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Terrorism

Terrorism, in its broadest sense, describes the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror, or fear, to achieve a political, religious or ideological aim. It is used in this regard primarily to refer to violence against peacetime targets or in war against non-combatants. The terms "terrorist" and "terrorism" originated during the French Revolution of the late 18th century but gained mainstream popularity during the U.S. Presidency of Ronald Reagan (1981–89) after the 1983 Beirut barracks bombings and again after the attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. in September 2001and on Bali in October 2002.

Terrorism has so many hideous faces. Here are some attacks that shocked the humanity  along the history.

Over the years, terrorists have claimed hundreds of innocent lives for their selfish and immoral interests in the worst violent crimes ever. In modern times, terror continues to reign in our streets every day. However, terror upon tragedy best described from these terrorist attacks that struck streets, buildings, fields, towns, and any other place that had people living or doing business. From the streets and skyscrapers of New York to the war-trenched cities of Iraq, to Nairobi and Angola in Africa, and across Iran and the Persian Gulf, terrorists are everywhere. 

www.worldatlas.com

9/11 Attack

 

The September 11, 2001 attacks of the World Trade Center in the US that left thousands dead, is the worst terrorist attack in recorded history.

The September 11 attacks (also referred to as 9/11) were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States on the morning of Tuesday, September 11, 2001. The attacks killed 2,996 people, injured over 6,000 others, and caused at least $10 billion in infrastructure and property damage.

Four passenger airliners operated by two major U.S. passenger air carriers (United Airlines and American Airlines) — all of which departed from airports in the northeastern United States bound for California — were hijacked by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists. Two of the planes, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, were crashed into the North and South towers, respectively, of the World Trade Center complex in New York City. Within an hour and 42 minutes, both 110-story towers collapsed, with debris and the resulting fires causing partial or complete collapse of all other buildings in the World Trade Center complex, including the 47-story 7 World Trade Center tower, as well as significant damage to ten other large surrounding structures. A third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, was crashed into the Pentagon (the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense) in Arlington County, Virginia, leading to a partial collapse of the building's western side. The fourth plane, United Airlines Flight 93, initially was steered toward Washington, D.C., but crashed into a field in Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after its passengers tried to overcome the hijackers. 9/11 was the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States, with 343 and 72 killed respectively. www.worldatlas.com

Air India Flight 182 

Air India Flight 182 was an Indian passenger plane flying from Toronto, Canada to Delhi, India via London route. The plane was Boeing 747-237B destroyed with a bomb mid-air at an altitude of 31,000 feet and crashed on Irish airspace into the Atlantic Ocean. The incident took place in 1985 killing 329 passengers, and it was the first ever bombing of a 747 jumbo jet. The majority of the victims were Canadian citizens who were 268, and British were 27, Indians. It was the largest mass murder of in Canada’s history and the worst terrorist attack on a passenger plane until September 11, 2001  www.worldatlas.com

2016 Karrada bombing

On July 3, 2016, there was a coordinated attack in Baghdad leading to the deaths of 341 people and several hundred more suffering injuries. Just before the midnight, a suicide truck targeting the Shia in the district of Karrada was detonated. The town was busy with late night shoppers for the Ramadan festivities. There was another bomb explosion in the suburb of Sha’ab killing about five people. Later the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks and said Abu Maha al-Iraqi was the bomber. There was a fire in the explosion that caused extensive damage to the nearby buildings. The attack was the second worst terrorist attacks in Iraq after the Yazidi communities bombings.   www.worldatlas.com

Beslan school hostage crisis

The Beslan School siege begun on September 1, 2004, and lasted for three days and involved holding hostage to more than 1,100 people including 777 children. At the end of the siege, the death toll was at least 385 people. The crisis started when some armed Chechen and Ingush Islamic groups captured a school in Beslan. The hostage-takers were demanding the recognition of the independence of Chechnya and the withdrawal of Russia from Chechnya. The Russian forces stormed the building on the third day, and many people were killed including children and several went missing.  www.worldatlas.com

2014 Gamboru Ngala attack

The attack took place on May 5 to 6, 2014, in the two towns of Gamboru and Ngala in the Borno state of Nigeria and more than 336 people were killed by the Boko Haram militia. The attack took almost 12 hours, and the towns were almost destroyed and the survivors fled to the neighboring country of Cameroon. On the same night, the attackers abducted eight girls in the northeastern part of Nigeria. The two towns had security garrison who had left the towns to pursue school girls who had been kidnapped in Chibok. The attackers used AK 47 assault rifles and RPGs using military vehicles that had been stolen several months earlier from the military. They set fire to the town and opened fire on civilians trying to escape the fire.   www.worldatlas.com

Somalia's deadliest bomb attack

Fifteen children are among the dead following Somalia's deadliest bomb attack, authorities have said, as the number of those killed rose to more than 300.

The director of an ambulance service in Mogadishu said the primary-age pupils were on a school bus near to where a truck bomb exploded at a busy intersection on Saturday.

