Basically, a group of terrorists who are mostly from the West (typically defined as the continents of North America and Europe, though Oceania and South America can also be included), and who are mainly influenced by cultural, political or religious ideas of Western origin. The trope may also cover a single individual. What makes someone "Western" can be rather hazy and difficult to define, since it is not simply a matter of where the person was born or grew up. Many Islamic terrorists, generally regarded as non-Western, lived the majority of their lives in the West, and for that matter many elements of Islamic culture — coffee, cookies and yogurt, for instance, were originally Arabic, Persian and Turkic foods, respectively — have profoundly influenced Western society and vice versa, making it tough to ascertain who is "Western" and who is not. Many countries in the Americas, especially in The Caribbean, have notable West and Central African and South Asian influences due to many of the inhabitants of those countries being descendants of African slaves and Indian laborers brought there by European colonists during the Atlantic slave trade, the United Kingdom has South Asian influences in it's culture due to the large amount of diaspora from the Indian subcontinent, and many Southern and Eastern European countries have Islamic influences due to the Moors, Arabs, Ottoman Empire, Persian Empire, notable Turkic minorities and the regions' close proximity to North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia, with Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Turkey, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan even being predominately Muslim. Furthermore, several culturally and/or politically European countries (Turkey, Cyprus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kazakhstan and Russia) have the majority of or all their land in Asia, and thus terrorists from those countries could be considered either Western or Eastern, depending on what part of the country they are from and/or whether you consider them European or Asian.
Generally, a "Western terrorist" is a terrorist fighting for something that has been an issue in the West for a long time - an ideological offshoot, for better or worse, of the legacies of the European feudal system, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, or the scientific revolution launched in the seventeenth century, like anarchism, communism, Christian religion, environmentalism, nationalism, or racism, as opposed to an issue most strongly associated with another culture (like non-Christian religion, which of course raises the fascinating question of whether to classify Israeli terrorists as Middle Eastern or Western. Same with South African terrorists, which could be classified as either African or Western). Bear in mind that an apparently non-Western terrorist group may be secretly led by Western terrorists acting as The Man Behind the Man. For example, this would be the case if an apparent Islamic terrorist group turned out to be part of a secret neo-Nazi plot to provoke World War III (unlikely, yes, but stranger things have happened).
Creators may opt to draw from Real Life terrorism cases, from Anders Breivik to the Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, to ETA's campaign and the long-running intercommunal strife in Northern Ireland, instead of the arguably more topical example of Middle Eastern terrorists. They may find Western terrorism more interesting than its counterparts in the rest of the world, simply because it is much more multidimensional in scope. Additionally, using Western villains often seems like an easy way of skirting any racial or ethnic Unfortunate Implications (though many Middle Easterners are of Caucasian descent, or at least look it). However, there is also danger with this approach: if used in improbable contexts, or to replace non-Western terrorists in an adaptation or update, the use of Western terrorists can start to look like a cheap case of Acceptable Targets or Politically Correct History.
Some groups of Western Terrorists that have appeared in media and news are various Animal Wrongs Group, whose actions have been dubbed eco-terrorism. There are also militia groups. Other examples include extreme nationalists, racial supremacists, violent leftists, religious radicals and separatist movements. The Troubles in Northern Ireland is a notable example - a definitely European dispute, with white Christians involved in sectarian violence which included riots and violence (on the other hand, the Irish Republican terrorist/resistance movement is definitely anti-colonialist, and anti-colonialism is usually thought to be a non-Western theme). A similar notable example are the conflicts between Russians and Chechen separatists in the Russian republic of Chechnya. In recent years, there are those who commit terrorism in the West as lone wolves without being affiliated with known established terrorist organizations; often they are psychopathic young people subscribing to some nihilistic ideology that makes sense only to them.
Another good source of Euro-villainy is the post-Soviet weaponmonger. This person may be a fascist, but usually they serve no cause other than the creation of chaos, a self-sustaining market for their endless supplies of nukes, viruses, and other deadly toys for their more ideologically minded customers to use on each other. In series where such black-market dealers and Corrupt Corporate Executives exist, they inevitably prove to be more dangerous than the Islamists/neo-Nazis/revolucionistas/etc. to whom they're selling weaponry. Newer ones however prefer to reinstall the old Soviet Regime without the communist ideals and instead aim for a rule resembling more that of Ivan the Terrible.
This trope should not be confused with partisans - resistance groups who fight regular military forces (in other words, guerrillas). Unlike terrorists, partisans are perfectly legal under international law - if and only if they have a chain of command, some means of identification from a distance, and carry their weapons openly. Otherwise, they are unlawful combatants. Note, this doesn't prevent characters from calling their attacks terrorism despite their legal legitimacy. Partisans are covered here on TV Tropes as La Résistance. To be a true terrorist, one must both be ideologically motivated and engage in what is widely recognized as violent criminal behavior.
Partially Truth in Television, in the United States; you are seven times more likely to be killed by a homegrown political extremist than an Islamic fundamentalist. In fact, the most common form of American terrorism is by environmental extremists, though usually this doesn't harm anyone (since they avoid it).
