Mass Air Travel: Air travel became more sophisticated starting around the 1950s. However, sophistication doesn’t necessarily mean luxurious. Air travel became more of the stressful experience it is known as today, and through that necessity of travel terrorist groups saw an opportunity to promote fear. The 1970s is regarded as the era that witnessed the birth of modern terrorism. Airplane hijackings and hostage situations became more common. President Nixon equated the situation with piracy, vowing to correct the situation as America had done on the seas.

Bloody Sunday: On January 30th, 1972 in Northern Ireland, the British Army closed off streets where civil rights marchers planned to travel. Some marchers did not back down from the barricade and when the army recieved orders to arrest as many protesters as possible, they opened fire and killed 13 people, wounding another 13.

In 1998, Prime Minister Tony Blaire finally ordered a public inquiry in which finally concluded in 2010 which laid responsability on the British Army and innocence to the protesters.

bloody_friday_belfastBloody Friday: On June 21st, 1972 conflict between Protestants and Catholics had grown even more since the violence of Bloody Sunday, and the Provisional IRA planted 23 bombs throughout Belfast. For over an  hour a total of 19 bombs went off around the city creating carnage which became televised.


1972 Munich Olympics: Commonly known as the Munich Massacre, the 1972 Olympic games became a minute-by-minute nail biter as nearly one billion people watched broadcast coverage of active terrorism. The Palestinian terrorist group Black September trespassed into the Olympic Village and took nine hostages. Two athletes died in the initial struggle and eight managed to escape. Several negotiation attempts were made but Israel would not negotiate with the terrorists who wanted the release of over 300 Palestinian prisoners in Germany. Finally an agreement was reached and the terrorists with their captives were transported to the airport where the terrorists believed they would be boarding a plane to Cairo. The ambush went awry and ended in the deaths of all of the captives, a few police officers, and all of the terrorists.

  • Yasser Arafat was the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Their existence began as a terrorist group focused on spreading their message through violence. Yasser Arafat adopted the 9747634_1399483733“Phased Plan” which included political and diplomatic policies which made him and his followers more accessible to foreign powers. The PLO inspired many other Palestinian terrorist groups.

Patricia Hearst Kidnapping: Patty Hearst was 19 years old when the Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA) attacked her fiance and kidnapped herself. The goal of the SLA was to wage a war against the U.S. Government and capitalism. Her kidnapping gained the SLA a slew of attention since she is the granddaughter of newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst. They sent ransom audiotapes demanding food donation, then they began abusing and brainwashing Patty to become the face of their revolution. A video was released where she stated she had joined the SLA. Soon after she was caught on surveliance assisting in an SLA bank robbery. The FBI caught up with Patty and the SLA in may of 1975 after a botched robbery. Patty and a few others escaped the ensuing gunfight, but she was later apprehended on September 18th. Despite the claims and circumstantial evidence of brainwashing, she was found guilty and sentenced to seven years. Patty served two years of her sentence until she was later pardoned by President Carter.


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“Patty Hearst.” FBI. FBI, 18 May 2016. Web. 05 Jan. 2017. <https://www.fbi.gov/history/famous-cases/patty-hearst&gt;.

United States. National Park Service. “Tragedy in Munich.” National Parks Service. U.S. Department of the Interior, n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2017. <https://www.nps.gov/dabe/tragedy-in-munich.htm&gt;.

“Yasser Arafat in the 1970s and 1980s.” Yasser Arafat in the 1970s and 1980s. N.p., n.d. Web. 05 Jan. 2017. <http://www.palestinefacts.org/pf_1967to1991_arafat_1980s.php&gt;.

The Seventies. Prod. Tom Hanks. CNN, 2015. Television.