For most Americans, terrorism made the transformation from theoretical threat to frightening reality on September 11, 2001, yet America has been the target of terrorist acts for over four decades. Piszkiewicz recounts the changing political orientation of terrorists and highlights the challenge that faces America and the community of nations in putting terrorists out of business without adopting their tactics. Piszkiewicz tells the history of modern international terrorism from its beginning in 1958 with the Cuban hijacking of an airliner en route from Miami. He recounts the changing political orientation of the enemy, the growing viciousness of their attacks, and the blundering responses by the U.S. government: inaction, impotent verbal assaults, and ill-conceived acts of retaliation. This book highlights the challenge that faces America and the community of nations in putting terrorists out of business without adopting their tactics. The assault began with the hijacking of airliners, but soon included the bombing of embassies, as well as attacks on military units and navy ships.
Terrorism has evolved from a disorganized activity of individuals and small groups, through its adoption of political warfare by nationalists, insurgents, and the disenfranchised, to its current incarnation as a weapon of political change used by rogue states and radical religious movements.