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Terrorism as a Global Wave Phenomenon: Anarchist Wave

Summary and Keywords

The First Wave of global terrorism began in Russia. After Russia was humiliated in the Crimean War (1853–1856), Czar Alexander II decided to make it more like Western states which seemed so much stronger. In 1861, he freed 25 million serfs, roughly one third of Russia’s population. He then established local self-governments, “Westernized” the judicial system, abolished capital punishment, greatly expanded universities, etc. But the changes proved difficult. The serfs had little money to buy properties necessary for their livelihoods, and the Czar refused to establish a national legislature. Narodnaya Volya (People’s Will), a small group greatly influenced by anarchists, was formed in 1879, and in 1881 it assassinated Alexander II. Members were university students; women constituted one third of the group, the first time women had ever been involved in terrorist activity. Russian terrorism persisted for 40 odd years, though individual groups rarely lasted more than 5 years.

Assassinating prominent public figures was the principal tactic, and martyrdom was then sought in court trials. Efforts were always made to seek international support, i.e., foreign bases, Diasporas, other radical groups, etc. Two kinds of terrorist groups emerged on six continents: nationalists and anarchists. Anarchists produced the “Golden Age of Assassination” (1892–1901) in which more monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers were assassinated than ever before. The Wave’s high point was from 1890 to 1910. But that high point produced furious antiterrorist sentiment and no significant support from the poor, forcing many anarchists to abandon assassination and seek other methods like syndicalism for achieving their goals.

Major counter-terror practices were developed that are still employed. Police forces were re-made. They had always worn uniforms and responded to illegal actions after they occurred, but pre-emption efforts were then required to make it impossible for acts to happen. Uniforms were removed to observe actions without being identified in the process and to enable infiltration. Prisoners could not be treated as criminals. To avoid producing martyrs, Russia abandoned public trials. In 1 year, more than 1,000 were sentenced to death and were hanged or shot secretly within 24 hours. The treatment of criminals depended on the acts they committed. But terrorists had information about actions others would do, and torture was revived everywhere to gain that information. Terrorists could not be treated as prisoners of war because they did not follow the rules of war.

Keywords: First Wave, Alexander II, university students, Narodnaya Volya, terrorist brigade, assassination, anarchists, “Propaganda of the Deed,”, women, immigrants, “Golden Age of Assassination,”, empirical international relations theory, Global Terrorism, Sacco & Vanzetti, syndicalism, remaking the police, Anarchist, Anticolonial, New Left and Religious Waves

Origin of the First Wave

The technological transformations in communication, transportation and explosive facilities which made global terrorism possible are described in the related article “Terrorism as Global Phenonenon: Overview”. This article examines the First Wave’s origin, development, and decline. Irish immigrants in the United States produced the first international terrorist groups, the Skirmishers and the Clan Na Gae (Clutterbuck, 2004).1 But their object was restricted to Irish independence and they made no contact with foreign terrorist groups. The Russian terrorists were committed to transforming Russia too, but they also wanted to reconstruct the globe. While Narodnaya Volya confined its terror to Russia, it reached out to many to foreign sympathizers in Europe and the Americas. It is also crucial to note the Mikhail Bakunin, the most important Russian anarchist theorist, who inspired Narodnaya Volya’s tactics spent most of his life in Western Europe generating anarchist thought and activity. Also, members of Narodnaya Volya’s immediate Russian successor, the Terrorist Brigade, sometimes were stationed abroad and trained foreigners who returned to fight in their own countries. By the time the First Wave was over, the six inhabited continents experienced some terrorist activity. Most terrorist groups shared some special features, i.e., distinctive tactics animated by “propaganda of the deed” assassination, martyrdom, etc.

The First Wave produced populist and nationalist concerned with secession groups, too, but the anarchists, the most important global element, received much more attention. The First Wave’s decline is partly related to the development of new kind of police force that sought to prevent deeds rather than arresting individuals after they committed them.

In Russia, where the First Wave began, the government dramatically inspired the hopes of the population. Western European states had humiliated Russia in the Crimean War (1853–1856) convincing Czar Alexander II that major popular reforms making Russia more like Western states in some important respects would also strengthen its military capacities. In 1861, he freed around 25 million serfs, roughly one third of Russia’s population with a stroke of the pen. By contrast, in the same year, the United States began a 4-year Civil War to free 4 million slaves, and in the process 750,000 soldiers died. The Czar then established local self-governments and a “Westernized” the judicial system. He abolished capital punishment, greatly expanded universities, and relaxed censorship powers. He became known everywhere as the “Czar Liberator.” But the hopes inspired were then frustrated. The government lacked funds for the serfs to buy land they needed, and the Czar refused to establish a national legislature. These dramatic disappointments created “anarchist” and “populist” movements in the late 1860s, which turned to terror after several unsuccessful demonstrations and riots.

A “new generation,” largely composed of university students with physical science majors, developed the new terrorism. All members of the Executive Committee of Narodnaya Volya, the first terrorist organization, were in their twenties. While fighting for the impoverished, most members came from the upper classes, which made their parents the enemy. The gentry supplied more than half the recruits; the clergy and well-to-do merchants produced 12% and 10%, respectively. Previous terrorist groups had no women, but they became prominent, creating “legends, surrounded by an aura of romance that defies critics” (Knight, 1974, p. 140). Approximately 21% of Narodnaya Volya and 33% of its original Executive Committee were women, a pattern repeated in successive Russian terror groups.2 Oddly, a decade earlier, Sergei Nechayev anticipated their impending importance, describing them as our “most priceless assets” (Nechayev, 2006, p. 133).

Narodnaya Volya was described by different commentators as populist and anarchist, with a vision of socialism organized around rural communes. But the details were extremely hazy. Members were not asked for their views on “socialism, anarchism, or constitutional republics,” and this tenet sustained by a singular commitment to some important popular political change3). The group emerged in 1879 and in 1880 a member Nicholas Morozov, published The Terroristic Struggle, emphasizing that success depended on successor groups continuing the process:

Success of the terrorist movement will be inevitable if the future terroristic struggle will become a deed of not only one separate group, but of an idea, which cannot be destroyed by people. Then in the place of the fighters who will perish new revolutionaries will appear until the goal of the movement will be achieved.

(Morozov, 2006, p. 147)

Crushed in 1884, Narodnaya Volya inspired other Russian groups, e.g., the Terrorist Brigade (Socialist Revolutionary Combat Organization) of 1902–1905 and 2007–2009.4 The Maximalists (1905–1907) split from the Terrorist Brigade, bringing more anarchists into the Russian scene. In 1918, Fanya Kaplan, a former member of the Terrorist Brigade, infuriated by Vladimir Lenin the Communist Party leader’s decision to ban the Social Revolutionary Party, attempted to assassinate him and wounded him severely. The next year, the Underground, an anarchist group, attacked the Moscow Communist Party headquarters during a meeting, killing 12 and wounding 55. These two attacks gave the Communist Party justification for instituting state terror to eliminate anarchists and establish a totalitarian state. Morozov was both right and wrong; Narodnaya Volya inspired many groups for four decades, but all failed (Ivianski, 2006a).5

Tactics: Assassination, Martyrdom, and the Search for Publicity

The 19th-century anarchist theorists provided some of the First Wave’s intellectual foundations and the rationale for its tactics and extraordinary anarchist international activities that defined its global character. The Frenchman Pierre Proudhon was the first to describe himself as an anarchist and argued that extensive commercial developments created global ties that undermined the significance of states. In What is Property? Or, an Inquiry into the Principle of Right and Government (1840), he wrote “property is theft” and alienates masses everywhere. But violence could not bring about the collapse of states. Federations of small worker and peasant communes would attract the masses and disintegrate all state ties, a process that would take time.

