There is no universal agreement on the legal definition of terrorism, although there exists a consensus academic definition created by scholars.
Various legal systems and government agencies use different definitions of terrorism, and governments have been reluctant to formulate an agreed-upon and legally binding definition. Difficulties arise from the fact that the term has become politically and emotionally charged. A simple definition proposed to the United Nations Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice (CCPCJ) by terrorism studies scholar Alex P. Schmid in 1992, based on the already internationally accepted definition of war crimes, as “peacetime equivalents of war crimes”, was not accepted.
On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers with rucksacks full of explosives attacked central London. After two weeks, on 21 July, 2005, four other bomb attacks paralyzed the functionaries of London’s public transport system. Reportedly fifty-two civilians were killed in that series of coordinated suicide attacks while more than 700 were injured.
During the infamous 2003 Istanbul bombings, four truck bomb attacks were carried out on 15 November, 2003 and 20 November, 2003, in Istanbul, Turkey. According to reports, 57 people were found dead while almost 700 were injured.
Three blasts ripped through the national capital just two days before Diwali on October 29, 2005, killing 67 people and injuring over 200. The terrorists had planted bombs in bags at the busy markets of Sarojini Nagar and Paharganj and a DTC bus. A total of 67 people were killed and more than 200 others were injured in the three blasts. The same year in May, twin blasts had rocked the Liberty and Satyam Cinema halls.
On July 22, 2011, eight people died in a bombing in Oslo and 69 young people died on nearby Utoya island. This was the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II.
Dubrovka Theatre Siege, Moscow
On October 23, 2002, about 50 Chechen rebels storm a Moscow theater, taking up to 700 people hostage during a sold-out performance of a popular musical. After a two-and-a-half day siege, Russian forces entered the building, a struggle followed and a total of one hundred seventy people were killed.
Madrid train bombings
On the morning of 11 March 2004 – three days before Spain’s general elections, nearly simultaneous, coordinated bombings against the Cercanías commuter train system of Madrid killed 192 people and injured around 2,000.
Peshawar school attack
In the deadliest slaughter of innocents in Pakistan in years, Taliban gunmen attacked a military-run school on December 16, 2014 and killed 141 people — almost all of them students — before government troops ended the siege.
Mumbai terror attacks
Date: November 26-29, 2008
Locations targeted: Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus railway station, Leopold Café, Taj Mahal Palace & Tower Hotel, Oberoi Trident Hotel, Metro Cinema, Cama and Albless Hospital and Nariman House.
Ten Pakistani men associated with the terror group Lashkar-e-Tayyiba stormed buildings in Mumbai, killing 164 people. Nine of the gunmen were killed during the attacks, one survived. Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, the lone surviving gunman, was executed in November 2012.
Beslan school siege
On September 1, 2004, armed Chechen rebels took approximately 1,200 children and adults hostage at a school in Beslan, North Ossetia, Russia. The siege ended on September 3, 2004 with more than 330 killed, including 186 children, and more than 700 people wounded.
World Trade Centre attack
On September 11, 2001, 19 militants associated with the Islamic extremist group al-Qaeda hijacked four passenger planes operated by two major US air carriers and carried out suicide attacks against targets in the United States. Two of the planes were flown into the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York. The attack killed 2,996 people and injured more than 6,000.
10 Biggest Historical Mysteries That Will Probably Never Be Solved
Some historical mysteries may never be solved. Sometimes, that’s because the relevant excavated material has been lost or an archaeological site has been destroyed. Other times, it’s because new evidence is unlikely to come forward or the surviving evidence is too vague to lead scholars to a consensus.
The lack of answers only makes these enigmas more intriguing. Here, take a look at 10 of these historical questions that may never have definitive explanations.
Who was Jack the Ripper?
In 1888, Jack the Ripper killed at least five women in London, mutilating their bodies. Several letters, supposedly from the Ripper, were sent to police taunting officers’ efforts to find the Ripper. (Whether any of them were actually written by the Ripper is a matter of debate among scholars.) The name “Jack the Ripper” comes from these letters.