For terrorism-related sister tropes, see African Terrorists, Middle Eastern Terrorists, South Asian Terrorists and Far East Asian Terrorists. Some Western Terrorists are also Terrorists Without a Cause. Often overlaps with Your Terrorists Are Our Freedom Fighters, especially when the Western Terrorists are portrayed as Irish or white supremacist. See also White Gangbangers. Compare Evil Brit, French Jerk, Balkan Bastard, Renegade Russian and Evil States of America.
Includes Western Terrorists Without a Cause, and Corrupt Corporate Executives.
- Blaze of Glory: Though not fighting for any idealistic cause, the enforcers hired by Clay Riley to drive out Wonderment's residents, who dress like KKK nightriders to scare the city's minority populace, and kill and burn the town and its people indiscriminately solely to scare them into leaving certainly earn the name Terrorists.
- Captain America deals with a lot of these groups. The most prominent was HYDRA, led by Cap's Arch-Enemy, the Red Skull, which was bent on tyrannical world domination. He also tangled with the likes of AIM (dedicated to establishing a global technocracy), ULTIMATUM (dedicated on establishing a world without national borders of any kind), and the Secret Empire (modern-day fascists revealed to be led by none other than Richard Nixon though this was later retconned).
Film — Live Action
- In Batman Begins, the villain Ra's al-Ghul, an Arab in the source material, is shown first to be East Asian, later revealed as a decoy for a Caucasian. His ninja students, however, are pretty diverse. And in The Dark Knight, the Joker (who, unlike other incarnations of the character, is a "normal" man in clown makeup, so his Caucasian skin tone is often visible) is repeatedly referred to as a terrorist, which is half-true. While he mostly does needlessly destructive things for his own amusement, he does have some ideas and beliefs (albeit ones spawned from a definitely psychotic, apolitical mind) about chaos and anarchy. Likewise, in The Dark Knight Rises, Bane (who comes off as something of a follower of French-style neo-Jacobinism) seems to be European, but born in India and his followers are diverse; and he was a light-skinned South American mestizo (or maybe even a Spaniard) in both his original comics incarnation (where he was motivated solely by a campaign of revenge against a "giant bat" that terrified him as a child, a quest which led him straight to Batman) and in Batman & Robin. Lastly, Talia al-Ghul is French, or at least partly French (and played by a French actress).
- The Die Hard series (though in all the terrorists are actually thieves), with the villains being German in the first and third, and American in the other two (in the second, with the help of a Banana Republic dictator).
- In John Woo's second American Heroic Bloodshed movie Face/Off, Castor Troy seems to fit this trope.
- Flightplan (2005): Part of the reason that no one was surprised at who the real villain was. Casting Sean Bean made for a much more successful Red Herring; thanks to this trope, everyone already knew the Middle Eastern fellow was going to be innocent.
- Iron Man:
- In Iron Man, Tony Stark is imprisoned by the Ten Rings, Afghan terrorists hiding in caves inspired by Al Qaeda, but not explicitly Islamic or even entirely Middle Eastern (the Ten Rings actually has different cells of different races). It turns out that his capture was orchestrated by his white business partner Obadiah Stane, who later has the Afghan terrorists executed.
- In Iron Man 3, Ben Kingsley's "Mandarin" turns out to be a totally stoned British thespian named Trevor Slattery, playing an in-universe caricature. The real mastermind is Aldrich Killian, who wants to play both sides of the War on Terror from behind the scenes by disguising accidents involving former soldiers treated with Extremis as terrorist attacks, to coerce the government into using Extremis. To make things more confusing, All Hail the King reveals there is a real Mandarin out there... but we wouldn't see him until 2021's Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings.
- The TV-movie Meltdown. Former US soldiers faking an attempt to blow up a nuclear power plant to make a statement. "Our terrorist is GI Joe."
- In a 1926 film from the Soviet Union, Miss Mend, the bad guys are Americans who have organized a terrorist conspiracy to use biological and chemical weapons against Bolshevik Russia.
- Naked Gun 33 1/3: The Final Insult
- The Rocco Dylan gang are terrorists, but they are all Americans of northern European descent (except for Papshmir, a man of vaguely Eurasian descent, who serves as the liaison to their bosses) and do not appear to be particularly religious. They talk like characters from a 1940s Film Noir story and are concerned first and foremost with making money - though their bosses, who are explicitly mentioned to be "Arab terrorists", want Dylan and his posse to detonate a nuclear device inside the pavilion in Hollywood where the Academy Awards ceremony is being held for the purpose of "embarrassing the United States."
- There's also a humorous example at the beginning set in a train station (and inspired by The Untouchables (1987), believe it or not), where President Bill Clinton and Pope John Paul II get caught in a crossfire involving The Mafia, Islamic terrorists, and "deranged postal workers." It's obviously supposed to be a Thirty Xanatos Pileup - and anyway, it turns out to be just a nightmare that Frank Drebin soon wakes up from.
