Terrorism is a reality that the world has to deal with, a reality that everyone would wish away if it was possible. A terrorist is a selfish coward who results to violent acts in order to cause fear and push for religious, economic, ideological or political goals, while targeting innocent civilians without regard for their safety, their preparedness, or their lives.
It is a fact that many governments in the world do oppress their citizens, and such oppression is sure to lead to the formation of organizations that will fight for people’s rights, but it will never be right for an individual or an organization to take the life of innocent people to prove a point. Furthermore, even if a government is interfering with the running of another country, there are forums that can be set up to resolve such matters without the need to kill innocent people.
Arguably, it would be better for a terrorist organization to call out the group or army that it is discontented with to a battleground where no innocent people will be affected, and deal with their problems the old fashioned way.
Bombing public and private establishments, kidnapping innocent civilians, attacking schools, malls, and subway stations, flying planes with civilians on board into buildings, resulting to suicide bombings, and blowing up cars are some of the tactics that terrorists use, and the nature of their tactics make it difficult for authorities to catch them before they execute their plans.
This list contains some of the most dangerous and well-known terrorist groups in the world.
10. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
The lord’s Resistance Army is a terrorist organization operating in parts of Uganda, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and parts of Southern Sudan. This movement is both a terrorist group and a cult, under the leadership of Joseph Kony, who is currently in hiding. The original intention of the group was to make Uganda peaceful and prosperous, but that quickly degenerated into acts of murder, child sex slavery, abductions, mutilations, and the recruitment of child soldiers. Although the LRA is almost defunct, between 2008 and 2011 the group is believed to have killed at least 2,300 people, abducted thousands, and displaced hundreds of thousands of people in the central regions of Africa.
9. Forças Armadas Revolucionárias da Colômbia (FARC)
Translated to English, this organization is called The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia and it is believed to have been formed during the period of the conflict between the conservatives and the Liberals in Colombia. This organization claims to be an anti-imperialist group that fights for communism, defends the poor farmers, and fights against the privatization of natural resources in Colombia. In order to do this, the group employs guerrilla tactics and other violent means. FARC makes money through extortion, kidnappings, drug trafficking, and illegal mining, and many countries around the world classify it as a terrorist organization owing to the numerous bombings, killings, and assassinations that it has committed in Colombia.
8. Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan
This group is mainly made up of active Islamist groups along the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the main objectives of the groups is to overthrow the government of Pakistan, fight the NATO forces in Afghanistan, and set up sharia law as the only law in Afghanistan. The current leader of this terrorist organization is called Mullah Fazlullah, a devoted anti-Islamabad, anti-Western, and proponent of harsh tactics. The strong ties that the group has with Al-Qaeda makes them to openly threaten to attack the US and Europe over Osama Bin Laden’s death. This group claimed responsibility for the car-bomb attack that failed to go off in Times Square, it has threatened to attack the UK because of its participation in the War on Terror in Afghanistan, it has endorsed numerous suicide bombings, it has bombed the Pakistani UN offices, it has attacked army and naval stations in Pakistan, among other despicable acts.
Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT) is a terrorist group whose name means Army of the Righteous. This group operates in areas in and around Pakistan and India, and it has a reputation of being one of the largest and most skilled militant groups in the area. The LT started off as a military wing of the Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad in the early 1900s, which is an Islamic fundamentalist organization that used to oppose the then Soviet Union presence in Afghanistan. This group has conducted several attacks aimed at Indian troops as well as against innocent civilians. This includes an attack on India’s parliament in 2001 where 12 people lost their lives, an attack in Mumbai in 2008 where over 160 civilians lost their lives, the 2006 attacks on Mumbai commuter trains where over 180 people died, and many other acts of terror in India. One of their objectives is to establish an Islamic state in South-East Asia where they can exercise and uphold the sharia law.
