Recent news has displayed a planet gone mad with terrorist threats spanning wide areas and multiple continents with varying levels of violence and horrors. Across Europe there have been attacks on Jewish targets including assaults on a Jewish school where three young children and the Rabbi father of two of the children in Toulouse, France; a bombing assault upon a tour bus outside the airport in Burgas, Bulgaria; an attack on a Jewish Museum in Brussels, Belgium; and during the revolutionary period of unrest in the Ukraine there were numerous reports of attacks on Jews and Jewish targets such as synagogues. While these attacks were the most news worthy, there has also been a steadily increasing amount of both reported and unreported anti-Semitic attitudes and resulting actions many of which have not risen to the point of being reported other than be polls and studies which have reported these general increases across Europe and the entire globe. On another front in Europe have been the reports of governmental concerns over the increasing numbers of youths who have answered the call to arms in Syria and the serious repercussions which their return may present to these nations and their public order. But Europe is far from alone in feeling the repercussions of terrorism which are spreading across every continent.
Africa has been the place of many serious terrorist developments, most of which have not received much in depth or even mention in Western news programs. There are daily clashes in Somalia as the numerous militaristic leaders test their neighbors and defend their areas and keep their own kind of vigilante justice. There was the vicious military style attack in Nairobi, Kenya where shoppers were quizzed on Muslim prayers and Quran quotations murdering those who failed their tests. The violence between northern and southern Sudan continues despite the attempts to separate the two areas by recognizing that southern Sudan as its own separate nation. There has also been the terror across Nigeria committed by Boko Haram which recently broke into the news cycle with the abduction of over two hundred girls from a school. This large kidnapping of the school girls was simply one of a string of such crimes of varying lesser abductions. These abductions by Boko Haram are part of another source of terrorism which is the source of much of the problems in Africa, namely the struggle between Christianity and Islam for preeminence with the greatest areas of violence being in regions which are being contested between the two religions.
The strongest area of terrorism and Islamic violence is obviously in the Middle East, North Africa and the Asian areas neighboring the Middle East. The current news has covered the onslaught by the terrorist group ISIS, which was rejected and expelled from membership by al-Qaeda over their overt and extreme violence, has assaulted all of the nation of Iraq which is outside the control of the Kurdish northern enclave currently closing in on the capital city of Baghdad. The onslaught by ISIS which had been fighting largely in Syria turned their attentions and struck into Iraq. Some have claimed the reasons that ISIS has attacked Iraq are due to the transference of supplies, fighters and other support for the forces defending Bashir al-Assad in Syria across Iraq from Iran with the cooperation of the Iraqi government. There has been a steady and destructive level of terrorism resultant from the Arab Spring which has actually resulted in a trail of violent events which have turned this wave of change into something more resembling an Arab Winter as we anticipated when the initial flare-up struck in Tunisia and spread to Egypt. This has resulted in spawning extreme cases of violence not only in Tunisia but also in Egypt as governments were overturned in successive years with Mubarak being deposed followed by his replacement backed by the Muslim Brotherhood being ousted by a military coup one year after being elected. Egypt has suffered far less violence than has Libya which has a weak government which replaced ousted dictator Gadhafi. There has also been a steady level of violence in Yemen with much of the violence a result of al-Qaeda fighters against the government. There is the violence against the government supported by the United States and their allies by the Taliban both within Afghanistan and also out of the tribal areas of Pakistan.
In the Far East of Asia there are areas of violent terrorism with the most prevalent areas are the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia. Also originating in Pakistan was the horrific attack which lasted three days on the neighboring nation of India’s city of Mumbai. Then there has been terrorist violence from Chechnya and Russia and terrorist against China originating in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, both of which go mostly unreported. Across the Americas the frequency of terrorist attacks are less reported, or should we say less identified. To this day the government of Argentina is still attempting to find and arrest the perpetrators of the two assaults on Buenos Aires where within a couple of years the Israeli Embassy was bombed on March 17, 1992, where twenty-nine were murdered and another two-hundred-fifty were injured; and the bombing of the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina (AMIA) Jewish Community Center on July 18, 1994, in which eighty-seven people were killed and over a hundred people were injured. Both terror attacks are still being investigated with strong evidence that the bombing of the AIMA Center was committed by high level persons coordinating the efforts from out of Iran. There is also a terrorist stronghold located in a town in an area referred to as the Tri Border Area where Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay borders meet. It is reported that this area is a hub for activities of organized crime groups, terrorist groups, and narcotics traffickers who operate beyond the reach or interventions by law enforcement officers. The largest city controlled by these lawless forces is Ciudad del Este. There are reports that Mexico has become another place which has areas in which terrorists are harbored by drug cartels and that these groups share capabilities, training, resources, smuggling routes into the United States and terror tactics designed to minimize opposition by the utilization of terrorist acts and other means of intimidation.
