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The evolution of terror: Anarchists to Al-Qaeda

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9news.com.au

by Nick Pearson

When Frenchman Emile Henry detonated a bomb in the middle of one of Paris' most popular cafes in 1894, he set the spark for a new kind of violence.

Bloodshed was nothing new in the 1800s, a century which included the Napoleonic Wars, the American Civil War and countless colonial conquests.

And specific acts of violence were hardly unusual either. Two US presidents had been successfully assassinated in the past 30 years.

But what set Henry's attack apart was his target, according to Yale University historian John Merriman.

"His bomb in 1894 which he threw into the Café Terminus, what made it in my mind the first act of modern terror was that terrorists used to go after heads of state, like (President William) McKinley," Dr Merriman told nine.com.au.

"When Henry went out to kill, he was out to kill ordinary people, killing them because they were bourgeois."

Henry was an anarchist, politically motivated to shake Parisians to their core so they would rise up against their government.

Read more: https://www.9news.com.au/world/2018/04/07/12/45/the-evolution-of-terrorism-from-anarchists-to-al-qaeda