- In The Rock, the bad guys are a group of disgruntled American soldiers.
- Resident Evil Film Series has the Umbrella Corp. dedicated to causing a massive zombie epidemic for no particular reason.
- The Foot Clan in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014), are portrayed as gun-toting pro-American terrorists instead of being the Far East Asian Terrorist ninja cult from the original source.
- Played with in True Lies. The film's antagonists from the get-go are the Crimson Jihad, a partly Islamic, partly anti-colonialist terrorist organization led by Salim Abu Aziz, the "Sand Spider." The Crimson Jihad threaten to detonate a nuclear bomb in Florida if their demands are not met. The terrorists are all of Middle Eastern or North African descent, but they've got an accomplice in the form of Juno Skinner, a female American millionaire art collector. While Skinner obviously has nonwhite ancestry,note her features are not Semitic at all. And she's not a Muslim; indeed, her face is always visible and she shows quite a bit of leg throughout the movie. Furthermore, when Schwarzenegger's Harry Tasker demands to know why Skinner is scheming against her own country, she assures him she doesn't care at all about the Crimson Jihad's cause; she's just in it because Aziz is paying her a lot of money. Skinner's role is to help the terrorists smuggle bombs into the U.S. by concealing them within hollowed-out ancient Persian reliefs that are (or were) part of her antiquities collection.
- The protagonist of Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point is Mark (Mark Frechette) who along with a bunch of friends takes over a college building by force of arms and provokes a police confrontation in the seventies. Notably the actor Mark Frechette was a real-life radical who years after the film became an armed robber, was imprisoned for the crime, and died in prison in a freak accident.
- Though not the main villain, the very Middle Eastern character The Hassassin of Angels & Demons is replaced in the movie by a generic (though very creepy) Caucasian villain for hire in the movie version.
- Colin Forbes' novel The Year Of The Golden Ape alleges that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) is in fact a collection of mercenaries recruited from various swarthy-skinned nations by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia as part of a plan for World Domination through manipulation of oil supplies; the plan is ultimately foiled when a plot to destroy San Francisco with a nuclear bomb aboard an oil tanker is foiled by the San Francisco Police Department SWAT Team, and the Saudi oil Minister is assassinated by MOSSAD.
- The villains of 24's Day 2 were a conglomerate of Corrupt Corporate Executives in the oil business, as well as a German arms dealer called Max, all of whom hired Peter Kingsley to give a nuclear device to Islamic terrorists and frame three Middle Eastern countries for the act so the United States could invade these countries and secure a steady supply of oil in the Caspian Sea.
- To quote this handy article, "But Bauer's ass-kicking takes place in a landscape straight out of the '70s, in which America's terrorist enemies are enabled by (in no particular order) a cabal of businessmen hoping to foment a Middle Eastern war and benefit from skyrocketing oil prices; a group of hawkish Cabinet officials who plot to remove from office (or assassinate) their dovish superiors; a Nixonian chief executive who permits terrorist attacks on American soil as a pretext for U.S. military intervention in Central Asia; and an endless host of traitors inside America's antiterrorism outfit."
- Fan favorite Sark from Alias.
- For its first two seasons, Blindspot revolves almost entirely around a conspiracy of epic proportions set in motion by a US-American terrorist group labelled "Sandstorm" more than twenty years prior to the events of the series. Their ultimate goal is to expose and put an end to corruption and power abuse. While a noble goal per se, their plans to achieve it involve plunging the entire US into chaos, making large parts of it uninhabitable by detonating dirty bombs in major population centers, and replacing the current government with people of their choosing. Sandstorm's fighters are exceedingly well-trained,note funded and equipped, they're fanatically devoted to their cause, and they'll stop at absolutely nothing to achieve their goals.
- Charlie's Angels: The Patriots for a Free Society in the "Terror on Skis" episode seem to fit this trope. Their motivations seem to be muddled.
- The unaired pilot for Heroes gave Ted's radioactive power to an Arab terrorist character. This plotline was dropped for the actual pilot and given to Ted, a white American. One result is that connected events (the train derailment, some of Isaac's paintings) become disconnected and random, while in the original pilot, they were all connected by the terrorist story.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine used this trope (together with the Trek cliche of evil admirals) in "Homefront", in which a Changeling attack on Earth turns out to have been orchestrated by Admiral Leyton, the head of Starfleet Operations, as an excuse to tighten security for when the real attack inevitably comes. Sisko foils his plans — learning in the process that there are Changeling infiltrators on Earth (but only 3), watching all this with amusement.
- While not human (although she is played by a Caucasian actor), Kira is an admitted former terrorist. As her acts of terrorism were against the Cardassian Occupation of Bajor, she was still a good guy (at least as far as anyone on DS9 is a 'good guy'). Part of what kept her sympathetic as a character was that, while she still feel her terrorist actions were justified by the occupation, she never took any pleasure in killing and many of the more brutal attacks she carried out still haunt her.
- Kyle Hobbes in V (2009).