Virtually all 19th- and 20th-century anarchists remained deeply committed to Proudhon’s description of the new world’s characteristics, but many felt that violence was necessary to create it. The Russian anarchist Mikhail Bakunin, Narodnaya Volya’s godfather, was the most important European anarchist committed to violence. His interesting biography illustrates that commitment and the First Wave’s global character. In his early life, he was a junior officer in Russia’s Imperial Guard stationed in Russia’s Polish territories. He resigned when he witnessed how the Russians treated the Poles. He then left Russia and participated in various uprisings in the French Revolution’s aftermath discussed in “Terrorism as a Global Phenomenon: An Overview.” A resident of Paris when the 1848 revolution exploded, he became involved in street riots. He then left to participate in an uprising in Dresden, Saxony (1849), one of the last revolutionary efforts of 1848, which aimed to create a national German state. He was captured and handed over to the Russian government, which imprisoned him for 7 years.

When Bakunin was released in 1864, he returned to the West and settled in Italy for 4 years, where he became an anarchist and had a significant influence in violent revolutionary activities there. In 1866, he created a secret organization of revolutionaries named the Alliance of Revolutionary Socialists, which had members in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Belgium, England, France, Spain, and Italy, and included Russia and Polish members. His involvement in Spanish politics helped Spain develop Europe’s largest anarchist movement. In 1870, he participated in the uprising in Lyons, France, which attempted to transform that city into a commune when Napoleon III was ousted after Prussia defeated France in the Franco-Prussian War.

The international character of radical activity continued to grow. In 1864, the First Internationale (International Workingmen’s Association, IWA) was established. It lasted 8 years, and according to the association, it had 8 million members at its peak. A vast array of radicals, that is, anarchists (led by Proudhon), socialists, and communists participated, largely from Western Europe. Their representatives convened in congresses held in different Western states, usually on an annual basis. Karl Marx, a relatively unknown person, appeared in the first Congress in London, where his performance there and in subsequent Congress meetings gave him considerable significance. In the Congress in Geneva (1868), Bakunin and his followers joined, and the First International quickly became polarized into two camps led by Marx and Bakunin. One striking difference between the two was that anarchists aimed to destroy capitalism without getting involved in the existing political system, while the Marxists believed that one could transform the system be getting involved in it, especially when it had developed parliamentary forms. The ideological tensions between Marxists and anarchists continued to grow throughout the First Wave.

This conflict took a dramatic form after 1871; an enormous catastrophe occurred when many radicals including anarchists from France and other countries took control of the French capital establishing the Paris Commune, which abolished private property. The Commune lasted only 2 months before the French standing army crushed it, killing more than 20,000, and no other elements of the French population helped the communards. Many radicals felt that it was clear that a mass insurrection could not cope with standing armies in the present context, and in the next Congress meeting in The Hague in 1872, Bakunin and many supporters were thrown out of the organization for insisting that a commitment to violence was still crucial. Bakunin responded by saying that the Marxist approach to politics made it certain that if they controlled a state the residents would continue suffer in the same manner they did now:

Any state, under pain of perishing and seeing itself devoured by neighboring states, must tend toward complete power, and having become powerful. it must embark on a career of conquest so that it will not itself be conquered; for two similar but competing powers cannot coexist without trying to destroy each other. Whoever says “conquest,” under whatever form or name, says conquered peoples, enslaved and in bondage.

It is in the nature of the State to break the solidarity of the human race. The State cannot preserve itself as an integrated entity and in all its strength unless it sets itself up as the supreme be-all and end-all for its own subjects, though not for the subjects of other unconquered states. This inevitably results in the supremacy of state morality and state interests over universal human reason and morality, thus rupturing the universal solidarity of humanity. The principle of political or state morality is very simple. The State being the supreme objective, everything favorable to the growth of its power is good; everything contrary to it, however humane and ethical, is bad. This morality is called patriotism. The International is the negation of patriotism and consequently the negation of the State. If, therefore. Mr. Marx and his friends of the German Social Democratic party should succeed in introducing the State principle into our program, they would destroy the International.

(Bakunin, 1873)

The Paris Commune catastrophe made many anarchists uneasy about their violent activities, too, because the French population did not help the Communards and so many people died. Was there another way to employ violence that would enable them to avoid this situation? Some 14 years before the Paris catastrophe, the Italian Duke Carlo Pisacane contended that violence could be used to attract popular support much more than those employing arguments. “Ideas spring from deeds and not the other way around” and “the people will not be free when they are educated, but educated when they are free.” Violence was necessary not only to draw attention to or generate publicity for, a cause, but also to inform, educate, and ultimately rally the masses behind the revolution (Hoffman, 2006, p. 5). Bakunin, after his experience in the failure of the Lyons uprising in 1870, wrote, “We must spread our principles, not with words but with deeds, for this is the most popular, the most potent, and the most irresistible form of propaganda” (Letters, 1972).6 After the Paris Commune catastrophe, the Russian anarchist Peter Kropotkin thought it essential to emphasize that those employing “propaganda of the deed” had to use tactics that did not produce mass casualties. “The question is, then, not so much how to avoid revolutions, as how to attain the greatest results with the most limited amounts of civil war, the smallest number of victims, and a minimum of mutual embitterment” (Memoirs, 1899, p. 290–291). But it was nearly a decade after the Paris Commune before most anarchists agreed on which tactics would produce the most “propaganda” and the fewest casualties.

Those who introduced propaganda of the deed did not stress assassination as the most productive tactic to generate attention and reduce casualties. Indeed, there was only one prominent assassination attempt before the Paris Commune. Dmitry Karakozov, an apparent anarchist, acted by himself and made an unsuccessful effort to assassinate Czar Alexander II in 1866, but the act had little effect on the political scene and did not generate other efforts.

However in 1878, Vera Zasulich, acting alone, transformed the political scene by wounding St. Petersburg’s Governor who had flogged a political prisoner even though the Czar had outlawed corporal punishment. When the judge asked why she threw her weapon to the floor after wounding the Governor, she proclaimed she was a “terrorist not a criminal” (Ulam, 1977, p. 269). The jury declared her innocent and then carried her out on its shoulders to a jubilant crowd. Unaffiliated revolutionaries began to strike in cities where prominent officials lived. Within a year, Russia experienced four major assassinations. One involved Sergei Stepniak, a Russian émigré who returned from London to assassinate the head of Russia’s secret police with a dagger.7 Anarchists in Spain, Italy, and Germany followed suit with four assassinations. A year after Zasulich’s act, Narodnaya Volya (Will of the People) the first modern terror organization was created. Nicholas Morozov, a founding member and the organization’s leading theorist proclaimed that Zasulich’s shot was the starting point for the whole struggle,

now something is about to happen . . . Now our Charlotte Corday has appeared, and the William Tells will follow soon.

