Tom Goldstein, "Does Terrorism Have a History?"


killing Tsar Alexander II in 1881. Terrorism in Russia began with the genesis of radical student groupings in the 1860's. The 1870's witnessed the first terror actions when unsuccessful populist riots led into the use of terror to achieve political revolution. Once the ideology of terrorism was put into practice, Dr. David-Fox asserted, it took on a life of its own. A second major wave of terrorism began in 1902, peaking in 1905-7, and waning after the assassination of powerful government official Peter Stolypin in 1911. In this phase of terrorism the Socialist Revolutionary Party was the most important group, killing 10-11,000 people.

Dr. David-Fox concluded that terrorism in Russia became tied to popular opinion. Intellectual disillusionment with the tsarist regime led to sympathy for the terrorists. Yet ideology alone did not sustain terrorism - there were those that practiced terror for sport, for material gain, and because of suicidal tendencies. Once political violence was sanctioned, other groups felt more comfortable using it, ultimately setting the stage for the Bolsheviks and Stalin.

Dr. Herf spoke next, addressing terrorism in a European context. He began by comparing Al Qaeda to totalitarian forms of government such as fascism/Nazism and Stalinism. He stated that they were similar in that both had ideological bases that asserted their own possession of an absolute truth. They both also had a hatred of Western modernity, a belief that only terror can bring about change, and insulation from criticism.

Dr. Herf defined terrorism as the attempted or actual murder of any non-military person for a political purpose. This includes attacks on liberal democracies, which are nations of

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