- A particularly Anvilicious episode of Without a Trace featured a precocious young boy who built a bomb to make a point that the country wasn't protected enough after his mother was killed in 9/11 (similar to one theory behind the anthrax letter guy's motivation). Additionally, the boy's only friend tortures him in his basement to make him reveal where he hid the bomb.
- The irony being that there was no bomb (the kid made the whole thing up, as kids are apt to do), but the torture session embittered him so much that afterward he built a real one.
- It's difficult to confirm, but the narrators of the 1984 Iron Maiden song "2 Minutes to Midnight" appear to be this kind of terrorist; they sing "Kill for gain or shoot to maim / But we don't need a reason." The album art for this song portrays Eddie (the band's skull-faced mascot) as an Arab terrorist, which paradoxically both makes the possibility more likely and muddies it a great deal.
- Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has the Shadow Operatives, who wear gold masks and are a Illuminati group posing as a extremist splinter faction of the Czech Augmented Rights Coalition, lead by Ukrainian war veteran Viktor Marchenko. They are being used to frame the ARC for terrorism and get the Human Restoration Act passed so that all augmented people are forced to move to Rabi'ah in Oman, which doesn't have the resources to handle that many people and will most likely get them all killed.
- EndWar has Russian forces disguising themselves as "The Forgotten Army", who "are" a band of soldiers from various nations misused by the US and Europe.
- Metal Gear Solid has FOXHOUND, a former US Special Operations unit whose main members include a British-American super soldier clone, a Native American shaman and heavy weapons specialist, a female Kurdish sniper, a Russian gunslinger and interrogator, a Russian psychic, and a Mexican master of disguise, and the Genome Soldier mooks are all Americans.
- Although Ouma from Namco × Capcom is more of a Far East Asian Terrorist group, there is also a North American branch in Project X Zone 2 and Sheath is one of its members.
- The console version of Rainbow Six 3 had Venezuelan terrorists led by Juan Crespo, who's plan was to start an oil crisis and use it as a power grab to become the president of Venezuela, and he would then cut off the US oil supply, selling the oil on the black market so he could rake in huge personal profit. A Saudi friend of his in the meantime would then start terrorist attacks against the US and frame the Saudis for it, allowing him to take over in Riyadh once the US steps in.
- Like with the movie example, Resident Evil's Umbrella Corporation, when they weren't screwing up on their own causing accidental biological disasters, tended to have rogue dissatisfied or just plain crazy researchers cause these problems. Resident Evil 5 and 6 have since seen Umbrella become "Neo-Umbrella", which isn't so much a revival of the multinational biotech corporation as much as it is a terrorist organization trying to destroy the world For the Evulz.
- In Resident Evil 4, Leon is set against Los Illuminados, a Spanish cult who kidnapped the President's daughter Ashley Graham for ransom, but simultaneously plan to use her to commit bioterrorism with the goal of world domination. They also have an entire militia with the intention of an armed invasion of the United States, complete with battleships. Leon explicitly calls them terrorists at one point.
- The main antagonists in the Light Gun Game Time Crisis 4 are at first presumed to be the European terrorist organization W.O.L.F., or Western Order Liberation Front, but later the terrorists are revealed to be a group of disgruntled US soldiers called the Hamlin Battalion, but their reason for trying to destroy the US is unknown, other than the fact that the Big Bad Gregory Barrows was given poor treatment in the military.
Captain Rush: "You took an oath of loyalty to your country!"
Jack Mathers: "That oath meant nuthin'!"
- In the fifth game, Robert Baxter is revealed to be this.
- The Eco-Villains of Captain Planet and the Planeteers are this. One, such as Looten Plunder, crossing over into the realm of White-Collar Crime. Three—Plunder, Greedly and Sly Sludge—are just rich, myopic pricks who only really care about money (though they occasionally make quips about loving to pollute.) and Dr. Blight was out-and-out insane and wanted to cash in on dangerous, experimental technology. Exceptions were Verminous Skumm and Duke Nukem, both mutants, and Zarm, a God of Evil. Verminous Skumm wants humanity to live in miserable and chaotic conditions, Duke Nukem wants humanity to be mutated like himself, and Zarm wants to destroy the world.
- In G.I. Joe, COBRA was always referred to as a "terrorist" organization, even though it was closer in every way to James Bond's SPECTRE or Nick Fury's HYDRA than anything resembling modern terrorism (western or otherwise). The comic version of the franchise portrayed COBRA as tapping into the frustrations of lower to middle-class white Americans, even making Cobra Commander into a former used car salesman. COBRA also tended to use ordinary, all-American small towns named Springfield as secret headquarters.
- Spoofed in the South Park episode "The Snuke", a parody of 24 where Cartman (playing the role of Jack Bauer) is convinced the new Muslim kid in school is a terrorist, and tips off the government. Turns out there is a terrorist plot going on in South Park, but it involves Russian mercenaries trying to distract the government with a nuclear device planted in Hillary Clinton's crotch while America's oldest enemies (the British) stage a naval assault.
Note, the trope does not cover all reactionary militias. Only those who conduct violent, illegal actions to further their ideology count as examples.