(Ivianski, 2006a, p. 79)

Narodnaya Volya followed Zasulich in describing its activity as terrorist, a practice that became very common in the First Wave but was rejected by Second Wave groups for reasons to be discussed in the article "Terrorism as a Global Phenomenon: Anticolonial Wave" (see Related Articles) .8

Narodnaya Volya and most of its Russian successors were committed to assassination as their principal tactic, assassinations planned by organizations even when a single individual committed the act. But in Western Europe and the Americas, anarchists usually operated as “lone wolves,” a term that Ze’ev Iviansky first defined and employed to mean an individual whose actions were “neither initiated nor backed by any underground organization” (Iviansky, 1997, p. 51).9

One reason for this commitment was the importance of the tyrannicide tradition in the West in which those who killed tyrants were honored—a tradition which the Hebrew Bible, Greek, Roman and medieval Christian political theorists developed. The two most famous secular assassins were Marcus Brutus, who tried to save the Roman Republic by killing Julius Caesar, and William Tell, the mythical symbol of Swiss patriotism, who killed the Austrian appointed ruler of a Swiss community. They became heroes in plays, operas, and films.10 Indeed, Friedrich Schiller’s play “William Tell” inspired Morozov to join Narodnaya Volya (Ivianski, 2006a).

The tyrant usurped constitutional powers. But terrorists aimed to eliminate systems not individuals, making it necessary to assassinate again and again, which meant that as the wave developed, the guilt or innocence of a particular victim became less pertinent. The rationale for terror is interesting. It was believed that popular uprisings against standing armies would rarely succeed and would always produce enormous peasant and worker casualties as the experience of the Paris Commune demonstrated. Terrorism enabled protesters to overcome both problems. The tiny size of terrorist groups allowed them to make surprise strikes, a practice standing armies could not cope with. By singling out individuals whose status and activities kept the system intact, the number of casualties on both sides would be very limited, leading Morozov in 1879 to declare “the terrorist revolution is the only just form of revolution.”

Political assassination in the present circumstances, the sole means of self-defense and one of the best methods of agitation. By dealing a blow at the very center of governmental organization, its awful force will give a mighty shock to the whole regime. This blow will transmit itself, as an electric current, throughout the entire state and will cause disruption and confusion in all its activities.

(Ivianski, 2006a, p. 80)

But when the French Revolution turned to terror, it was not seen as a way to reduce casualties and protect the innocent. Victims did not violate the law, but their character was inappropriate for the new world being created. Thus, the conventional rules for crimes in peace and war focused on acts were irrelevant, and the number of victims was likely to be very great.

Assassination generated advantages. The enormous publicity Alexander II’s assassination (1881) produced also created important opportunities abroad Narodnaya Volya was determined to exploit. Vera Figner said to enlist the

sympathies of European society by acquainting it with the domestic policy of our government. Thus while shaking the throne by the explosion of our bombs within the Empire, we might discredit it from without and contribute . . . to the diplomatic interference of a few countries . . . enlightened as to the international affairs of our dark tsardom. For this purpose, we had at our disposal . . . revolutionary forces . . . lost to the movement in Russia, the emigrants.

(Figner, 1927, pp. 94–95)

Individuals could commit assassinations which provided occasions for martyrdom because assassins often died even in successful efforts and if captured they would have opportunities to display their commitment in court.

Tyrannicide was conceived before bombs were available which meant that only the intended victim was likely to be killed.11 But bombs produced unintended casualties. In the first unsuccessful attempt to assassinate Alexander II, 11 were killed and 56 were injured. Narodnaya Volya made seven attempts to assassinate Alexander II, killing others each time. Assassination numbers kept multiplying, and the intended victims became less prominent, causing many more innocent deaths. But Narodnaya Volya never abandoned the tactic (Naimark, 1999, p. 172; Geifman, 1993, p. 250).12

Oddly there was no consensus on who should be assassinated. Narodnaya Volya began killing major officials before deciding to assassinate the Czar. The Terrorist Brigade returned to the original policy. Russian anarchists aimed to assassinate everyone associated with government and made robberies to gain funds; both decisions multiplied casualty numbers.

He who embarks on terrorism . . . never knows how or where to finish. The terrorist dream of a final blow with redemptive power . . . is a false dream . . . ‘Once embarked on terror cannot be brought to a halt, for it does not move forward.’ Terrorism flourishes in a step by step struggle whether it is embarked upon as a stage in some overall, long-term strategy, or perceived at the outset as a sole and total weapon. The histories of all Russian organizations prove that terror swallows everything -effort, might and means; it eats up the entire revolutionary ‘capital; even where it is perceived as but one link in the general strategy.

(Ivianski, 2006a, p. 84)

Mob terror in 18th- and 19th-century Western states left no martyrs, as the histories of the Sons of Liberty and the Ku Klux Klan illustrate. Those brought to trial never admitted responsibility or claimed credit. It took 50 years before anyone admitted being a Son of Liberty, even though many Americans celebrated the group long before. Ku Klux Klan recruits swore oaths never to reveal any organization information. Only John Brown, who led a raid on the Harper’s Ferry in 1859 to get weapons for a slave uprising, defended his decision in court, an event Ralph Waldo Emerson described as “making the gallows glorious like the Cross”; Brown’s death was celebrated in many memorial services in the North helping to precipitate the Civil War, where Union forces sang “Battle Hymn of the Republic” glorifying John Brown (Stauffer & Trodd, 2012).13

Martyrdom

politicizes the relationship between groups . . . The exemplary act of a martyr strengthens people’s courage to bear their tribulations and directs their anger to the cruel murderous adversary the source of their tribulation. (It) creates authority, escalates the struggle unifies the new “culture” by demonstrating its priority over nature.

(Klaussner, 1987, pp. 573–574)

Just as Christians believed the “blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church,” First Wave terrorists thought their courtroom martyrs would generate an inexhaustible supply of recruits (Pernicone, 1993a, p. 149).14 In the ancient world, societies threatened by martyrdom sought ways to control the publicity effects. “Unrecorded numbers of religious martyrs, died in dungeons with their ashes cast into the sea” (Klaussner, 1987). In the United States, President McKinley’s assassin oddly refused to participate in the trial, but he was muzzled on the electric chair to prevent him from speaking there. The government refused to release its records and buried him in a grave filled with sulfuric acid to ensure a quick dissolution of his body and the problem (Jensen, 2001a, pp. 31–34).

Russian governments began to abandon public trials and juries and replace them with secret courts-martial. In one year, “the number sentenced to death—often hung or shot within twenty-four hours of sentence may have been over a thousand” (Hingley, 1970, p. 101). Another “solution” was internment for indefinite periods, one used frequently later in the Third and Fourth Waves.

The belief she would become a martyr revitalized Vera Figner waiting for a court to proclaim what she imagined would be a death sentence.

My thought for some reason turned to the fate of revolutionary movements in general in the West and at home; to the continuity of our ideas and of their dissemination from one country to another. Pictures of time past long past of people who had died long ago awoke in my memory, my imagination worked as never before.

(Figner, 1927, p. 174)

“Legends surrounded by the aura of romance” enveloped Russian women (Knight, 1974, p. 140). One refused to appeal her sentence and “went to her death like a holiday festival.” Soldiers caused outrage by raping a woman who begged to be shot. No wonder decades later, Soviet dictator Stalin tried to expunge all these references; “if we bring our children on stories of the People’s Will, we should make terrorists out of them” (Ulam, 1977, p. 365).

