Although suicidal attacks have occurred throughout history, is it the adoption of these strategies by fundamentalist Islamic terrorists, and the large scale targeting of civilian populations that has been so horrifying in recent years. Terrorism and suicide bombings have long distinct histories, but they started to become common and intertwined in the Middle East in the 1980’s. Factions such as Hezbollah, The Islamic Dawa Party, the Amal Movement, Kurdistan Workers’ Party, The Ba’ath Party and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party all used such tactics against enemy forces and civilians alike throughout the Middle East.
Terrorists attacks and suicide bombings increased through the 90’s, but in 2001 Al-Qaeda hijacked planes, flying them into buildings in New York and Washington, changing terrorism and suicide attacks from then on. The terrorists that were fighting what they saw as an outside oppressive influences in their country, had bought this fight to their enemy’s soil. Other groups militants copied these tactics, but it wasn’t until ISIS, a terrorist organisation aiming to start a global Islamic Caliphate, that encouragement to use any method necessary was espoused in order to bring terror to “the West”.
Al-Qaeda’s aim was to remove western influence from the Middle East, whereas ISIS adhere to a more extreme Salafi/Wahhabi form of global jihad that even views Muslims who disagree with there violent methods as infidels. Terrorism has evolved alongside suicide bombings and modern terror tactics, and the move of Middle Eastern terrorist groups targeting the US and Western Europe is due to an evolution in those groups objectives of a global caliphate.