RealNews

The Rise of Low-Tech Terrorism

The movies were an affront to God, encouraging vice and Western-style decadence. So in August 1978, four Shiite revolutionaries locked the doors of the Cinema Rex in the Iranian city of Abadan and set the theater on fire. The firefighters were late, and nearby hydrants did not work. The victims’ shrieks could be heard while firefighters and police stood outside, watching helplessly. At least 377 people — perhaps many more — were burned alive. Never heard of the Cinema Rex fire? You’re not alone. But the tragedy is more than an obscure, grisly memory from the run-up to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. It’s also the second-deadliest terrorist attack in modern history — deadlier even than airline bombings such as Pan Am Flight 103 — and one that offers many lessons about the changing threat of terrorism today. Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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