In October, 1917, Lenin and Trotsky – the two dominant figures behind the Russian Revolution – set out to overtake the Provisional Government and replace it with a communist one. Through the formation of a group of highly trained revolutionary fighters, they were successful in achieving their goal, and also managed to incarcerate many of those they opposed.
For the first time in history, film cameras allowed the entire world an opportunity to witness these rapidly unfolding events with their own eyes. During this swift two-day action in early November of that year, the era of modern terrorism was born. Such is the premise set forth by the filmmakers behind The Evolution of Modern Terrorism, an exhaustive primer on the touchstones that have defined a horrifying epidemic which continues to resonate in every corner of the globe.
The war on terrorism presents greater threats and challenges with each passing decade. From Che Guevara to Osama Bin Laden, the nature of modern terrorist tactics continues to evolve alongside ever-changing infrastructures, technologies and political landscapes. As the film illustrates, the current state of terrorist aggression results in loss of life on a massive scale, a trend that can be traced from the taking of Pan Am Flight 103 by Libyan nationalists in 1988 to the attacks of September 11, 2001 and beyond. These terrorist organizations are well funded and structurally solid; in many cases, they operate much like a corporation in their quest to inflict mass chaos throughout the world.
Whether indoctrinated through situations of impoverishment, ideology or religion, the perpetrators of these terror acts are growing more sophisticated in their ability to co-exist within the regions they eventually intend to attack, and in their capacity to exploit technological vulnerabilities to their advantage.
The Evolution of Modern Terrorism provides a clear-eyed and necessary exploration of three key questions: what are these terrorist organizations, how do they thrive and what motivates those who join them? It is only through understanding the answers to these complex questions that the world can begin to wage successful campaigns to eliminate their existence altogether. The film postulates that these solutions could potentially come in the form of increased education and resources for impoverished nations, trade embargoes, economic sanctions, and continued diligence in the gathering of actionable intelligence. Regardless of these efforts, one thing is certain. The world will have to contend with the scourge of terrorist extremism for some time to come.