Anime and Manga
- La Eden of Mobile Suit Gundam 00, a ultra-conservative political group within the AEU. They attempt to stop Celestial Being through random public attacks, and are one of the few groups in season one to be considered outright evil.
- Captain America: The Watchdogs are a right-wing terrorist group dedicated to restoring and preserving traditional American culture and values, and fighting against indecency, immorality, and sexual perversion. The Watchdogs seek to impose their conservative moral views on the general public; they believe in strict enforcement of family values, and are violently opposed to pornography, obscenity, sex education, abortion, homosexuality, and the teaching of evolutionary theory. Their terrorist activities, which include vandalism, arson, intimidation, assault, kidnapping, brainwashing, and murder, are targeted primarily at people who produce material which the Watchdogs consider pornographic, including nude art and sexually explicit music.
- Sensation Comics: The Green Shirts who appear in the Wonder Woman feature are a violent militia that lynches immigrants, legal or otherwise, and those who employ or try to stand up for them.
- The Ultimates: Hydra was initially introduced as a small Right-Wing Militia Fanatic group, and after Modi's defeat they have since began stealing S.H.I.E.L.D. tech and apparently under the guise of a man called Scorpio. Note that this work is set in the Ultimate Marvel universe, so this Hydra is not quite the same as the mainstream one.
Film — Live Action
- The villains of Arlington Road are implied to be this, since it invokes the Oklahoma City bombing and Ruby Ridge in the past incidents that are mentioned during the film.
- The Forever Purge: The Ever After Purgers are a white supremacist group that intends to Purge anyone that doesn't fit their definition of "American". Their organization is such that the NFFA is quickly overwhelmed.
- The villains in White House Down were fanatical American far-right extremists.
- The villains in the Danger.com book "Firestorm" were whites with a revolutionary war motif who wanted to rid the US of foreigners.
- NCIS must deal with a radical faction of Military At Home (MAH), a group of nationalists who wanted America to focus on internal affairs (fighting crime and illiteracy) instead of foreign affairs. Interestingly, the members of the group were rich, well-to-do people living in a gated community.
- The NSF of Deus Ex fame started out as those.
- In Hotline Miami, there's the group behind the entire game's plot, 50 Blessings. Long story short, their goal was to keep America "strong" by sabotaging any and all attempts at diplomacy with the Soviet Union, mostly by targeting Russian Mafia members in the United States that had reason to want better Soviet-American relations.
- Rudy Brewer, one of Max's neighbors back in Hoboken in Max Payne 3, stocked his apartment with what appears to be nothing but the ingredients for home-made fertilizer bombs. One interactive item in his apartment is a manifesto. His appearance and mannerisms imply that he's a Vietnam vet with PTSD.
- Two of the most notable members of Metal Slug's Rebel Army, General Morden and Allen O'Neil, are this, hailing from Canada and America respectively.
- The Anarchiste Libertaire Armee in Syphon Filter: The Omega Strain.
- The John Brown Army, headed by Emile Dufraisne, from Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Double Agent.
- MECH from Transformers: Prime, a military black ops group who believe that technological superiority is the key to controlling the future. They are aware of the Transformers' presence on Earth and seek to capture and reverse-engineer them for their own sinister purposes.
Silas: "There's a war brewing between the new world order and the newest. The victor will be the side armed with the most innovative technology."
Includes Neo-Nazis and white, ethnic, or anti-fantastic supremacists.
Anime and Manga
- Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny have Blue Cosmos, a radical anti-Coordinator group with some serious funding and political backing. They're one of the factions that end up escalating the war into outright genocide.
- In a Doctor Who spin-off audio adventure, the villain (who desires to remove non-British from Britain) uses mind control to get people to blow themselves up shouting "THIS IS FOR MY PEOPLE!" Regardless of the nationality, he gets the press to cover it as a Muslim extremist (in the first instance, a Scot blew himself up, and was said on the news to be a Muslim student) or other non-British to cause riots and swell public support for his anti-foreigner agenda.
- Most of Captain America's terrorist enemies are Conspiracy-type organizations, but the Sons of the Serpent fit more into this category. Think Archie Bunker if he were a murderous and genuinely bigoted psychopath, and you have a good idea of what the organization stands for.
- Any comic by Frank Miller will inevitably have Nazi henchmen. Oddly enough, they rarely, if ever, make racist remarks. In fact, a Neo-Nazi in Sin City is shown working for Big Scary Blackman Manute and alongside a dwarf with no trouble.
Film — Live Action
- The neo-Confederate survivalist faction in Blues Brothers 2000 (obviously a counterpart to the Nazi faction in the original Blues Brothers movie) appear to be more anti-communist and antisemitic than racially supremacist. However, they do display a banner that reads "White Power."
- In the UK, Channel 4 aired an original drama called Gas Attack about a Neo-Nazi organizing an anthrax attack on a council estate full of Kurdish asylum seekers (highly ironic, as Kurds are considered by most ethnographers to be "Aryans"), as part of the Neo-Nazis' plan to force the government to deport all immigrants, homosexuals and non-white British people from the country.
