History of Terrorism in Western Europe essay

Although so  much has been talked about terrorism in Europe, much of it has focused on countries like the US and ignored Western Europe. However, it should be understood that Western Europe countries also face some threats from terrorists and they should not be ignored. This paper gives a summary of the history of terrorism in two Western Europe countries: Greece and Germany and how they have been able to tackle the problem (Law, 2007).


The first wave of terrorism to affect Greece occurred in mid 1980s and originated from Middle East. Although there was a decline in other areas of western Europe, the rates remained high in Greece and these brought about accusations that the Greek government had created an ample environment for terrorism. In 1990s there were two active domestic terrorist organizations. There was the 17 November organization established in 1975 with a membership of below 50 people and named after an uprising of students in November 1973 against military regime leading to its fall in the following year. this group overthrew the government and led to removal of the US military base. It had links to the Middle Eastern Terrorists and Red Brigades terrorists in Italy with its major activity being the assassination and bombing of business executives, politicians, newspaper publishers and any citizens of the US living in Greece(Law, 2007).

The second group was known as Revolutionary People's Struggle which was a small left wing anti-imperialist, ant capitalist revolutionary group. It operated through offering half hour warnings and bombing of buildings to avoid losing of lives. There had been a connection established between these two major groups although there was no precise relationship known yet. There are other 16 small terrorist Groups established in Thessaloniki and Athens. There were two grisly terrorist incidents that transpired in Athens in 1994 which involved assassinations. The 17 November claimed to have been responsible for killing of a former director to the National Bank of Greece in January and the killing of a secretary to the Turkish Embassy in July. United States personnel were major targets of terrorist activities. Turkish authorities blamed Greece of a aiding terrorist group by the name Kurdish Worker's Party which worked to destabilize tourist trade and Turkish society (Books, 2010).

To stop terrorism, EASA runs an antiterrorist service that works in close relationship with its American counterparts together with other agencies in other states in the EU, in Israel, Russia, Armenia and Turkey.


Germany lived in fear during the period between 1968 and 1977. There were three major terrorist groups that operated in the country: the Red Army Faction, Revolutionary Cells and Movement 2 June. These three groups all gathered hundreds of Germans to join them. These groups went round killing so many people. In 1968 one Germany journalist Ulrike Meinhof joined came together with Andreas baader, a former juvenile delinquent and his girlfriend by the name Gudrun Ensslin to launch one of the most terrifying era in the history of Germany after the war (Law, 2007).

There were students protests held in 1968 which gradually became riots. These groups were made up of young terrorists who were aimed at starting a world revolution part took up to terrorism. What began as mere robbings in the banks turned to murders and kidnaps. In 1972, the leaders of the most famous group Red Army Faction were captured but their followers stiffened their kidnapping and killing activities in the following five years in an attempt to get their leaders freed from prison. However, this did not happen leaving them even angrier since the Germany government did not show any intensions of releasing them.

Instead the German government made use of the terrorism crisis to come up with new laws that gave it more power to fight terrorism. Although there were protests from radical leftists, most Germans were in support of the decisions the government took. In late 1977, there was an attempt to release the terrorist leaders through an airplane hi-jack but it failed leading to all the leaders committing suicide in Stammheim prison. While most people had thought that the era of terrorism in Germany had come to an end, they were shocked to see many more killings come. It was until 1998 when it was proved that the Red Army Faction had been officially disbanded.

History of Terrorism in Western Europe essay

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