Needless to say, the Ripper was never found, and over the years, dozens of people have been brought up as possible candidates. A recent book suggested that a woman named Lizzie Williams was the Ripper, although other Ripper experts cast doubt on it. It appears unlikely that the true identity of the Ripper will ever be known for sure.
Where is Jimmy Hoffa?
The teamster union leader known for his involvement in organized crime disappeared in Oakland County, Michigan, on July 30, 1975, and is now presumed to be dead. The identity of his killer(s) and the location of his body are ongoing mysteries. Police and forensic anthropologists have searched several sites in Detroit and Oakland County to no avail.
One popular theory was that Hoffa’s body was buried beneath Giants Stadium in New Jersey. However, this theory has been debunked. The identity of his killer is also unclear. Before he died in 2006, Richard “The Iceman” Kuklinski, a hitman, claimed to have killed Hoffa and dumped his body in a scrapyard. An author named Philip Carlo visited Kuklinski in prison before he died and wrote a book on Kuklinski’s confessions. After the book came out several police officers cast doubt on the confession in media interviews. As the years go by, it appears increasingly unlikely that Hoffa’s remains will ever be found.
Where is Cleopatra’s tomb?
Ancient writers claim that Cleopatra VIIand her lover, Mark Antony, were buried together in a tomb after they died in 30 B.C. The writer Plutarch (A.D. 45-120) wrote that the tomb was located near a temple of Isis, an Egyptian goddess, and was a “lofty and beautiful” monument containing treasures made of gold, silver, emeralds, pearls, ebony, and ivory.
The location of the tomb remains a mystery. In 2010, Zahi Hawass, Egypt’s former antiquities minister, conducted excavations at a site near Alexandria now called Taposiris Magna, which contains several tombs dating to the era when Cleopatra VII ruled Egypt. While many interesting archaeological discoveries were made, Cleopatra VII’s tomb was not among them Hawass reported in a series of news releases. Archaeologists have noted that even if Cleopatra’s tomb does survive to this day, it may be heavily plundered and unidentifiable.
Who killed JFK?
This is probably the biggest mystery in American history that will never be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction. On Nov. 22, 1963, President John F. Kennedy was shot in Dallas by Lee Harvey Oswald (although some speculate that he wasn’t the only one shooting). On Nov. 24, 1963, before Oswald could stand trial, Oswald was fatally shot by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. Ruby died of lung cancer on Jan. 3, 1967. [10 Persistent Kennedy Assassination Theories]
The most widely accepted explanation is that Oswald killed JFK on his own and Ruby killed Oswald, on his own volition. Ruby’s stated motivation was to spare Jacqueline Kennedy “the discomfiture of [Oswald] coming back to trial.” However there are still a significant number of professional historians, along with many amateurs, who do not agree with this explanation and since JFK’s death, numerous alternative explanations have been brought forward by historians and amateurs. Given that significant new evidence is unlikely to appear, a firm consensus will probably never be reached.
Is there a money pit on Oak Island?
For more than two centuries, stories have circulated that Oak Island, located off Nova Scotia, Canada, held a money pit of buried treasure — supposedly left by the pirate Capt. William Kidd(1645-1701). Over that time, numerous expeditions costing millions of dollars have traveled to the island searching for the lost treasure, to no avail. [The 10 Most Notorious Pirates Ever]
Despite centuries of searching no treasure has been found on Oak Island. Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from trying to find it. A History Channel show called the “Curse of Oak Island” follows a modern-day expedition; the show was just renewed for a fourth season in 2016.
Is the Copper Scroll treasure real?
Another treasure tale that will probably never be resolved is more ancient. In 1952 a copper scroll was found by archaeologists in a cave, along with other Dead Sea Scrolls, at the site of Qumran. As its name suggests, the writing was engraved onto a copper scroll. The scroll records a vast amount of hidden gold and silver treasure — so much, in fact, that some scholars believe that it can’t exist. [Gallery of Dead Sea Scrolls: A Glimpse of the Past]
The scroll dates back more than 1,900 years to a time when the Roman Empire controlled the Qumran area. There were several revolts against Roman rule at the time the scroll was written, and scientists have hypothesized that the treasure was hidden to prevent its capture by Roman forces. Whether the treasure is real, where exactly it was hidden, whether it was ever found and whether it could still exist today are all mysteries that will likely never be solved.