- Imperium: The film revolves around an FBI operation to find out if white supremacists are planning an attack. It's eventually learned some are.
- In the Fade: A Neo-Nazi couple bombed Nuri's office, killing him and his son, simply for them being of foreign ancestry. Their action is based on that of the real NSU, National Socialist Underground, who committed multiple bombings and murders during the 2000s in Germany, specifically the 2004 Cologne Bombing.
- The film adaptation of Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears replaced the Muslim terrorists of the novel with Neo-Nazis. According to the production staff, this was because shooting had actually wrapped on the film before 9/11, and, at the time, they felt the idea of a successful Muslim attack of that scale on the U.S. was far-fetched. The feature of Far-Right Terrorists was seen at the time as ludicrous and far fetched. As mentioned in the Films YMMV page, it now is anything but far fetched.
- In the Harry Potter series, the Death Eaters are essentially a terrorist organization. Their main goals are based on their very Nazi-esque Fantastic Racism.
- Tom Clancy has quite a few examples, most of the Net Force series.
- Victoria has the Landwehr, a neo-Nazi group who emphasize Nietzschean philosophy and actually manage to take over much of the Midwest as the United States collapses due to decades of economic, demographic, and cultural decay. They serve as an evil counterpart and foil to the protagonist faction, the Christian Marines, who are themselves a relatively more sympathetic take on the RightWingMilitiaFanatic concept.
- The Drazens, the employers of Ira Gaines in 24's Day 1, consisted of Slobodan Milosevic's lieutenant Victor Drazen and his two sons.
- In "The Big Explosion" episode of Dragnet, a white supremacist steals dynamite from a construction site and plans to use it to blow up an integrated elementary school during school hours. Sgt. Friday and Officer Gannon must use trickery to find the TNT.
- In From the Cold: Los Jinetes (Riders) is a group of racist Spaniards who want to expel all immigrants in Spain, carrying out violent attacks against them while planning even worse ones. Jenny infiltrates the group to stop it.
- One episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit involves a white supremacist group. They at first insist that they're a non-violent ideological group whose actions are limited to First Amendment-protected speech, but the leader turns out to have engineered a playground shooting that killed an African-American child, and the leader's son and another group member later carry out a courtroom shooting in protest of the leader being on trial.
- Romper Stomper: A group of the white nationalists stage a suicide bombing to kill a federal MP in the finale.
- Sleeper Cell: White separatists also make an appearance, trading explosives to the cell for Afghan cocaine. They also appear to draw parallels between them and Al-Qaeda. Christian, an ex-skinhead, claims that he was once a lot like them. The leader of the white separatists answers that Christian is still like them.
- A bunch of skinheads came damn close to assassinating the president in The West Wing. Although they weren't actually trying to assassinate President Bartlett, but rather his bodyman, Charlie Young. Though technically they were trying to kill him for political reasons (he was black and was dating the president's white daughter).
- Both WWE and TNA have featured some nonwhite (but still Western-inspired) racial supremacist gangs over the years, including The Nation of Domination (Black, although there were some Latino and Anglo token members) and Mexican America (Chicano). Tatanka became something of a militant American Indian extremist (very) late in his career, although he acted alone and never spouted rhetoric against non-Indians (just for Indians).
- Alamos 20,000 from Shadowrun is the umbrella organization that controls the Humanis Policlub, Human Nation, the Ministry of Mankind, the Free Human Brotherhood, and the Sapient Army, among other less-notable groups. Their first public act was to firebomb a church with napalm. They also bombed the Sears Tower and blamed metahumans for it. They want to eliminate metahumanity and the Awakened and retake North America for white heterosexual Anglo-Saxon humanity. One of A20K's Central Executive is a self-hating troll.
- Rainbow Six 3: Raven Shield had neo-Nazis as bad guys.
- Rainbow Six: Vegas games have American Private Military Contractors.
- The Order in the first Soldier of Fortune game.
- Prometheus in Soldier of Fortune II: Double Helix, though they have Russian versions.
- RWBY: White Fang was funded originally as a pacifist Faunos right group that simply wanted better treatment from the humans. It slipped into a more radical organization, first under Sienna Khan who advocated using violence to get their point across. After Sienna's death, Adam Taurus took control of the group and transformed it into a full-fledged Faunus supremacist group that sought to Kill All Humans and make Faunos the ruler of Remnant. Adam turned to be such incompetent and spiteful leader that he ran the White Fang into the ground in months after assuming leadership, all because he couldn't deal with Blake abandoning him due to his increasingly violent behavior.
Usually radical Christians, the Klansmen or Apocalypse Cults, but converted Islamic terrorists of Western origin also qualify
Film — Live Action
- Joseph, who destroys the Machine in Contact.
- Barry in Four Lions, a radicalized white Muslim convert who spends the film trying to plan a suicide bombing with his group of friends.
- Justice League. The hostage takers at Old Bailey in London that Wonder Woman takes down in her Batman Cold Open.
