The purpose of terrorism is to terrify. While there's nothing new about wanting your enemies to fear you, the technique of terrorism is a purely modern phenomenon, thanks to the economies of scale that come with mass global media. In other words, it's only cost-effective to be a terrorist if your demographic reach gets you into six figures minimum.

Terrorist Attacks


Terrorist Organizations

Conspiracy Theories



27 Oct 1984 Vice President George HW Bush: "Let me assure you of one thing: the United States under this administration will never -- never -- let terrorism or fear of terrorism determine its foreign policy."
18 Jun 1985 President Ronald Reagan declares during a televised press conference: "Let me further make it plain to the assassins in Beirut and their accomplices, wherever they may be, that America will never make concessions to terrorists -- to do so would only invite more terrorism -- nor will we ask nor pressure any other government to do so. Once we head down that path there would be no end to it, no end to the suffering of innocent people, no end to the bloody ransom all civilized nations must pay."
Jan 1986 Caspar Weinberger's notes from a National Security Council meeting: "President decided to go with Israeli-Iranian offer to release our 5 hostages in return for sale of 4,000 TOWs [U.S. missiles] to Iran by Israel. George Shultz + I opposed -- Bill Casey, Ed Meese + VP favored -- as did Poindexter."
27 Aug 1986 President Ronald Reagan signs into law a federal ban on arms sales to terrorist nations, including Iran.
Sep 1986 Former National Security Advisor William McFarlane takes 23 tons of weapons to Iran.
30 Oct 1986 500 anti-tank missiles shipped to Iran.
13 Nov 1986 In a nationally televised speech to defend against charges concerning arms sales to Iran, Reagan admits sending some defensive weapons and spare parts to Iran, but denies it was part of an arms for hostages deal. "Our government has a firm policy not to capitulate to terrorist demands.... We did not -- repeat, did not -- trade weapons or anything else for hostages, nor will we." Polls show that the American people do not believe Reagan.
28 Jan 1987 Appearing on Good Morning America, Vice President George HW Bush justifies the clandestine weapons shipments to Iran: "On the surface, selling arms to a country that sponsors terrorism, of course, clearly, you'd have to argue it's wrong, but it's the exception sometimes that proves the rule."
4 Mar 1987 On national television, Reagan acknowledges mistakes on Iran-Contra: "A few months ago I told the American people I did not trade arms for hostages. My heart and my best intentions tell me that's true, but the facts and evidence tell me it is not. As the Tower Board reported, what began as a strategic opening to Iran deteriorated, in its implementation, into trading arms for hostages. This runs counter to my own beliefs, to administration policy, and to the original strategy we had in mind. There are reasons why it happened, but no excuses. It was a mistake."
7 Oct 2002 During a speech in Cincinnati, President George W Bush declares: "Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists."
17 Mar 2003 During an address to the nation, President George W Bush declares: "We cannot live under the threat of blackmail. The terrorist threat to America and the world will be diminished the moment that Saddam Hussein is disarmed."

September 11
Terror Tactics

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