First Wave martyrdom resembled the Christian form; is it a coincidence that nearly 12% of the Russian terrorists were children of Russian priests? Christian martyrs did not kill; they were prisoners who accepted death rather than deny their faith.15 The most impressive First Wave martyrs refused to plea bargain or deny a deed (Stepniak, 1973, p. 40), one reason why some commentators in our era have called anarchist martyrs “suicide bombers” (Anderson, 2006).

Innocent radicals were sometimes executed and became global martyrs. Sacco and Vanzetti, two Italian-born anarchists in the United States, were unfairly convicted of murdering two persons during an armed robbery in Massachusetts (1920). Desires to revenge them inspired a series of U.S. bombings, including the famous Wall Street one (Avrich, 1996, p. 364).16 A day after their execution in 1927, violent demonstrations occurred in many foreign cities including Geneva, London, Paris, Amsterdam, Johannesburg, and Tokyo. The U.S. consulate in Bulgaria and embassy in Argentina were bombed. Considerable doubts about the case kept developing. On the execution’s 50th anniversary, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis established “Sacco and Vanzetti Memorial Day,” stating they had been unfairly convicted and “any disgrace should be forever removed from their names.” Francisco Ferrer’s case in Spain produced similar global responses. Falsely charged in a court-martial, the “judicial murder” provoked massive riots in many major Western cities, where Spanish consulates and embassies were bombed (Jensen, 2001b).

First Wave groups refused to take hostages for several reasons. Hostages were largely taken by states for international political reasons, and Russian terrorists did not want to be identified with states. When Paris Commune members took hostages, the Commune paid a horrendous price. The last reason was that criminals took hostages and the terrorists did not want to be identified as criminals (Geifman, 1993).17

When Bakunin discussed propaganda of the deed he said the impact of a deed depended on where it occurred:

Terrorist acts in the countryside passed virtually unnoticed. They did not excite the villager . . . who did not experience the fear the dangers, and the joy of a struggle . . . (I)n the city acts of terror, like electric impulses . . . ran through the minds of the young and society and raised their spirits.

(Ulam, 1977, p. 269)

To counter government efforts to present its case abroad, Figner sent agents throughout Europe

to check the streams of false rumors and canards . . . furnished to the European public through the daily press it was necessary . . . to supply the foreign agents with correspondence from Russia covering all events in the Russian revolutionary world. I sent Hartman (the international propaganda head) . . . copies of letters . . . revolutionary publications, pictures of . . . condemned revolutionists in Russian magazines and newspapers. After the assassination of Alexander II . . . I sent him a report of the event including the letter of the Executive Committee to the new Czar Alexander III.

(Ulam, 1977, pp. 95–96)

The potential value of foreign states was used in other ways. Terrorist Brigade members crossed international borders to seek refuge and returned home at their convenience. While abroad, they established foreign bases. Terrorist Brigade headquarters were in Geneva (1904), where many foreign terrorists resided, and the organization launched attacks from Finland, a nation linked to Russia with considerable legal autonomy. Geneva and St. Petersburg were situated on different ends of Europe, but three days after Count Von Plehve was assassinated in St. Petersburg (1904), all surviving participants reconvened in Geneva to plan their next move. The Central Committee moved frequently to Brussels, Paris, and other foreign capitals (Savinkov, 1931). It built an explosive laboratory in two cities to teach students how to make and use bombs; some came from the Far East (i.e., India and China) to learn techniques to use back home (Hees, 1993). The Russian diaspora circulated printed materials, gave lectures, and raised funds.

In 1904, the Socialist Revolutionary Party, which maintained the Terrorist Brigade, was faced with a more painful situation. In the 1890s, anarchists crossed international borders to assassinate democratic government leaders. To retain foreign sympathies the Party proclaimed

to all the citizens of the civilized world the compulsory severity of our methods . . . must not becloud the situation . . . We condemn publicly as did our heroic predecessors the use of terror . . . in free countries. But in Russia where despotism precludes any open political struggle we are compelled to interpose the law of revolution against the law of tyranny.

(Savinkov, 1931, p. 65)

Foreign states that accepted political refugees did so knowing Russia would be provoked. Okhrana Russia’s secret police force, developed after Alexander II’s assassination, was then used to shape the foreign scene by penetrating Russian groups and inducing them to commit self-destructive acts:

The most notorious provocation occurred in Paris in 1890, when Arkadiy Harting . . . organized a . . . team of bomb throwers and then betrayed them to the Paris police. These heavily publicized arrests helped persuade the French public of the dangers posed by Russian revolutionaries in France.

(Fisher, 1997)

Okhrana subsidized journalists, sympathetic periodicals, and even created French groups to help. It also forged “The Protocols of Zion,” a fictitious plot by Jews to govern the world. The forgery was created to punish the Jewish community because many Jews joined the terrorist organizations. The police organized pogroms (massacres) to compel the Jewish community to turn completely against the terrorists. Ironically, the major Russian anarchist Bakunin was also an anti-Semite (Bakunin, 1972). The pogroms provoked a massive Jewish emigration; nearly 2½ million Jews from the Russian empire migrated to the United States during the First Wave. Hitler later used the Protocols to “justify” the Holocaust. Islamic groups employ them, too—a matter discussed below in the Fourth Wave article.

Russian revolutionaries sought aid from foreign radical groups. The Second Internationale waged a prolonged campaign of demonstrations contributing to the Italian government’s decision not to extradite Michael Gotz, a Terrorist Brigade leader. German Social Democrats provided “legal assistance when Russian radicals were tried in German courts for subversive and criminal activities” (Geifman, 1993, p. 201). After Alexander II’s assassination a Second Internationale Congress in London enthusiastically approved “all illegal tactics including the use of chemistry.”

All the eminent figures in the socialistic world of Western Europe promised . . . their cooperation . . . Karl Marx . . . sent the Committee his autographed portrait together with his expressed agreement to serve . . . Marx showed the letter to the Committee with pride.

(Chaliand & Arnaud, 2007, p. 150)18

Because Marx had denounced terrorism, his support now surprised many.

To reconcile Western liberals, Vera Figner spent a week writing a letter to Alexander III explaining that his father was assassinated because he refused to allow a national legislative assembly. The letter did not mention the group’s more radical aspirations and it

produced a sensation throughout all the European press. The most moderate and conservative periodicals expressed their approval of the demands of the Russian Nihilists finding them reasonable, just and such as had in large measure been long ago realized in the daily life of Western Europe.

(Chaliand, 2007)

Karl Marx praised the letter as displaying “cunning moderation and tact, (which) won the sympathetic approval of all Russian society.”

Appealing to sympathetic elements in the West continued to bedevil Russian terrorists. When U.S. President James Garfield, was assassinated, Vera Figner wrote an eloquent letter of condolence to the American people stating her group aimed to establish parliamentary government and that terror was always abhorrent in free societies. The letter disturbed many Second Internationale members. The problem re-emerged in the 1890s when anarchists assassinated prominent figures including those in democratic governments, and the Socialist Revolutionary Party proclaimed the following:

The compulsory severity of our methods . . . must not becloud the situation. More than any others, we condemn publicly as did our heroic predecessors of the use of terror as a measure of systematic warfare in free countries. But in Russia where despotism precludes any open political struggle and knows only lawlessness . . . we are compelled to interpose the law of revolution against the law of tyranny.