Cut to Black Clad Alpha: (opening his suitcase to reveal an Incredibly Obvious Bomb) This is Man's best hope. Down with the modern world, back to the Dark Ages and the safety of holy fear.
- In Unthinkable, Steven Arthur Younger is a nuclear weapons expert and ex-military man who has converted to Islam and changed his named to Mohammed Yusuf Atta. He planted three nuclear bombs in three different US cities. The FBI and other agencies must get him to tell them where the bombs are - they achieve this by relying on a lot of Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique.
- The Republic of Gilead in The Handmaid's Tale was founded by a Protestant theocratic group that assassinated the US President and the entire Congress in a False Flag Operation before establishing a repressive dictatorship.
- Played with in Robert Zubrin's The Holy Land. The terrorists are explicitly American, but given that they act out of religious fanaticism manipulated by greedy politicians, use student visas to infiltrate the Western Galactic Empire, and sabotage passenger spacecraft to kill huge numbers of innocent civilians, the readers are probably meant to view them otherwise.
- Used in a more meta- way later on. Even though all of the terrorists are Americans, the Western Galactic Empire is afraid of accusations of discrimination, and its own (Western) people are accused of terrorism by government and media at least as often as the Americans are.
- In the Alternate History Lady Astronaut series, a meteorite hits Cheapaseake Bay in 1952, causing a runaway greenhouse effect which will render Earth inhospitable in about fifty years. Nations come together and radically accelerate the efforts to colonize space, but before they even set foot on the moon, a bomber straps himself to a rocket due to launch, trying to stop the plans to "abandon God's creation."
- In Matt Ruff's The Mirage, in a world where the United Arab States was the world's dominate power, the Christian terrorist group World Christian Alliance hijacks four airliners, crashing three of the them into the Tigris and Euphrates Twin Towers in Baghdad and Arab Defense Ministry, while another crashes after a struggle with the passengers. After the UAS invades the Christian States of America, the UAS is further assaulted by "crusader" terrorists.
- The Western half of the two terrorist factions engaging in Evil Versus Evil in The Oregon Files book Sacred Stone want to use a nuclear weapon to blow up Mecca and destroy Islam. It is a rather unique set-up of this, since the head of the organization is not stated to believe in the superiority of any one religion or race, he just really really hates Islam and Muslims.
- Season 2 used this for an actual, solid twist. The sister of a woman marrying a Muslim boy she met at college in London starts to suspect that he may have ties to a terrorist group. Turns out he's innocent; it's her sister the bride who's been converted and embraced radical Islam.
- Season 9 introduces Margot al-Harazi, who is British by birth but married an al-Qaeda operative and became radicalized by him. She serves as primary villain for the season when she hijacks drones in an attempt to assassinate the US President.
- An Eleventh Hour episode had a group attacking the Philadelphia transit system. In this case our bad guys are... Belgian? Though in this case, they are Islamic converts after the pattern of Lindh, mentioned above.
- Trying to figure out if a U.S. Marine captured in Afghanistan has been converted/brainwashed into one or not is at the center of Homeland's plot.
- An episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent dealt with two Western, non-Arab converts to Islam who decided to become suicide bombers. Which may in turn have been inspired by the Real Life case of John Walker Lindh, the "American Taliban".
- Also a plot point in episodes of NCIS and Criminal Minds, where an Arab-born leader recruits Americans to carry out suicide missions.
- One Silent Witness episode was based around the team hunting down an extremist Islamist terrorist who happened to be a white convert (British of Eastern European descent).
- Sleeper Cell: Only two of the terrorists in the Season 1 cell are Arab. The others are a white Frenchman, a white Bosnian, a white American (plus one Arab was also quickly killed off). The Season 2 cell includes a Hispanic American and a white Dutchwoman (all those examples were based on real terrorists).
- The Anglican Sons of Phineas from Spooks.
- The Wyatt Family, while not explicitly Christian, seem to be some sort of strange quasi-Christian/neo-Pagan/what the hell? hillbilly cult; one of them wears the mask of a sheep, a common motif in both Christianity and Judaism. Ironically, they aren't that different from a group they count among their bitterest enemies: The Shield, also a terrorist group, who are constantly ranting about being "the hounds of justice," even though they never do anything that is just.
- Winternight from Shadowrun was a Norse apocalypse cult that tried to bring about The End of the World as We Know It several times. Their last kick at the can contributed to Crash 2.0, which involved EMP bombs (to cripple the Matrix) and conventional nuclear weapons (to crack open major fault lines). Although the cult's leadership was all killed and most of their activities terminated with extreme prejudice, Winternight continues to taint people's views of Norse magical traditions.
Typically Soviet-supported Dirty Communists, but other left-wing radicals are also possible, such as Bomb-Throwing Anarchists.
Anime and Manga
- A bonus comic (Cross Fire) in Hellsing features a communist group (hinted to consist of former Soviet officials), having brutally attacked a Catholic meeting and stolen millions from the Vatican, trying to buy weapons in a Berlin hotel (presumably to continue their anticlerical campaign). They are dealt with efficiently.
