Historically, terrorism has generally failed as a means to reach a political objective. Most often, terrorist incidents have brought fear to the civilian sector, but only served to harden the attitudes of governments. Despite this, indiscriminate, anticivilian violence steadily increased in the last half century, particularly in the Middle East. This work provides an historical overview of terrorism in the region, focusing on specific guerrilla actions. The hijackings of the 1960s, the Black September attack during the 1972 Munich Olympics, and the rise of Abu Nidal are all covered thoroughly, as are many other groups and incidents in the Middle East. The ineffectiveness of counter-terrorism, showing how it often precipitates the rise of small terrorist cliques, is also covered. Particular attention is given to Israel's response to terrorism and the effect of terrorism on the country's development and national psyche.
Born in Lebanon and raised in San Francisco, Kameel B. Nasr is a writer and an activist for peace and reconciliation. He divides his time between Italy and the United States.