It was the first of two blasts, with the second striking the city's Medina district two hours later.

More than 300 people have now been confirmed dead, and the number is expected to rise.

Abdikadir Abdirahman, director of Aamin ambulances, said: "The death toll will still be higher because some people are still missing."

Aamin, Mogadishu's only free ambulance service, tweeted pictures of the scene, saying: "In our 10-year experience as the first responder in Mogadishu, we haven't seen anything like this."

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed has joined thousands of people in donating blood to help survivors as overwhelmed hospitals struggle to assist badly wounded victims.

Officials said more than 70 critically injured people were being airlifted to Turkey for treatment on Monday as international aid began to arrive.

The International Committee of the Red Cross says four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead, with "a number" of volunteers still missing.

A 50-year-old man who lived in Minnesota is also among the dead, according to reports in the US.

Ahmed AbdiKarin Eyow was in a hotel room when the bomb went off, the Minneapolis Star Tribune said.

Somalia is in three days of mourning following the blasts - the deadliest single attack the African country has ever experienced.   sky news.com

Note found near truck claims Manhattan attack done for ISIS, source says

Eight people were killed and almost a dozen injured when a 29-year-old man in a rented pickup truck drove down a busy bicycle path near the World Trade Center Tuesday in Manhattan, New York City.

The suspect was identified by two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation as Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov. He's from Uzbekistan in Central Asia but had been living in the US since 2010, sources said.

Authorities found a note claiming the attack was made in the name of ISIS near the truck used in the attack, a senior law enforcement official said.

"This was an act of terror, and a particularly cowardly act of terror," New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, "aimed at innocent civilians, aimed at people going about their lives who had no idea what was about to hit them."

(CNN)

 

Latest developments

Argentina's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Twitter that five Argentine citizens were killed: Hernán Mendoza, Diego Angelini, Alejandro Pagnucco, Ariel Erlij and Hernán Ferruchi.

A Belgian national also was a victim of the attack, according to Didier Reynders, Belgium's deputy prime minister and minister for foreign affairs minister

Sayfullo Saipov, who was shot by police, is out of surgery, a law enforcement source told CNN. Officers were able to talk to him before the surgery, the source said. It is not known if he told them anything.

President Donald Trump tweeted that the incident "looks like another attack by a very sick and deranged person." In a later tweet, he wrote, "My thoughts, condolences and prayers to the victims and families of the New York City terrorist attack. God and your country are with you!"

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed One World Trade Center to be lit in red, white and blue in honor of freedom and democracy, his office said.

Rented truck used

 

The incident is being investigated as terrorism, officials said. Witnesses reported the suspect was yelling "Allahu Akbar," according to four law enforcement sources. The FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force is taking over the lead of the investigation.

Vehicles have been used as weapons in a number of terrorist attacks in recent years, including in deadly incidents in London and Nice, France.

The suspect, driving in a Home Depot rental truck, hopped a curb at West Houston Street and drove south on the bike path on the west side of West Side Highway in lower Manhattan for several blocks,

officials said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After crashing the truck into a school bus, the suspect left the vehicle while displaying imitation firearms and was shot in the abdomen by a police officer, according to the NYPD.

A pellet gun and a paintball gun were recovered from the scene, officials said.

How the New York City truck attack unfolded

Just after the incident, news footage showed several mangled bicycles on the popular bike path as medics tended to the wounded in the background.

Six people were declared dead at the scene and two were pronounced dead at the hospital. At least 11 others were transported to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Five of those killed were Argentinians, a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of graduates of the Polytechnic School in their hometown, the country's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

A spokesman for Home Depot confirmed one of the company's rental trucks was part of an incident in lower Manhattan and said the company is "cooperating with authorities" in the investigation.

Six people were declared dead at the scene and two were pronounced dead at the hospital. At least 11 others were transported to the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries, according to New York Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

Five of those killed were Argentinians, a group of friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of graduates of the Polytechnic School in their hometown, the country's Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

A spokesman for Home Depot confirmed one of the company's rental trucks was part of an incident in lower Manhattan and said the company is "cooperating with authorities" in the investigation.

Witness accounts

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News footage showed crowds of spectators -- some capturing the scene with cellphone cameras -- gathered behind police lines. A white Home Depot truck with the front end smashed was also visible.

Eugene Duffy said he had just left work at Pier 26 and was waiting on the light to cross West Street when he heard a scream. He thought it might have been a Halloween prank but he said the scream was bloodcurdling.

"I look down and I see a white pickup truck a couple of more blocks down in the bike path," he said. "Automatically, I know something's wrong. Then, as I go down more toward where the girl is screaming, I see two gentlemen laying there and they have tire tracks marked across their bodies. You could tell they both weren't here."

He continued to walk closer to the scene. Gunshots rang out. He saw police officers ducking for cover. A yellow school bus was smashed nearby. Police descended on the area.

"I thought automatically, this area, I thought it was terrorism," he said.

