The paper "Terrorism in the 21st Century Is Different from the One in the Past" is a worthy example of an essay on social science. If it was the cold war between the US and Soviet Union which threatened the global peace efforts in the twentieth century, it is terrorism that gives sleepless nights to the political leaders of even superpowers or other prominent countries. The US has declared war against terror after 9/11, in Afghanistan and Iraq. India is constantly complaining about the involvement of Pak military groups in terrorist activities in Indian territories and the last one of this series was the Mumbai attack recently.
While Sri Lanka is facing the threats from Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (LTTE), Palestine accusing Israel of their massacres at Gaza, like Palestine territories. British counterinsurgency in Malaya, Vietnam War, Guy Fawkes, etc are some other recent examples of terrorism one way or other. In short, most part of the world is suffering from terrorist activities. When we analyze the terrorism in the current century with that from the past, we can see that the current terrorists are not fighting for economic reasons as it happened in the past.
In the past people or countries engage in terrorist activities mainly for robbing the wealth of other people or countries. But at present apart from the Somali sea robbers, most of the other terrorists are engaged in terrorist activities for political and religious reasons. Bin Laden and Mulla Omar are fighting on behalf of their religious beliefs in Afghanistan and Iraq. Pakistan is creating problems in Indian territories because of the destruction of a Muslim mosque called Babri Masjid by the Hindu fundamentalists.
LTTE is fighting for an independent Tamil state. The major reason for Israel - Arab conflict is also nothing, but differences in religious ideologies and beliefs. In short, the current terrorist is motivated by political and religious reasons whereas the past terrorists were engaged in such activities mainly because of economic reasons. Thorough research is necessary to identify the differences between past and present terrorist activities.