Founded in 2006, Al-Shabaab is a terrorist group based in East Africa whose main objective is the elimination of foreign military forces in Somalia and the formation of an Islamic government. This terrorist group is well funded, with most of its income coming from kidnappings and ransoms, piracy, illegal trade, illegal collection of taxes, and obtaining sponsorships from other terrorist organizations. Al-Shabaab’s area of operation is around Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda, where they carry out deadly attacks against civilians through car bombs, indiscriminate shootings, the use of suicide bombers, and many more. Some of their worst attacks on Kenyan soil include the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi in 2013 where over 60 people lost their lives, and an attack at a university in Kenya where 148 students died in 2015.
Hezbollah, which is a word that means Party of Allah, is a military group that is slowly falling off the list of international terror groups but is still considered a terrorist group in many parts of the world. Hezbollah, which is a group of very strong militants formed by Muslim clerics, came up and as a form of resistance to Israel’s 1982 occupation of Lebanon. This group has been linked to numerous terrorist activities including Embassy bombings, hostage crisis situations, flight attacks, and the killing of innocent civilians in Lebanon and especially Israel. Today Hezbollah has representatives in the Lebanese government as high up as in the cabinet, and the group has not been in the media for terrorism in the recent past.
4. Boko Haram
Boko Haram is the worst African terrorist group based in West Africa, and it is no surprise that it has close ties with Al-Qaeda. Although, like other terrorist groups, Boko Haram engages in kidnapping, bombing buildings and killing innocent civilians, propagating for and adopting the extreme and intolerant sharia law, and taking part in other inhuman activities, this group is uniquely against western education. In fact, the name Boko Haram actually means “Western education is sin.” Boko Haram’s founder and sect leader is Mohammed Yusuf, and under his leadership the terrorist group has conducted some of the worst crimes against innocent people, including kidnapping over 200 Nigerian schoolgirls, killing over 5,000 civilians over a five-year period between 2009 and 2014, and threatening to take over governments.
The Taliban was founded by Mullah Mohammed Omar, the man who continues to be the group’s spiritual leader since its inception in 1994. At one time, the United States assisted the Taliban in unshackling Afghanistan from Soviet Clutches and the group later ruled Afghanistan and formed the government between 1996 and 2001. Today, the Taliban is one of the worst terrorist groups in the world. Some of the ways this group makes money includes engaging in activities such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, and extortion. The Taliban is also responsible for indiscriminately killing innocent people in the name of jihad, with one of their ugliest and most senseless attacks being on a high school in Northern Pakistan where it killed over 130 students and teachers. The group is also famous for perpetrating heinous human rights violations such as raping women, ethnic cleansing, etc.
ISIS is an acronym standing for Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and this group is fast becoming one of the worst terrorist groups in the world, operating especially in Iraq, Syria, Palestine and most of the Middle-East. This is a jihadist extremist group with its leadership hailing from the Suni Arabs living in Iraq and Syria. ISIS has affiliate groups in different parts of the world, including groups in Southern Asia, Nigeria, and Libya. This group lays claim to political, military, and religious authority of all Muslims around the world, and it has approximately 80,000 fighters pushing for its cause. One of the worst things about ISIS is its use of deadly measures, indiscriminately killing civilians and children alike. They have been known to start firing at civilians, treat their captives inhumanly, abuse people sexually, and do all sorts of evil against non-Muslims.
Al-Qaeda is without a doubt the most dangerous terrorist group in the world, whose objective is the unity of all Muslims through jihad, and the interpretation of the Sharia Law to the letter. The founder of this group is the late Osama Bin Laden, a once most wanted man by the United States and many other governments but who was killed by US forces in 2011. This terrorist organization is so dangerous because it carries out acts of terror that result in the loss of numerous lives, with one of the most notable attacks being the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US soil where over 3,000 Americans lost their lives. This terrorist group is famous for planting suicide bombers in crowded places, killing all people they consider infidels, Christians, and Americans and they do not hesitate to kill anyone they feel is against their cause.