Espousing radical beliefs and extreme ideologies, terrorism is not a new phenomenon in the world. By definition, terrorism is using intimidation and violence to achieve a political goal. During this pursuit, terrorists commit monstrous crimes on both a local and a global scale.
Over the decades, these different terrorist groups have caused enough mayhem to gain international attention. Although they may shift on the list over the years, these are some of the most dangerous terrorist organizations the world has ever known.
10. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)
Led by Joseph Kony, this terrorist group operates throughout Uganda, parts of southern Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Central African Republic. It is also considered a cult.
Although the organization’s initial message was to unify Uganda through peace and prosperity, it quickly turned into something violent. The Lord’s Resistance Army is guilty of everything from mutilations to murders and child soldiers to sex slaves.
From 2008 until 2011, the gruesome military killed at least 2,300 people, which does not account for the number of children they kidnapped or the hundreds of thousands of civilians they displaced throughout central Africa.
9. Forças Armadas Revolucionárias da Colômbia (FARC)
In English, the name translates to Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia. Thus, the origins of FARC date to a period of conflict between the liberals and conservatives of Colombia. Pushing an anti-imperialist, communist agenda, these terrorists use guerrilla tactics to promote their Marxist-Leninist motives.
FARC claims to defend poor farmers and fights against the privatization of the country’s natural resources. However, the revolutionary group earns funding through a number of illegal activities including illegal mining, kidnapping, trafficking, and extortion. Further, hundreds of bombings and killings have been committed throughout Colombia in the name of FARC.
Ever since the 1960s, North and Latin American governments alike recognize the rebels as a terrorist group. In 1962, the U.S. government assisted the Colombians with mobilizing groups of civilians to work with the local armies to counter the FARC threats.
Known as Plan Lazo, William P. Yarborough was the Special Warfare Commander at the time, and in 2002 the two groups established a common understanding, so they are not as violent as decades ago.
8. Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP)
Along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border is a group whose sole purpose is to overthrow the Pakistani government. These terrorists also take part in battling NATO forces and enforcing Sharia law.
Also known as the Tehrik-i-Taliban or simply Pakistani Taliban, it was established in 2007 and is composed of several Islamist radical groups.
Its notorious founder Baitullah Mehsud was a Pakistani militant. He died in 2009; Mullah Fazlullah is the current leader and openly anti-Western.
Not only has the terrorist group attacked Pakistan including United Nations offices, naval and army stations, and a school full of children in Peshawar, but it also named American cities as targets. In 2010, Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan attempted to detonate a car bomb in Times Square.
7. Lashkar-e-Tayyiba (LT)
Sometimes written as Lashkar-e-Toiba, terrorist leader Hafiz Saeed picked the name because it means “Army of the Righteous.” They not only occupy regions in India and Pakistan, but the aggressive group is one of the largest and skilled terrorist groups on the planet. They want to establish an Islamic state in Southeast Asia.
Markaz-ud-Dawa-wal-Irshad started the military wing in the 1980s with a focus on Islamic fundamentalism. Soviet Union forces occupied Afghanistan at the time, and the LT greatly opposed their presence.
Fast forward to the 20th century, and the violent group continues to wreak havoc throughout India and Pakistan. In 2001, an attack on India’s parliament resulted in 12 fatalities.
Delhi and Varanasi were brutalized in 2005 and 2006, respectively. Over 160 civilians were murdered because of a 2006 bomb on a Mumbai commuter train.
This East African terrorist group was founded in 2006 with a stated mission to eliminate foreign military forces in Somalia.
In order to help form their Islamic government, the organization earns funding from ransoms, piracy, illegal trade, and other criminal actions.
Al-Shabaab operates throughout Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda, and they regularly carry out deadly car attacks and suicide bombings.
In 2013, over 60 people died as a result of the Westgate Mall attack in Kenya. Only two years later, the brutal organization attacked a Kenyan university and killed 147 students.