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1. Assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand

 In 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand was the presumed heir to the thrown of the recently annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. The recent annexation by Austria-Hungarian Empire had angered Serbian nationalists, motivating the attacks (“Franz Ferdinand,” 2016). Earlier in the morning, a Serbian nationalist had attempted the assassination via a failed bomb attempt which resulted in wounding others. The Archduke was assassinated via a pistol attack while in his motorcade to visit the injured from that morning (“Franz Ferdinand,” 2016). 

The assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was important foremost for its factoring into the beginning of the World War I. Even more critical though is its status as the first act of terrorism used to overthrow a colonial empire (“Terrorism,” 2019). This demonstrated its potential for success as a method of overthrow to the world. After World War II, the occurrence of terror organizations forming to overthrow colonial empires throughout the world increased sharply (“Terrorism,” 2019). 

2. Tokyo Subway – Sarin Gas Attack

            The attack was carried out March 20, 1995 by a religious cult referred to as Aum Shinrikyo (“Lessons Learned,” n.d.). The group used the morning rush to maximize effects and placed five containers of liquid sarin throughout subway cars. Members then used the ends of umbrellas to poke holes in the container, which leaked and poisoned commuters, killing 12 and forcing up to six thousand to medical care (Fletcher, n.d.). The attack was motivated by the belief that those killed by the cult would be “elevated to higher field of existence” in year before a believed doomsday event (“Tokyo Sarin,” 2018).

            The Aum Shinrikyo’s 1995 sarin gas attack highlighted to the modern world the ability of domestic terrorism to affect the most prospering nations (“Terrorism,” 2019). It also highlighted a significant change in tactics and capabilities. For a long time, it was considered that only governments could pull off an attack of such method and damage (“Lessons Learned,” n.d.). Shinrikyo’s ability to manufacture and employ biological and chemical also introduced a new method of easily harming thousands to the world (“Tokyo Sarin,” 2018).

3. Oklahoma City Bombing

            On the morning of April 19th, 1995 in Oklahoma City, Timothy McVeigh staged a rented Ryder truck in front of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. In the rental truck, he had placed approximately 4,000 pounds of homemade explosive with time-delay fuzing (Stout, 2019). He left the scene in a getaway car prior to 9:02 am explosion. The attack killed 168 people, including 19 children. And destroyed or damaged approximately 300 buildings (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019).

            This attack was important due to it being the first domestic attack of its magnitude in the United States (Federal Bureau of Investigation, 2019). The attack also triggered a nationwide assessment, mandated by the Clinton administration, of federal physical security protocol. Enhanced physical security already existed following the highlighting of threats internationally. The Oklahoma City attack, however, resulted in the widespread application of physical standards (Stout, 2019).


Federal Bureau of Investigation. (2019). Oklahoma City bombing | Federal Bureau of Investigation. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Jul. 2019].

Fletcher, H. (n.d.). Aum Shinrikyo. Retrieved July 2, 2019, from

Franz Ferdinand, whose assassination sparked a world war. (2016, June 28). Retrieved July 2, 2019, from

Lessons Learned: Tokyo sarin gas attack. (n.d.). Retrieved July 2, 2019, from

Stout, K. (2019). How the Murrah Building bombing changed federal facilities security. Retrieved July 3, 2019, from [Accessed 3 Jul. 2019].

Terrorism in historical perspective. (2019). Retrieved July 2, 2019, from

Tokyo sarin attack: Aum Shinrikyo cult leaders executed. (2018, July 06). Retrieved July 2, 2019, from

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