World Facts

Worst Terrorist Attacks In World History

Over the years, terrorists have claimed thousands of innocent lives in the pursuit of their dark objectives.

Over the years, terrorists have claimed hundreds of innocent lives for their selfish and immoral interests in the worst violent crimes ever. In modern times, terror continues to reign in our streets every day. However, terror upon tragedy best described from these terrorist attacks that struck streets, buildings, fields, towns, and any other place that had people living or doing business. From the streets and skyscrapers of New York to the war-trenched cities of Iraq, to Nairobi and Angola in Africa, and across Iran and the Persian Gulf, terrorists are everywhere. Here are the four worst terrorists’ attacks in history. These attacks, either bombing, buildings set ablaze, plane crashes or suicide bombers claimed many lives.

10. Air India Flight 182 -

#10 Air India Flight 182 -

Air India Flight 182 was an Indian passenger plane flying from Toronto, Canada to Delhi, India via London route. The plane was Boeing 747-237B destroyed with a bomb mid-air at an altitude of 31,000 feet and crashed on Irish airspace into the Atlantic Ocean. The incident took place in 1985 killing 329 passengers, and it was the first ever bombing of a 747 jumbo jet. The majority of the victims were Canadian citizens who were 268, and British were 27, Indians. It was the largest mass murder of in Canada’s history and the worst terrorist attack on a passenger plane until September 11, 2001

9. 2014 Gamboru Ngala attack -

#9 2014 Gamboru Ngala attack -

The attack took place on May 5 to 6, 2014, in the two towns of Gamboru and Ngala in the Borno state of Nigeria and more than 336 people were killed by the Boko Haram militia. The attack took almost 12 hours, and the towns were almost destroyed and the survivors fled to the neighboring country of Cameroon. On the same night, the attackers abducted eight girls in the northeastern part of Nigeria. The two towns had security garrison who had left the towns to pursue school girls who had been kidnapped in Chibok. The attackers used AK 47 assault rifles and RPGs using military vehicles that had been stolen several months earlier from the military. They set fire to the town and opened fire on civilians trying to escape the fire.

8. 2016 Karrada bombing -

#8 2016 Karrada bombing -

On July 3, 2016, there was a coordinated attack in Baghdad leading to the deaths of 341 people and several hundred more suffering injuries. Just before the midnight, a suicide truck targeting the Shia in the district of Karrada was detonated. The town was busy with late night shoppers for the Ramadan festivities. There was another bomb explosion in the suburb of Sha’ab killing about five people. Later the Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks and said Abu Maha al-Iraqi was the bomber. There was a fire in the explosion that caused extensive damage to the nearby buildings. The attack was the second worst terrorist attacks in Iraq after the Yazidi communities bombings.

7. Beslan school hostage crisis -

#7 Beslan school hostage crisis -

The Beslan School siege begun on September 1, 2004, and lasted for three days and involved holding hostage to more than 1,100 people including 777 children. At the end of the siege, the death toll was at least 385 people. The crisis started when some armed Chechen and Ingush Islamic groups captured a school in Beslan. The hostage-takers were demanding the recognition of the independence of Chechnya and the withdrawal of Russia from Chechnya. The Russian forces stormed the building on the third day, and many people were killed including children and several went missing.

6. July 2013 Iraq attacks -

The attack took place in the first two weeks of July 201. They were a series of coordinated attacks across several cities in Iraq resulting in deaths of 389 people and injuries to at least 800 more people. There have been several attacks in Iraq, they have been minimal and less widespread, but it rose sharply starting in April when the Iraqi army raided a protest camp in Hawija. According to the UN, there were a total of 712 people killed in the month of April 2013, making it the worst month ever in five years in the country. The month of May was even worse when 1,045 people were killed and more than 2,000 wounded as a result of terrorist attacks. By July the attacks were common and the worst ever experienced.

5. Massacre of Trujillo -

The Massacre of Trujillo was a series of murders carried out between 1988 and 1994 in the town of Trujillo. They were carried out Southwest of Colombia by the Cali cartel and the paramilitaries with the complicity of the country’s military and the police. About 400 people were murdered who included the suspects of guerrilla supporters and the unionist. The victims were tortured, killed and dismembered. The worst case was the castration and decapitation of Father Tiberio Fernandez, a local priest of the Jesuit denomination. The murders were to serve as a warning to the guerrilla sympathizers.

4. Cinema Rex fire -

#4 Cinema Rex fire -

On August 19, 1978, the Cinemax Red located in Abadan in central west Iran was set on fire killing at least 422 individuals. This attack took place when hundreds of people watching The Deer in the Cinema were set ablaze by four men who had already barred the entrance doors. Everyone trapped inside the cinema conflagrated to death. The exact motive behind the attack is also unknown, but even so, the Iranian revolution was ascertained as a key factor contributing to that deadly and probably the worst localized attack in history.

Sides exchanged blames with the Iraqi government blaming the militants and the anti-Shia protesters pointed fingers at SAVAK, the nation’s intelligence service. In the beginning, revolutionaries alleged that individuals pursued by the SAVAK ran into the theater using it as an opportunity to hide amidst the large crowd already inside. Later the SAVAK agents or the fugitives who back-tracked the agents locked the entrance/exit doors of the cinemas trapping everyone inside. Later on, the Iranian Government arrested and executed Captain Monir Taheri after the revolutionary tribunal convicted Taheri and consequently sentenced him to execution. Life is sacred and all matter concerning the terrorist need to be handled with care. Every country should put strict anti-terrorism laws such that its citizens will never have to experience what death feels like in the hands of terrorists.