What’s the fate of the Ark of the Covenant?
In 587 B.C., a Babylonian army, under King Nebuchadnezzar II, conquered Jerusalem, sacking the city and destroying the First Temple, a building used by the Jewish people to worship god. The First Temple contained the Ark of the Covenant, which carried tablets recording the 10 Commandments.
The fate of the Ark is unclear. Ancient sources indicate that the ark was either carried back to Babylon or hidden before the city was captured. It’s also possible that the ark was destroyed during the city’s sacking. In any event, the ark’s location is unknown. Since the disappearance, several stories and legends about the ark’s fate have been told. One story suggests the ark eventually made its way to Ethiopia, where it is kept today. Another story says the ark was divinely hidden and will not appear until a messiah arrives.
Were the Hanging Gardens of Babylon real?
Ancient writers describe a fantastic series of gardens constructed in the ancient city of Babylonian modern-day Iraq. It’s not clear when these gardens were built, but some ancient writers were so impressed by the gardens that they called them a “wonder of the world.” Around 250 B.C., Philo of Byzantium wrote that the Hanging Gardens had “plants cultivated at a height above ground level, and the roots of the trees are embedded in an upper terrace rather than in the earth.”
So far, archaeologists who have excavated Babylon have been unable to find the remains of a garden that meets this description. This has left archaeologists with a question: Did the hanging gardens really exist? In 2013, Stephanie Dalley, a researcher at the University of Oxford, proposed in a book that the gardens were actually located at the Assyrian city of Nineveh. Over the past two decades, both Babylon and Nineveh have suffered damage from wars and looting, and it seems unlikely that this mystery will ever be fully solved.
Is there a City of Atlantis?
Writing in the fourth century B.C., the Greek philosopher Plato told a story of land named Atlantis that existed in the Atlantic Ocean and supposedly conquered much of Europe and Africa in prehistoric times. In the story, the prehistoric Athenians strike back against Atlantis in a conflict that ends with Atlantis vanishing beneath the waves.
While no serious scholar believes that this story is literally true, some have speculated that the legend could have been inspired, in part, by real events that happened in Greek history. One possibility is that the Minoan civilization(as it’s now called), which flourished on the island of Crete until about 1400 B.C., could have inspired the story of Atlantis. Although Crete is in the Mediterranean, and not the Atlantic, Minoan settlements suffered considerable damage during the eruption of Thera, a volcano in Greece.
Additionally, archaeologists found that the Minoans were eventually overcome (or forced to join with) a group of people called the Mycenaeans, who were based on mainland Greece. It’s unlikely that this debate will ever be fully settled.
What was Jesus really like?
The earliest surviving gospels date to the second century, almost 100 years after the life of Jesus (although recently, it was announced that a possible first-century fragment had been found).
The lack of surviving first-century texts about Jesus leaves biblical scholars with several questions. When were the gospels written? How many of the stories actually took place? What was Jesus like in real life? Archaeological investigations of Nazareth, Jesus’ hometown, reveal more about the environment where he grew up. More recently, scientists discovered a first-century house that, centuries after Jesus’ time, was venerated as being the house that Jesus grew up in, but whether it was actually Jesus’ house is unknown.
Although new research will provide more insight, scholars think it’s unlikely they will ever fully know what Jesus was really like.
Top 10 Haunted Places In India
Do you happen to be somebody who is drawn to the supernatural? While most people try their best to avoid an encounter with the paranormal, there are also a significant number of us who actively seek out the adrenaline rush of being surrounded by the mysterious unknown. And while the existence of ghosts and spirits has been debated for centuries, the conclusions we draw are solely from our own experiences.
The list of haunted places in India is a long one, each one associated with chilling history or folklore. They include everything from abandoned forts, deserted villages, closed mines, and spooky hotels to unlikely places such as courtrooms and schools. If you want to push the boundaries and seek out the supernatural, here are some of the scariest places in India that are must-visits by all means:
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan
Located in the Alwar region, the uninhabited town of Bhangarh is one of the eeriest places imaginable and is unanimously considered as one of India’s most haunted places. It is considered to be so dangerous that even the Archaeological Survey of India has legally prohibited anyone from entering the Bhangarh Fort after dark.
