There is no universal definition for terrorism but most consider it to be violent acts against civilians committed by nongovernmental agencies in order to create constant fear and terror, for political, religious or ideological purpose.
The first actions ever recorded as a type of terrorism go back to the 1795 France, during the Reign of Terror. The French government systematically used terror as a policy to intimidate the population. Since then the terrorism spread all over the world, today being a part of everyday life.
Currently there are hundreds of terrorist organizations generally having local activities, but some of them with international expansion. The most dangerous international terrorist organizations currently active include Al-Qaeda, Lashkar-e-Toiba, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Osbat al-Ansar and Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).
Besides the nongovernmental organizations that carry out terrorism acts, several states have been accused of supporting or even committing terrorist acts. Among these states we can find Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Libya, Republic of Ireland, United Kingdom, France, Soviet Union and United States.
During the last decade the number of terrorist attacks increased and became more horrible. After the September 11, 2001 attacks the whole world changed forever and the fear of a terrorist attack is part of our lives.
The theatre siege in Moscow, the Istanbul bombings (2003), the Madrid train bombings, the school hostage crisis in Beslan, the London bombings (2005), the New Delhi bombings (2005), and the Mumbai Hotel Siege (2008) are just few of the most recent terrorist acts that horrified the whole world.
The recent announcement made by United States saying that Europe is threatened by imminent terrorist attacks points out that the terrorism threat is more present than ever and we are not going to escape it very soon.