In order to understand terrorism today one must review the history of terrorism and thereby understand its roots. During the 1st Century through 4th Century A.D. the earliest known organization that exhibited aspects of a modern terrorist organization were the Zealots of Judea. Known to the Romans as sicarii, or dagger-men , they carried on an underground campaign of assassination of Roman occupation forces, as well as any Jews they felt had collaborated with the Romans. Often these assassins would kill a single key leader or person of power and they did it alone.
The Sunni and Shiite conflict erupted after the death of Mohammad in a dispute over the succession of power, the Sunni maintained the heirs from the first four Caliph’s is where power rightfully belonged and the Shiite held that only the heirs of the fourth Caliph, Ali was the rightful successor. This is core difference, among others between the two sects to this day.
Much of the reason this Empire failed was due to the world that modernized around them, the Islamic leaders refused to move forward with the rest of the world. Firmly believing in Islamic superiority, the ruling class of religious leaders planted the seeds of hatred towards the West as far back as the 1700s. The ruling Islamic religious leaders believed western inventions created by infidel’s and therefore cursed by Allah. Any attempt to modernize the empire was put down by the ruling Islamic body called the ulema, Muslim scholars trained in Islam and Islamic law which wanted to hold onto its power and maintain Islam in its pure state.
At the close of the first World War, France and England carved up the remnants of the Ottoman Empire the remaining country was Turkey, it was the Islamic Turks who slaughtered over 1.5 million Armenian Christians. The Turks blamed the Armenian Christians for assisting in Islam’s fall from power. This slaughter is now know as the first genocide, the systematic extermination of a class of people.
By 1924, the influence and power of the Ottoman Empire and the Caliphs was over, an inner battle for Islam began after the fall of the Ottoman Empire and Middle East came under the influence of western culture. Secular Arab governments, which accepted western modernization, drove the followers of True Islam into a murderous rage. Their religious beliefs supported their absolute certainly they were right in their actions.
Today’s terrorist movement started in 1928 with the founding of Ikhwan al-Muslimun, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt responsible for the attempted assassination of Gamal Abdel Nasser who became president of Egypt in 1954, to oppose the Arab secular governments that stripped the Islamic elite of its power. This group, led by Hassan al-Banna, felt no Islamic country should tolerate a secular government. Islam had always been the judge, jury, and executioner over the people.
Today terrorism is supported with money from oil producing nations such as Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia and persons who live and or were born in these areas and are sympathetic to fundamentalist causes. Now here is where history takes a turn that will ultimately spell the end of this form of terrorism, oil is a finite resource without this asset the Middle East loses significance on the world stage.
The U.S. Geological Survey estimates in 2000 estimates that their is between 2 trillion to 4 trillion barrels that can be recovered with a production peak between 2010 and 2037, the latter being very optimistic. This survey predicts oil production will be non-existent by 2120 to 2150.
The Middle East only export other than terrorist groups is oil, they are spending huge sums to establish new Mecca’s such as Dubai that will act as financial hubs for that corner of the world, and man made real estate that is hoped to draw the wealthy to the region. Once the oil is gone the and the terrorist funding and support dries up like the oil wells, they will be left with sand and dessert.