(Chaliand & Arnaud, 2007, p. 152)

The Global Spread of Anarchism

Beyond stimulating the first Russian terror campaign Vera Zasulich’ s strike on the St. Petersburg Governor provoked anarchist terror in Western Europe too. Within months German, Spanish, and Italian monarchs experienced assassination attempts. Most anarchists came from craftsmen, the more affluent element of the working class and some were intellectuals and middle-class members. Their age patterns were similar to Narodnaya Volya, but there were very few anarchist women.19

A decade after Czar Alexander II was assassinated, anarchists in the West produced the “Golden Age of Assassination” (1892–1901), the First Wave’s high point, where more monarchs, presidents, and prime ministers of major states were assassinated than ever before. Nearly every head in European states experienced several efforts:

It was not only the actual attacks that inspired fear . . . The period was rife with rumors of assassination . . . As monarchs, state ministers and police authorities grew concerned, so did society at large. Assassination attempts provoked huge demonstrations of loyalty to the state with crowds gathering in their thousands to sing patriotic hymns, to illuminate and flag their streets and to convene religious services and vigils.

(Hoffman, 2015, p. 83)

Anarchists also bombed sites where the “better classes” congregated, in cafes, an opera house, and a Barcelona Corpus Christie religious procession, killing women and children for the first time, leading the Times of London to write the following:

these deeds are not only wicked, but also contemptible to the last degree. For unspeakably cowardly it is to hurl fatal explosives among women and children! These dastardly outrages are, in the nostrils of mankind, as the fetid repulsiveness of the most nauseous of animals.

(Jensen, 2014, p. 33)

Threats were made to use chemical and biological weapons and a British newspaper falsely reported that biological weapons were used.

Many anarchists crossed international borders to make their attacks. Italians did it most often and used daggers and pistols to assassinate French President Carnot (1894), Spanish Premier Canovas (1897) and Austrian Empress Elizabeth (1898). Italy’s King Umberto I was assassinated by an Italian immigrant in the United States who crossed the Atlantic to do so. U.S. President McKinley (1901) was the only major figure assassinated by a local citizen, but the assassin’s parents were Polish immigrants. Empress Elizabeth’s assassination in Switzerland (1898) was denounced as “the most evil and most wicked among all anarchist crimes.” The New York Times wrote “Even in the disordered minds of anarchists and assassins” women are exempt. “This crime was “unexampled in its heartlessness.” She was known as Europe’s “most beautiful woman and admired everywhere for her charitable work. The Italian anarchist told the court he killed her “not because she was a woman but because she was an Empress” (Burgh, 1899, p. 326–327).20 The act stimulated states to convene in Rome immediately in an international “crusade” to wipe out anarchist terrorism (Jensen, 2014). In 1904, 13 states produced the St. Petersburg Protocol, establishing bureaus to exchange information and agreements to expel foreign anarchists. Most Western democracies refused to sign for several reasons; democracies normally granted asylum to political refugees, experienced less violence than other states, and believed terror could often encourage more states to become democratic.

But the Protocol was effective. Every foreign assassination attempt in next decade failed.21 All terrorist activity was greatly reduced in Central Europe, which strongly supported the Protocol (Zuckerman, 2003).22 The Protocol ended in 1914 when World War I began. Ironically, an assassination precipitated World War I, but as the assailant was a nationalist not an anarchist, he was not covered by the Protocol.

Nationalist separatism started in Russia where Armenian and Polish recruits were part of Russian terrorist groups and later created their own organizations.23 The activity then spread to Eastern Europe, especially the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires and then further on in Asia. A socialist dimension was often evident. Bakunin participated in several non-terrorist nationalist uprisings before becoming an anarchist, a practice which reflected and intensified the willingness of nationalists and anarchists despite their differences to see each other as comrades.

Russian terror groups, unlike their pre-global predecessors, always produced divisions over appropriate tactics and ultimate ends. The initial tension between rural and urban operations created an issue that never disappeared. Terrorist groups often lost members to radicals who did not use terror. Tensions between older and newer members were significant, and police infiltration greatly increased internal antagonisms.

Organizations had short lives. No definitive statistics are available, but a group surviving five years had a relatively long life. The Terrorist Brigade, Russia’s most durable Russian organization, survived only seven years; it was destroyed after five years and revived for two more. The Maximalists and other anarchist groups never lasted more than two years but revived themselves a decade later for two more years. The Terrorist Faction of the People’s Will, Narodnaya Volya’s first successor disappeared after one assassination attempt.24 The Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO) existed for 41 years the longest in the Wave; it survived so long partly because it was nationalist and became a tool of successive Bulgarian governments.

When anarchists in the West began exploding bombs in crowded places, many Russian terrorists became distressed. But the revolutionary bond was so scared that Ivan Kalyayev a Terrorist Brigade member (and the hero of Camus’ play “The Just Assassins”), whose concern for the innocent made him forgo his first opportunity to assassinate Grand Duke Sergei, said,

Why should the Party of Socialist Revolutionists . . . throw stones at French and Italian terrorists? Why this fear of European public opinion? It is not for us to fear . . . We must be feared and respected. Terror is power . . . I believe more in terror than in all the parliaments of the world. I will not throw a bomb into a crowded café, but it is not for me to judge Ravachol (who) justified his act by saying there are ‘no innocents.’ He is more of a comrade to me than those to whom this proclamation is addressed.

(Savinkov, 1931, p. 72)

In the Far East, virtually all terrorist groups were described as anarchist, but the term was appropriate only in Japan. India’s first terrorist campaigns were in 1907–1912 and 1914–1918. A British police raid found two documents assessing the value of Russian populist experiences:

The system of the Bengali revolutionaries does not of course fit exactly with the Russian scheme (because) adaptation of differences of country and race, national customs and tendencies was necessary. . . . The dominant religious element is entirely absent from the Russian propaganda but the underlying principles are the same and easily discernable.

(Silvestri & Breen, 2009, p. 3)

Japan’s dramatic victory over Russia (1904–1905) demolished a widespread Asian view the West’s great military strength signified racial superiority (Marks, 2005).25 “If the rice-eating Jap is capable of throwing the meat-eating Russian into utter rout, cannot the rice-eating Indian do the same to the British?” a Calcutta newspaper asked (Silvestri & Breen, 2009). When the British decided in 1905 to divide Bengal, India’s largest province hoping to blunt dominant nationalist sentiment there, Hindus launched mass demonstrations that soon turned to terror. The primary organization the Self-Culture Association (Dacca Anushilan Samiti) (Ray, 1999) and its offshoot, the New Era (Jugantar) had ties to the Hindu Diaspora. As in the Russian case, more than 80% were students from the better castes (Silvestri & Breen, 2009). They sought British and Muslim targets and gathered funds through robberies, occasionally making Hindus victims if they were administration members. Recruits were sworn in a temple of Kali, the deity the ancient Thugs worshipped (Rapoport, 1984):

There before the image of the Goddess Kali, members took the vow with a Gita (a scripture urging them to fight a righteous war) on the head and a sword in the hand. At the ceremony a white goat resembling the Englishman was sacrificed before the Goddess.