Still, the nation which has suffered the most from terrorist violence has been Israel. Even if one counted all of the terrorist strikes within the United States which were attributed to other reasons, still Israel has a more frequent and violent record. This does not mean that there have been no terrorist attacks which were either initially or still had not been identified as terrorism such as the Trolley Square Mall shooting from February 12, 2007, where five innocents were murdered by Sulejman Talović and was initially not classified as a case of terrorism despite reports that the shooter continued to shout, “Allahu Akbar” as he continued to shoot people. Then there was the attack which, while not actually being the first modern age terrorist strike, were the first universally accepted and heavily witnessed terrorist attacks on the multiple targets on September 11, 2001. This one assault with multiple targets including both towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an unknown target likely in the nation’s capital of Washington DC but was forced down by a passenger assault on the cockpit crashing the plane in southwestern Pennsylvania. Another reported terrorist attack was the Boston Marathon bombing of April 15, 2013, which murdered three and caused various injuries to at least two-hundred-sixty-four innocent victims whose only act was to remain at the finish line awaiting friends or family to finish the race. There was the assault by Nidal Malik Hasan on November 5, 2009, at the Soldier Readiness Center of Fort Hood in Texas shooting murdering thirteen people and wounding twenty-nine other innocents while also shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” Despite all evidence this terrorist crime was and still is referred to as a case of workplace violence and there is no official mention of terrorism. One of, if not, the earliest terrorist attack in modern era America was the assassination of Robert Kennedy on June 5, 1968, in Los Angeles, California by Sirhan Sirhan, who was born in Jerusalem who during questioning revealed his motivations stating, “My only connection with Robert Kennedy was his sole support of Israel and his deliberate attempt to send those fifty bombers to Israel to obviously do harm to the Palestinians.”
Israel has been the target of terrorist activities even back before the Jewish State was even in existence. One of the major such terrorist attacks was the Hevron rioting on August 29, 1929, where sixty-seven Jews and nine Arabs were killed. Among the deceased were twelve women and three children under the age of five. After the terrorist rioting was finally subdued by British soldiers, the British forcefully removed all the Jewish residents of Hevron as a move to prevent further violence. There has been near constant terrorist attacks from the very day on which the nation’s independence was announced and made formal to the current time. The most recent and still continuing terrorist act is the kidnapping of three innocent teens. The three teens’ names are Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar, and Naftali Frenkel. Between these pair of attacks there have been nearly countless attacks so many that even some news media within Israel have pretty much stopped covering many of the terror attacks which through repetition have become less than news worthy. This includes the thousands of rockets, missiles, mortars and anti-tank rounds that have been fired into Israel with designs of murdering innocent civilians. The abduction of these three youths has infuriated much of the nation and nearly all Israelis have joined in prayers for the safe return of these poor victims who were innocent despite what some have claimed. Both CNN and BBC when reporting the abductions actually placed the word “kidnapping” within quotes. The subject has received even less coverage from many Western news sources mainly because they all made guidelines ages ago. Most people around the globe have seldom heard coverage, not to mention in depth analysis, into the rockets which often rain down onto southern Israel from Hamas controlled Gaza. The question currently heard in Israeli society is centered on the kidnapping and what should the response be if their worst fears are true. Many people are holding to hope which becomes more and more difficult as each day passes with no demand or claim of responsibility for this heinous event. Hope is the main emotion but what will that hope give way towards if we find the three missing youths bodies? What is the appropriate response to a people who would revel in the abducting of three teenage boys and further, what to do should they continue the dancing while handing out candies and sweet cakes to those who pass by? That question is an important one which will be impossible to determine, or even to have polled as many have not permitted their emotions to go far enough to reach any conclusion. All that is being pursued by much of Israeli society consists of prayers and attempted mutual comforting, all in the hope that their prayers will suffice. The question over what actions should be taken should the perpetrators of this horrid act be caught is currently a place nobody desires to go. Going into that area is beyond anyone’s desires; all they wish is for the safety of the abducted youth.