European terrorism was it worse in the 1970's or are there more deaths today?

I grew up in the 1970’s and was vaguely aware of the terrorism in Europe. I’d guess even people not born then at least know of the attack on Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics (1972). I saw coverage of that tragedy live the day it happened.

Terrorism attacks occurred periodically throughout Europe throughout the 70’s . Thankfully we didn’t have a 24/7 news cycle to incessantly trumpet the tragedy day after day. We had Harry Reasoner each weekday evening from 5:30 to 6:00pm delivering the day’s news and newspapers.

Events that I recall…
London had numerous IRA bombings. The assassination of Lord Mountbatten in 1979.

Italy had the Red Brigades
Germany Red Army Faction, The Revolutionary Cells.

Groups opposing Israel The Black September Organization (BSO), The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and many others

There were far too many other terror groups for me to remember.Daily Beast wrote an interesting article How Europe Defeated 1970’s Terrorism .

In terms of danger and deaths. How does it compare today with the ISIS terror cells?

:eek: wikipedia has 1970’s terrorism indexed year by year

It was one bloody decade. Even worse than I realized while matriculating in the US. School and sports kept me very busy. I’m so glad we didn’t have a 24/7 news cycle to exploit it.

Interesting that nearly all those groups were eventually defeated or they disbanded. Many of the leaders were hunted down and killed. Israel was particularly good at that.

The OP asks which ierrorism is worse, then or now. But the answer shouldn’t be measured just in the death toll. (after all, tthe death toll from traffic accidents is higher than from terrorism)

There is I think, a very important difference between the terrorism of the 70’s vs today: the scale and milieu of the terrorists.

The 70’s had lots of different gangs with different agendas. Each one was narrowly focused, and often had only only attacked one country. They drew strength from a base of a few thousand fanatics, usually natives of the same culture and the same country which they were attacking. It was possible for the victims to comprehend the mindset of the terrorists.

Today’s terrorism is much more broad. It is based world-wide, and draws strength from hundreds of millions of supporters. The attackers come from a foreign culture and a foreign country. This makes them seem much more scary, and less comprehensible.
So, to answer the OP-- today’s terrorism seems worse.

(my bolding)

When are ‘terrorist’ groups successful? At least in the last century, I’d guess never. ‘The Troubles’ in the UK went on for at least two decades, if you don’t count the previous few centuries of conflict between the UK and Ireland. The ‘terrorists’ have been always labelled as such when the lessor of the two in a conflict, even though the other side may be guilty of worse atrocities.

As to the OP, I think the 70’s were worse for bombings and shootings. The hysteria over each and every attack today seems much more heightened than it was in the 80’s when I was a kid. I grew up in London and the bombs going off were news but not something that adversely affected your everyday life, unlike those in Northern Ireland who had to pass through military checkpoints just to attend school, and would lose friends from their schools or neighbourhoods every now and again.

I think this is a good way to put it. Not to minimize the events of the last few days, but the media sending their anchors to Belgium and bleating “How will the world make sense of what has happened?” and “This is Europe’s new normal” is just overblown, and so they end-up stoking the thought that every person in the world is under severe threat from terrorists. While I acknowledge there is >0 chance any of us could be affected by terrorism, most people pause to see what happened, and then carry-on with their business. The media is guilty of milking these events for all their worth, and then wallowing in the climate of fear they stoke - so it may seem like things are getting worse.

And of course the situation both today and in the 1970s is a speck in the dust in their impact compared to Germany’s Holocaust or Stalin’s purges.