(Ray, 1999, p. 37)26

A picture found in the organization’s headquarters shows “Kali dancing, and the several heads which form her garland and the various limbs and heads lying above receiving the attention of crows and jackals are white” (Ray, 1999, p. 17). The uprising failed. Muslims helped the British and the police quickly infiltrated the group. “The revolutionaries often acted on impulse and emotion without proper plans or precautions, and had only short-term goals” (Ray, 1999, p. 39).

Chinese terrorists aimed to remove the Manchu dynasty, China’s government for several centuries. But the dynasty originated in Manchuria, and the rebels denounced it as a foreign imposition. A republic would increase China’s unity and strength to prevent foreign interventions. The Chinese had an assassination tradition that transformed some assassins into popular heroes, but unlike the West, the honor granted depended primarily on whether the assassin died in the effort. In the first assassination campaign (1903–1907), eight separate attempts occurred, but only one intended victim died, an attack supposedly linked to an uprising that never materialized. A woman was supposed to lead the uprising, the first Chinese woman ever involved in the role, a decision probably inspired by Russian terrorist activity.

In 1910, the Chinese Revolutionary Alliance under Sun Yat-sen’s leadership promised to “restore China to the Chinese, establish a republic and distribute land equally” (Tongmenghui, 2009). Students sent to Paris and Tokyo by the government believing they would return to help “modernize” the country became instead major figures in the uprising (Scalapino & Yu, 1961; Harrison, 2001). Assassins became a minor element in a successful mass military uprising that received funds from the Chinese diaspora (Krebs, 1981, p. 68). Rebels had bases in Japan and British Singapore: some Koreans and Japanese joined the Chinese revolutionaries.

Japanese anarchist movements never got far. Anarchists organized demonstrations against the outbreak of the Russo–Japanese War in 1904. But later they joined riots against the Treaty of Portsmouth, which ended the war and gave Japan much less than the anarchists demanded. Perhaps the odd contradiction between the two efforts perhaps can be explained by the belief that riots against the peace treaty seriously threatened the system and would produce chaos.

In 1907, anarchists together with some socialists planned a systematic terror campaign to be led by Denjirō Kōtoku, who was deeply influenced by European anarchists. Recruits came from an unusual source in the history of terrorism, relatively poor families; most completed only elementary school (Plotkin, 1974). The first strike planned was the assassination of the Emperor, a wholly unprecedented act; Japanese considered their Emperor divine, and no assassination attempt had ever been made. One conspirator explained the decision:

Because there was the myth surrounding the imperial family, there was the desire on my part to talk about the making of a bomb and the utilization of this as an attack on the myth of the emperor to show that that the blood of the emperor was no different from that of the common man.

(Plotkin, 1974, p. 61)

Then, a series of general strikes, assassination of capitalists, fires, and attacks on government facilities were visualized. But before any action was taken, 26 participants were captured in 1910. No public protests of the trials occurred and other movement members did not regard those convicted as heroes or martyrs:

Because of . . . the crime for which they were accused—conspiracy to assassinate the divine symbol of the state- Kotoku and his followers did not become martyrs to the socialist or anarchist cause. The socialists feared total loss of support if they identified with such criminals . . . and (the) anarchist movement came to an end. . . . The next generation of protestors and agitators could not attack the imperial institution as a way to bring about change, but rather they could attack the politicians in the name of the emperor to influence change.

(Plotkin, 1974, p. 7)

In the 1911 “Great Treason Conspiracy” trial, all potentialities of Japanese terror were destroyed (Stanley, 1943).

Decline of the First Wave

The First Wave began to decline before World War I, and by the mid-1920s, around four decades after it began, it was basically over. In its high point (1890–1910), terror activity occurred in the six inhabited continents and at least 38 states and/or special parts of empires, Russia, France, Germany, Ireland, England, Belgium, Netherlands, Austro-Hungary, Finland, Poland, Armenia, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Serbia, Greece, Romania, Macedonia, Bulgaria, the United States, Finland, Ottoman Empire, India, China, Korea, Japan, Egypt, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Haiti, Mexico , Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, the Philippines, Ethiopia and Australia. After 1914, only around ten states experienced terror; all were in Europe or the Americas: Italy, Spain, France Russia, Portugal, Bulgaria, the United States, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. A few isolated terror incidents occurred in some of these states in the 1930s, but only the activities in Spain were significant then (Vizetelly, 1911, pp. 293 ff. Joll, 1980, pp. 120–129; Cole, 1994, pp. 395 ff.). There were three major ingredients in the First Wave’s decline: the inability of organizations to achieve success, the decision of many anarchists to become syndicalists, and the changed practices of the police.

The hope of success is the stimulant for all waves, that hope diminishes when there are no successes, especially when many efforts are attempted. In the First Wave, failures everywhere made it more and more difficult to get new recruits and new organizations after the first 20 years, especially outside Russia and in areas where anarchists dominated.

Ironically, the First Wave’s bloodiest incidents occurred during its decline. The 1920, the Wall Street Bombing was the Wave’s deadliest incident, killing 38 and injuring 143. It remained the deadliest terrorist attack in American history until the Fourth Wave’s Oklahoma City Bombing 75 years later (Gage, 2014). The anti-anarchist immigration laws led to the deportation of Luigi Galleani and 500 others and made anarchists think that bombing Wall Street, the “center of capitalism,” was an appropriate “act of revenge.”

In 1921, the Diana Theatre in Milan, Italy, was bombed; 21 were killed and 159 injured. The aim was to kill Milan’s Police Chief, who was apparently abusing prisoners—editors of a daily anarchist newspaper. But the police chief was unhurt. Not until 1980, during the Third Wave, did Italy experience a more deadly terrorist massacre, i.e., the Bologna train station bombing, in which 85 were killed and more than 200 were wounded. The neo-fascist terrorist organization Armed Revolutionary Nuclei carried it out.

Anarchist intellectuals who had supported assassination began doubting their original commitment. As early as 1887, Peter Kropotkin wrote, “a structure based on centuries of history cannot be destroyed with a few kilos of dynamite” (Billington, 1998, p. 47). Eight years later the Italian Errico Malatesta argued,

Violence used to another's hurt, which is the most brutal form of struggle between men can assume, is eminently corrupting. It tends, by its very nature, to suffocate the best sentiments of man, and to develop all the antisocial qualities, ferocity, hatred, revenge, the spirit of domination and tyranny, contempt of the weak, servility towards the strong. And this harmful tendency arises also when violence is used for a good end. . . . Anarchists who rebel against every sort of oppression and struggle for the integral liberty of each and who ought thus to shrink instinctively from all acts of violence which cease to be mere resistance to oppression and become oppressive in their turn are also liable to fall into the abyss of brutal force. . . . The excitement caused by some recent explosions and the admiration for the courage with which the bomb-throwers faced death, suffices to cause many anarchists to forget their program, and to enter on a path which is the most absolute negation of all anarchist ideas and sentiments.