The legend goes that during the 16th century, a tantric named Singhia fell in love with Ratnavati, the beautiful princess of Bhangarh. And knowing it was a hopeless match, decided to use his magic to seduce her. However, the princess uncovered his plans and sentenced him to death. Before his death, enraged by the turn of events, he cursed the palace to doom and the town to be roofless and miserable forever. Nearby locals believe that anyone who goes into the fort after dark won’t make it back, so visit at your own peril.
Kuldhara Village, Rajasthan
Rajasthan sure does have the choicest selection of deserted ghostly villages and towns! The Kuldhara village is located near Jaisalmer and was originally inhabited by Paliwal Brahmins. The lore speaks of the sudden disappearance of all the villagers of Kuldhara as well as 83 other nearby villages in 1825 into thin air, leaving no trace of their whereabouts. It is said that the minister of state had fallen in love with a girl from the village and had threatened to impose huge taxes upon the entire village unless they married her to him. To protect the honor of the girl, the chief of Kulhara and surrounding areas abandoned their villages and cursed the land to remain unoccupied for eternity.
Dow Hill, Kurseong, West Bengal
The Victoria Boy’s High School and Dowhill Girl’s Boarding School in Kurseong, Darjeeling, are believed to be the residence of many spirits whose footsteps can be heard echoing through the hallways. There have been countless murdered bodies found in the wood surrounding the schools and several locals and tourists report being followed by a headless boy who then disappears into the woods.
Dumas Beach, Gujarat
On the Arabian sea coast, the black sands of Dumas Beach in Gujarat are associated with several mysteries over several years. The beach used to be a Hindu burial ground and many believe that the restless spirits call out to visitors taking midnight strolls and walking towards the sea to return to the shore. There have been reports that those who don’t heed the voices of the dead disappear into the waters forever. This beach is definitely not for the faint-hearted.
This tiny village with a population of 2500 has one of the most puzzling phenomena in the world, namely recurring mass bird suicides. For centuries now, local and migratory birds plummet to the ground in large numbers on moonless nights of September and October only in a specific area. This has baffled scientists who can’t find any reasonable justification for birds dropping dead from the sky in such a pattern and it is extremely disturbing, to say the least.
Lambi Dehar Mines
Once a fully operational lime mine employing thousands of workers, the Lambi Dehar Mines of Mussoorie are now abandoned and are considered to be one of the scariest places in India. Due to hazardous working conditions, the lack of safety regulations, and accidents, countless workers died in the mines and are now said to haunt the tunnels. Strange voices and screams coming from the mines are a regular occurrence here.
Agrasen ki Baoli, New Delhi
This intricately built ancient place in Delhi is an architectural masterpiece and is protected by the ASI. However, the locals believe it to be haunted by the ghosts and satanic demons who lurk in the shadows following visitors around. Tourists have complained about feeling an uncanny dread once they step inside.
Ramoji Film City
You may not know that one of the most famous film cities of India was built over the remains of dead soldiers of the Sultanate, whose restless souls haunt the film sets till today. Stuntmen get injured in freak accidents, lights go off suddenly, mirrors get marked and equipment is destroyed regularly. Women seem to be particularly susceptible and have had their clothes torn by invisible forces and gotten locked in rooms.
D’Souza Chawl, Mumbai
Even though this chawl is situated in a populated area in Mahim, Mumbai, the residents have reported ghost sightings of a lady who lurks around the area at night and vanishes without a trace once the sun is up. The locals believe she was an old lady who fell into a well while drawing water and drowned as no one heard her shrieks for help.
Bombay High Court
The lawyers working in the Bombay high court believe that one of the courtrooms is haunted by a vengeful tortured soul who restricts the entry of the accused into the courtroom in every murder trial. Reportedly this has been going on for almost three decades which is also best known as historical places in Mumbai.
These are just a few of the scariest and most haunted places in India and each of them has tragic and spine-chilling stories. They have become popular amongst those who are fascinated with ghosts and spirits. If you’re one of them, you know where to head to! However, do take all the necessary precautions in this regard.
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