3. May 2013 Iraq attacks -

These attacks started on May 15-21, 2013 killing a total of 500 people. They involved a series of heinous bombings and mass shootings in the central and northern regions of Iraq. There were also a few incidents in towns located in the far west and also the southern parts as well. On May 15, nine car bombs attacked Baghdad killing 23 and injuring 108 others. These attacks targeted Shia civilians. The bombs exploded at a bus station in Sadr City, Kadhimiya and also in New Baghdad. There was a pair of bombs that detonated in Kirkuk city near government offices which killed ten people and wounded 13 more. In Mosul, a roadside blast killed two law enforcement officers while injuring the other. In Tarmiyah, a suicide bomber killed two law enforcement officers and wounding eight others. Attacks continued in that pace and on May 16, 40 people died and other 17 injured in the country. More violence occurred on May 17, as more attacks targeted Sunnis for previous attacks on Shiites resulting in at least 43 deaths and 80 people were injured. On 18-19 May smaller attacks led to the death of more people. On May 20, more than 133 people died while 283 were injured across the country.

2. 2007 Yazidi communities bombings -

These attacks occurred on August 14, 2007 in Iraq killing as estimated 2,996 people. It involved four organized suicide bombs attacks in Kahtaniya and Jazeera towns both in Yazidi. One week later, the government estimated that the bombing had killed not less than 500 people and wounded 1,500 others making it the second worst terrorist attack in history. The coordinated attack comprised of three cars and a fuel tanker. Blasts resulting from two tons of explosives crumbled buildings and trapped many people beneath the wreckages. Excavation materials were scarce, and rescuers had to dig underneath the wrecks by hand to save the remaining survivors. Also, the injured crowded the hospitals as well as pharmacies, depleting medication. Before the attack, tension between the Yazidis and Sunni Muslims had been building up with many Yazidis receiving threats labeling them infidels and anti-Islamic. Yazidis received warnings of an imminent attack. No militia or terrorist groups claimed responsibility for this deadly act of terrorism. Even so, Jalal Talabani, the then Iraqi’s President blamed Iraqi Sunni insurgents for the bombings.

1. September 11 attacks -

#1 September 11 attacks -

The September 11th attacks came as a series of four well organized terrorist attacks, planned by the Al-Qaeda, targeting the US. The attacks began on Tuesday, September 11 in 2001 and killed approximately 2,996 people, injured more than 6,000, and destroyed property and infrastructure worth more than $10 billion. The economic loss totaled about $3 trillion in damage to property, lives lost, lost production of goods and services, and loss of stock market wealth. This deadly attack involved four passenger airlines flying to California from the northeastern parts of the US. The United Airlines Flights 175 and American Airlines Flight 11 were crushed by the Al-Qaeda into the South and North towers in that order, in New York’s World Trade Center. The four passenger planes were valued at $385 million.

In less than two hours the two 110-story towers had collapsed and the debris and fires destroying or collapsing all other structures in the compound. American Airlines Flight 77 plowed into the Pentagon, Virginia where the western side of the building collapsed. United Airlines Flight 93, the fourth plane crashed in Stonycreek Township although the attacker's aim was Washington, D.C. The replacement of destroyed buildings of the world trade center costs were between $3 billion and $4.5 billion, the damaged part of the Pentagon was about $1.1billion while the clean cost was $1.3 billion. The infrastructure damage was between $10 billion and $13billion. In response, the US launched War on Terror, with the Taliban as their primary target since they had harbored the al-Qaeda terrorist group. Around the world countries also strengthened anti-terrorism laws and expanded intelligence agencies and enforcements to counter and hence prevent terrorists' attack. The al-Qaeda claimed they attacked the US for the support the country gives Israel, for the US troops in Saudi Arabia and the sanctions against Iraq. Osama bin Laden took responsibility for the attacks in 2004.

Worst Terrorist Attacks In History

RankEstimated Number Of DeathsNameLocationDate
12,996September 11 attacksNew York City Arlington County, Virginia Stonycreek Township near Shanksville, Pennsylvania2001, Sep 11
25002007 Yazidi communities bombingsKahtaniya and Adnaniyah2007, Aug 14
3449May 2013 Iraq attacksAcross Iraq2013
4422Cinema Rex fireAbadan, Iran1978
5400Massacre of TrujilloTrujillo, Valle del Cauca1990
6389July 2013 Iraq attacksAcross Iraq2013
7385Beslan school hostage crisisBeslan2004
83412016 Karrada bombingBaghdad2016
9336+2014 Gamboru Ngala attackGamboru Ngala2014
10329Air India Flight 182Irish Atlantic airspace1985
113071983 Beirut barracks bombingBeirut1983
12293Russian apartment bombingsMoscow, Volgodonsk, Buynaksk1999
13270Pan Am Flight 103Lockerbie, Scotland1988
142571993 Bombay bombingsMumbai1993
152522001 Angola train attackAngola 2001
16238MV DaraPersian Gulf1961
17224Metrojet Flight 9268Sinai Peninsula2015
182241998 United States embassy bombingsNairobi, Dar es Salaam1998
19222+January 2012 Nigeria attacksMubi, Yola, Gombi, Maiduguri and Kano2012
2021523 November 2006 Sadr City bombingsSadr City2006

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