(Malatesta, 1895)27

French anarchist Fernand Pelloutier argued in 1895 that anarchists should abandon “the individual dynamiter” and re-engage in the labor movement (Graham, 2005). Soon afterward, syndicalism, often called anarcho-syndicalism or revolutionary syndicalism, developed in France and spread to many countries in Europe and the Americas. In 1922, syndicalism established a global bond in the IWA (International Workers’ Association), which had several million members (Damier, 2009). A new version of Proudhon’s views appeared; workers living in a confederation of small communes could abolish capitalism, eliminate living on wages or “wage slavery,” and destroy the state in the process through “direct action” by individuals and masses. Acts of terror to take human lives were abandoned; instead, individuals sabotaged property especially machinery. Mass actions were usually strikes, i.e., stopping work. The most useful act would be the general strike when all workers would participate and reject the intervention of third parties like politicians.

The number of Syndicalist members grew rapidly in Europe. By 1920, France had approximately 130,000 and most European states had 50,000 or less. Sabotage and strikes were common, but workers eventually used strikes to increase their wages and working conditions and, hence, stay within the system. As Communist parties who were hostile to capitalism became a feature of Western political systems, syndicalists often joined them.

But the experiences of Italy, Germany, and Spain were very different. The governments used violence to eliminate the syndicalists. Although the process was different in each case, the outcome was the same and resembled the one Lenin had produced in Russia.

Italy’s USAIT had 820,000 in 1921, the second largest in Europe at a time when Mussolini’s Fascist Party was a major element on the political scene. The Diana Theatre Bombing outraged many Italians enormously:

Not one of the bombers’ intended aims was achieved: the bourgeoisie was not cowed, but rather became even more determined in its fight with the ‘red rabble’; the fascists seized the chance to carry out further more savage actions . . . Hundreds of completely innocent people were killed or maimed. The anarchist movement was isolated and came in for savage repression.

(A Rivista Anarchica, 1980, p. 279)

The Diana Theatre attack was a factor in the fact that Mussolini became the Prime Minister the next year, though other political reasons were more crucial. Street battles between the Fascist Blackshirts and the USAIT were fought for the next three years. In 1925, Mussolini’s government became a dictatorship and completely eliminated the USAIT. 28

In Germany, the Free Workers Union had more than 100,000 members in the early 1920s, but it began to disintegrate and had only several hundred when Hitler was appointed Chancellor in 1933. He immediately killed most surviving members (Bock, 1990, pp. 59–80).

Spain produced the world’s largest, strongest, most durable, and most violent syndicalist movement, the National Confederation of Labor (CNT). Its major base was Catalonia and the Basque country, areas that demanded more local autonomy, a demand later repeated in the Third Wave. When General Franco’s military forces revolted against the Spanish Second Republic, the CNT supported the Republic. Some members became cabinet ministers and others ran all the factories in some areas, which became the most significant attempt ever made to put syndicalist ideas into practice. Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy supported Franco, while the Soviet Communists aided the Second Republic. But the Communists made a sudden unexpected move turning against the CNT killing and imprisoning many members, inadvertently helping General Franco win the bloody 3-year war (Thomas, 1965). Afterward, Franco’s government killed thousands of syndicalists and put the remainder in internment camps (Beevor, 1982).

A third factor in the decline of the First Wave was the remaking of police forces everywhere. When the police were only concerned with criminals, they responded to illegal actions after they occurred. But to deal with terrorists, pre-emption, or efforts to make it impossible for certain acts to happen, became crucial. Some policemen took their uniforms off to observe activities without being identified. The British Special Branch, the American FBI, and the Russian Okhrana were ununiformed forces created to deal with terror groups.

Pre-emption enables one to obtain information about intentions. Undercover agents joined terrorist groups, a practice Alexsei Lopukhin, head of Russian Police (1902–1904) described as the very “foundation of police operation.” “Political crimes unlike ordinary ones were marked by long-term clandestine planning, compelling the police to take steps . . . to expose them in advance” (Schliefman, 2006). Many terrorists became police agents because, one police official explained, terrorists “naturally suspect each other and from their ranks the police (could) easily recruit its agents. Their suspicion of each other contributes far more to their helplessness than to their safety.” By 1912, the Russian government had “26, 000 agent provocateurs” and an anti-terrorist network of 200,000 persons. The provocateurs aimed to stimulate internal tensions and mutual suspicions among terrorists, which would help the police shape rebel policies. “Provocateurs often carried out actions that (alienated the public) from the revolutionary cause by shaming it and disgracing it” (Ivianski, 2006b, p. 357). In some cases, provocateurs sought persons apparently ready to participate in terror acts. Police provocateurs would then get involved in “sting operations,” inducing these persons to commit actions they may not have done otherwise.

Russian and French police funded anarchist newspapers at home and abroad, hoping thereby to provide “telephone cable(s) from the world in which the conspiracies were being planned, straight to the office of the Chief of Police” (Ivianski, 2006b, p. 357) Ironically, because the public knew the police were involved in such activities, the police exploited that fact to discredit authentic anarchist pamphlets believed dangerous by describing them as police products.

Russian penetration efforts were so successful that a police agent, Yevno Azef, became the leader of the Terrorist Brigade from 1903 to 1908. When the Terrorist Brigade discovered his true identity, the exposure demoralized the organization so much that it disintegrated.

The double role agents played made it difficult to know to whom an individual was really committed. The police found themselves confronted by issues that they did not anticipate because in giving agents such enormous freedom, they made it possible for the agent’s individual interests to become significant, one police historian explained:

For many years . . . Okhrana agents had organized assassinations, fomented strikes and printed stirring calls to bloody revolution. . . . A bonus was paid to (those) who unearthed illegal secret printing presses, and it was not uncommon for a police official to found such a press himself—and on police money—as a preliminary to “detecting” it and claiming customary money from police funds. . . . The Okhrana had systematically undermined the legality it was charged to uphold.

(Schliefman, 2006, p. 113)29

In Europe torturing prisoners to gain critical information was common in medieval and early modern times (Langbein, 2004).30 Abolished in the 18th century, the practice was revived and even appeared in states that had never used it before, like the United States (Anderson, 2006). Did torture help or hinder the fight against terror? Officials often disagreed on that question, but revelations about torture practices often provoked public anger and stimulated radicals to seek revenge. The 1886 tortures in Montjich, for example, ordered by Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Cánovas del Castillo, induced an Italian anarchist Michele Angiolillo to come from Paris to assassinate him.

Finally, although new police practices were necessary to deal with terrorism, some of those practices aided the terrorist cause by causing imaginary fears among the public and enabled terrorists to have greater destructive impact. A British Vice Consul declared, “Much of the violence of the Spanish anarchist movement must be attributed to be attributed to the cruelty of police repression” (Clark, 1986). In Spain, the Black Hand plot to assassinate all the landowners in Andalusia ended in thousands being arrested, 300 imprisoned and eight executed, but the plot’s very existence has been doubted (Kaplan, 1977, ch. 5). It should be emphasized that the British Special Branch was the most effective and successful police program because it used the new tactics with great restraint, a program one scholar described “as the wonder of the world for 30 years” (Jensen, 2014, p. 348).

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                                                                                                                                Notes:

                                                                                                                                (1.) Lindsey Clutterbuck considers the Irish Skirmishers and Clan Na Gael to be the founders of modern global terror because they were the first to have an international dimension in two states the United States and the United Kingdom. But they were only interested in gaining Irish independence.

