In Great Britian, four explosions rocked the London subway system and tore open a packed double-decker bus. At least 40 people were killed in the attack.