Texas church shooter kills at least 26 in state's deadliest mass shooting

Wife of pastor says the couple's 14-year-old daughter and many friends were killed

The Associated Press 

 

A man dressed in black tactical-style gear and armed with an assault rifle opened fire inside a church in a small South Texas community on Sunday, killing 26 people and wounding about 20 in what the governor called the deadliest mass shooting in the state's history. The dead ranged in age from 5 to 72 years old.

Authorities didn't identify the attacker during a news conference Sunday night. 

 

He was described as a white man in his 20s who was wearing black tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he pulled into a gas station across from the First Baptist Church around 11:20 a.m. local time.

The gunman crossed the street and started firing a Ruger AR rifle at the church, said Freeman Martin, a regional director of the Texas Department of Safety, then continued firing after entering the white wood-frame building, where an 11 a.m. service was scheduled.

'Defenceless people'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wilson County Sheriff Joe D. Tackitt Jr., whose territory includes Sutherland Springs, said there was likely "no way" for the church congregation to escape once the shooting started.

"You've got your pews on either side. He just walked down the centre aisle, turned around and my understanding was shooting on his way back out," said Tackitt, who said the shooter also carried a handgun but that he didn't know if it was fired. 

 

 

Tackitt described the scene inside the church as "terrible."

"It's unbelievable to see children, men and women, laying there. Defenceless people," Tackitt said. "I guess it was seeing the children that were killed. It's one thing to see an adult, but to see a 5-year-old..." 

 

 

No motive yet

As he left, the shooter was confronted by an armed resident who "grabbed his rifle and engaged that suspect," Martin said. A short time later, the suspect was found dead in his vehicle at the county line.

Several weapons were found inside the vehicle and Martin said it was unclear if the attacker died of a self-inflicted wound or if he was shot by the resident who confronted him. He said investigators weren't ready to discuss a possible motive. Martin said 23 of the dead were found in the church, two were found outside and one died after being taken to a hospital. 

 

The man who confronted the shooter had help from another local resident, Johnnie Langendorff, who told KSAT TV that he was driving past the church as the shooting happened. He didn't identify the armed resident but said the man exchanged gunfire with the gunman, then asked to get in Langendorff's truck and the pair pursued as the gunman drove away.

Langendorff says the gunman eventually lost control of his vehicle and crashed. He says the other man walked up to the vehicle with his gun drawn and the suspect did not move. He stayed there for at least five minutes, until police arrived.

"I was strictly just acting on what's the right thing to do," Langendorff said.

'Pure evil'

Gov. Greg Abbott called the attack the worst mass shooting in Texas history.

"There are no words to describe the pure evil that we witnessed in Sutherland Springs today," Abbott said. "Our hearts are heavy at the anguish in this small town, but in time of tragedy, we see the very best of Texas. May God comfort those who've lost a loved one, and may God heal the hurt in our communities." 

 

Among those killed was the church pastor's 14-year-old daughter, Annabelle Pomeroy. Pastor Frank Pomeroy, and his wife, Sherri, were both out of town in two different states when the attack occurred, Sherri Pomeroy wrote in a text message to the AP.

"We lost our 14-year-old daughter today and many friends," she wrote. "Neither of us has made it back into town yet to personally see the devastation. I am at the charlotte airport trying to get home as soon as i can."

'Everybody's going to be affected'

Federal agents swarmed the small rural community of a few hundred residents, including ATF investigators and members of the FBI's evidence collection team.

Alena Berlanga, a resident of nearby Floresville, known for its annual peanut festival, said everyone knows everyone else in the sparsely populated county. 

 

"Everybody's going to be affected and everybody knows someone who's affected," Berlanga said. 

Church member Nick Uhlig, 34, wasn't at Sunday's service, but he said his cousins were at the church and that his family was told at least one of them, a woman with three children and pregnant with another, was among the dead.

"We just gathered to bury their grandfather on Thursday," he said, shaking his head.  

 

'Senseless and horrific'

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

U.S. President Donald Trump, who was in Japan, called the shooting an "act of evil" and said he was monitoring the situation.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a statement he was "saddened that so many have been killed and injured in a senseless and horrific act of violence." 

 

The church has posted videos of its Sunday services on a YouTube channel, raising the possibility that the shooting was captured on video.

In a video of its Oct. 8 service, a congregant who spoke and read Scripture pointed to the Oct. 1 Las Vegas shooting a week earlier as evidence of the "wicked nature" of man. That shooting left 58 dead and more than 500 injured.

Until Sunday, the deadliest mass shooting in Texas had been a 1991 attack in Killeen, when a mentally disturbed man crashed his pickup truck through a restaurant window at lunchtime and started shooting people, killing 23 and injuring more than 20 others. 

The University of Texas was the site of one of the most infamous mass shootings in American history, when U.S. Marine sniper Charles Whitman climbed the Austin campus' clock tower in 1966 and began firing on stunned people below, killing 13 and wounding nearly three dozen others. He had killed his wife and mother before heading to the tower, one victim died a week later and medical examiners eventually attributed a 17th death to Whitman in 2001. 

cbc.ca