                                                                                                                                (2.) Women were not allowed to throw bombs because they could not throw as far as males and were likely to be killed in the process. But women employed other weapons and made bombs a dangerous occupation responsible for significant fatalities.

                                                                                                                                (3.) Populism is often used to describe the initial movements. The term is vague and means popular movements antagonistic to the wealthy and/or aristocratic. Initially, Russian populists were based on rural elements and sought democratic and socialist changes.

                                                                                                                                (4.) Boris Savinkov called it the Terrorist Brigade, a name many Russian revolutionaries preferred.

                                                                                                                                (5.) Zeev Ivianski’s fascinating article, “The Terrorist Revolution: Roots of Modern Terrorism” discusses Morozov and other Narodnaya Volya members who published similar pamphlets.

                                                                                                                                (6.) He emphasized that “the passion for destruction is also a creative urge,” and refused to accept a piecemeal approach insisting that a violent revolution, sweeping away all existing institutions, was the necessary prelude to the construction of a free and peaceful society.

                                                                                                                                (7.) Upon his return to London, he was feted by prominent Americans, including Mark Twain and George Frost Kennan, who did not know that he was an assassin, a fact he generally concealed.

                                                                                                                                (8.) Ironically, Zasulich later decided she was not a terrorist after all and became a Marxist.

                                                                                                                                (9.) The term itself, according to OED, was first used in 1909 and referred to the activity of “panhandlers.” In the wilderness, a lone wolf is normally pushed out of a wolf pack because he is not sufficiently aggressive. His subsequent life outside the pack may animate him enough to create a new pack, but lone wolf terrorists certainly do not reflect that pattern.

                                                                                                                                (10.) When Brutus assassinated Caesar, he shouted “Sic semper tyrannis” (deaths to all tyrants), a phrase used frequently as a rallying cry against power abuses. It is part of The Seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia, appears in Maryland’s official state song, and is the motto of Allentown, Pennsylvania.

                                                                                                                                (11.) The Invincibles, an Irish terrorist group in the same period, employed assassination as a tactic in the Phoenix Park Murders 1882, but they stabbed their victims and did not use gunpowder like their two successors.

                                                                                                                                (12.) Terrorist attacks in 1906–1907 killed “thousands of capable lower level civil and military officials. Officials lived in fear for their lives and those of their families –a fear that undoubtedly had an adverse effect on their attitudes and the way they performed their official duties. To a large extent, the revolutionaries succeeded in breaking the spine of Russian bureaucracy, wounding it both physically and in spirit, and in this way contributed to the general paralysis in the final crisis of imperial regime in March of 1917.” Naimark says from 1905 to 1908, 2,563 government personnel were assassinated, and 2,954 wounded. In 1906–1907, 1,114 persons were executed by secret courts-martial.

                                                                                                                                (13.) American terrorists with different purposes admired Brown greatly. On the left, there was the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers; on the right, there were Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber, and Eric Rudolph, who bombed the Atlanta Olympics and various abortion clinics. But neither the left or right individuals emulated Brown in their trials.

                                                                                                                                (14.) Emile Hodel who tried to assassinate Kaiser Wilhelm I in 1878 had his photograph taken beforehand thinking that he would become famous and people would be inspired. The pattern has become systematized today among Islamic suicide bombers who normally make a video explaining them (Pernicone, 1993a, p. 149).

                                                                                                                                (15.) The trial of Jesus is paradigmatic for establishing the classic conditions of Christian martyrdom: ideally the martyr is tried before judges and affirms his faith . . . In most cases, martyrdom is also a political act. Jesus was persecuted for attacking the Temple authorities. Early Christian martyrs challenged the sacred basis of Roman authority by refusing to honor the emperor as divine. Once the church itself gained temporal as well as spiritual authority over its subjects, the line between political and religious martyrdom became more difficult to draw. . . . One could become a martyr for defending the prerogative and rights of the church: in the twelfth century, for instance, Archbishop Thomas Becket was quickly canonized after his murder for defending the . . . church against King Henry II.

                                                                                                                                (16.) The bombings stopped in 1932 after the home of the judge who presided over the case was destroyed.

                                                                                                                                (17.) But Armenians and Macedonians each generated an important hostage incident in the period.

                                                                                                                                (18.) Marx’s letter to his daughter Jenny shortly after the assassins were executed is quite striking in view of his initial reluctance to encourage terrorism. “Have you been following the trial of the people who carried out the attacks? They are solidly honest people, striking no melodramatic poses, unassuming, realistic, and heroic. Shouting and doing are irreconcilably contradictory. The Petersburg Executive Committee which has acted so vigorously is publishing manifestos of refined moderation. . . . They are seeking to explain to Europe that their modus operandi is a specifically Russian and historically inevitable method; there is no more reason to moralize about it than about the (1881) Chios (Greece) earthquake.”

                                                                                                                                (19.) Richard Bach Jensen e-mailed me the statistics. The average age for 28 Italians was 28.1 and 25.6 for 21 Spaniards. One person in each group had middle-class origins.

                                                                                                                                (20.) The court was told, “I am an anarchist by conviction . . . I came to Geneva to kill a sovereign, with object of giving an example to those who suffer and those who do nothing to improve their social position; it did not matter to me who the sovereign was whom I should kill . . . It was not a woman I struck, but an Empress; it was a crown that I had in view.” Empress Elizabeth became the major figure in two ballets, two musicals, one play, seven novels, and six films.

                                                                                                                                (21.) The Russian Prime Minister Stolypin (1911) was the only major figure assassinated, but the assassin was Russian and not covered by the Protocol. Three assassinations also occurred in “minor” states, i.e., Alexander I of Serbia (1903) Carlos I of Portugal (1908), and George I of Greece (1913). But the assassins were not terrorists: one involved military officers bent on a coup; the second was produced by mob action; and the third assassin was a criminal.

                                                                                                                                (22.) The problem is also discussed in Jensen (2001a and 2014).

                                                                                                                                (23.) Two separatist efforts in northern Europe succeeded without violence: Norway in 1905 and Iceland in 1918.

                                                                                                                                (24.) As suggested, only the better-known groups are mentioned. Whether anyone has systematically assessed the total number and average durability of groups is unknown. There were at least a dozen averaging two years.

                                                                                                                                (25.) But only in India did the Japanese triumph precipitate a terrorist effort.

                                                                                                                                (26.) Gita is Bhagavad Gita “Song of God” a sacred scripture of Hinduism. Ray notes that “during the initiation ceremony . . . religious rituals were performed resulting in the growth of patriotism as a religious cult. This has hardly any parallel except in the legends of Joan of Arc” (p. 134).

                                                                                                                                (27.) Spanish Prime Minister Eduardo Dato in 1923 was the last head of state or government anarchists killed.

                                                                                                                                (28.) An anarchist Gino Loretta tried to assassinate Mussolini in 1926. The plot was hatched in antifascist Italian exile circles in the south of France and included persons of different political persuasions.

                                                                                                                                (29.) Several similar cases were produced in Spain in the same decade.

                                                                                                                                (30.) The practice was normal in countries using Roman civil law where conviction required two eyewitnesses to a murder and circumstantial proof was not admitted. England was the principal exception to this traditional practice where the common law prevailed utilizing the jury system and circumstantial evidence. When torture was abolished on the Continent, the rules of evidence were changed.