In modern structure, terrorism is deeply implanted and faced changes during the last two centuries. The term terrorism was first conceptualized in French Revolution. Terrorism was seen as the indispensable tool to establish a democratic order. Seeking a radical transformation of society, the group’s members understood terrorism as a temporary necessity to «raise the consciousness of the masses» and selected victims for symbolic reasons. (Rapoport, 2001) Although their objectives were never achieved, their influence endured to generate «culture of terror» for successors to inherit and improve. Until well into twentieth century, terror usually meant state terror. (Walker, 2001)

Later on, the term terrorism involved extra normal acts of violence or acts designed to violate conventions that regulate violence. As David Rapoport, divides terrorism to 4 waves. First wave was stimulated by massive political and economic reforms. The second wave began in 1920 and crested in the 1960s. Oddly, its principal stimulus was a major war aim of the victorious allies in both worlds as: national self determination. The killing of civilians to sow fear and secure political gains was rampant, even in developed nations. (Greenberg, ¶ 7)

The term «international terrorism» was used to describe the third wave. Airline hijacking was the third wave’s most novel tactic. Religious elements were found in earlier waves because religious and ethnic identities often overlap. First wave of events clearly indicate that terrorism can exacerbate tensions between states. The third wave of international terrorism was the shortest because it was too dependent on forces. Consequently, there are four major changes in terrorism. As differences occurred by the time and changing of ideology, similarities have been deviating the rules and causing violence.


  • Greenberg, D. «Is Terrorism New?»
  • Rapoport, D.   (2001) «The Fourth Wave: September 11 in the History of Terrorism»
  • Walker, M. (2001) «Terrorism: A Brief History of Terrorism» issue 410, p26, October. Source: Academic search Premier.