- Captain America:
- Milton Josh Elker worked himself ragged to provide a better life for his family and never stopped believing in the American Dream, but he unfortunately never got anywhere in life and died penniless. His son, Larry, became convinced that the "American Dream" was nothing but a falsehood propagated by the elite to keep the lower class in line, so he became Everyman, a vigilante who would exemplify the struggles of the common man, with his first act of business being the assassination of the "false idol" Captain America.
- U.L.T.I.M.A.T.U.M. and its leader Flag-Smasher are self-styled "anti-nationalists" whose goal is a united world without borders and unhindered freedom of information, a dream which they will go to almost any extreme to achieve, with one of their more memorable exploits being the attempted destruction of numerous historic monuments in what was intended to be a symbolic strike against patriotism. The fourth and current Flag-Smasher introduces himself by shooting and blowing up a gala being held in honor of a controversial Republican senator while also having viruses attempt to deal with things like the No Fly List, America's electronic banking sanctions, and the NSA.
- The Bombshells in Captain America: Sam Wilson are a group of radical leftist students who attempted to assassinate a conservative speaker because she was giving a guest lecture on the topic of border security in their campus. They embody many characteristics associated with the "social justice warrior" archetype such as using words like "safe space", "trigger warning", "privilege" and so on.
- The first arc of Die Hard: Year One has NYPD rookie John McClane dealing with a New-Age Retro Hippie health nut who is going to blow up his asshole billionaire ex-boss's party boat after robbing it with the help of a pair of Dirty Cops.
- Firestorm (DC Comics): The DC Comics villainess Plastique started out as a violent Quebec separatist (likely inspired by the Front de libération du Québec) whose first story involved threatening to suicide bomb a newspaper.
- The new female Everyman introduced in the 2018 Luke Cage series is a Plague Master who, with the coerced aid of Omega Red, begins wiping out the wealthy people who she blamed for the gentrification of Harlem, and the oppression and exploitation of its residents. Her ultimate goal was to spark a citywide riot that would make the streets run red with the blood of "the rich and entitled."
- The Punisher:
- A crossover between Spider-Man and The Punisher pitted the two against the People's Liberation Front, described as a left-wing terrorist group. The organization's exact goals were left vague, as the story mainly dealt with the Hitman, a prominent mercenary who they had hired to help them.
- Punisher: P.O.V. involved a pair of Bomb Throwing Anarchist New-Age Retro Hippies who used clumsily-assembled homemade explosives to hold banks for ransom, blowing them up if their demands weren't met (and sometimes even when they were). While the duo claimed to be all about power to the people and bringing down The Man, it was clear that they were just a pair of lazy idiot stoners who never spent any of their ill-gotten gains on anything other than booze, drugs, and women.
- Mr. Payback from The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank was a self-declared champion of the underclass who decided to declare war on Wall Street and Corrupt Corporate Executives, blowing and shooting them up with a reckless abandon that led the Punisher to kill him after it became obvious that Payback barely cared about collateral damage, at one point shrugging off the fact that his rampages had resulted in the deaths of at least four innocent people with what amounted to "they died for the greater good."
- For Wonder Woman (2011) (New 52) Doctor Poison was reimagined as an American hating communist Russian terrorist who tried to disperse airborne poison at a G8 summit and assassinate President Obama.
Film — Live Action
- The German film The Baader Meinhof Complex is about the Red Army Faction, a real-life far-left terrorist group that was active in Germany in the 1970s.
- The Enforcer pits Dirty Harry against the fictional People's Revolutionary Strike Force, a Marxist terrorist cell (that turns out to be a ploy for extorting ransom from people; "they don't actually believe in any of that shit") supposedly inspired by the real-life Symbionese Liberation Army.
- No God, No Master: The antagonists of the film, who are Galleanist anarchists largely of Italian descent in the US.
- Bill Williamson from Rampage (2009), is essentially the atheist counterpart of a Jihadi terrorist except he's done far more damage to the US government than any terrorist group. He dons a Kevlar mask and suit that conceals his entire appearance other than his eyes, comes equipped with guns, bombs and knives, and spews hate about America's politicians, the rich and the media, arguing they manipulate and exploit middle-class and poor people out of wealth. Also, Bill strongly hates religion and says he wants everyone to accept there is no God and that religion is all a corrupt scam. The third film has Bill assassinate the U.S. President, Vice President and Secretary of Defense from the top of a parkade in 7th Avenue, 1.2 miles from the White house.
- The Big Bads in the sadly Vin Diesel-less xXx: State of the Union were self-described anarchists who wanted to destroy all states by starting World War III.
- Jack Ryan:
- Patriot Games featured the fictional Ulster Liberation Army, a Maoist splinter faction of the Provisional IRA, who were assisted in the US by Alex Dobbins and his group of terrorists (who roughly resemble the Black Panthers in general purpose), and assist the ULA in an attack on Ryan's house, where the Prince Charles Expy and his wife are visiting.
- The Sum of All Fears features Marvin Russel, a member of the American Indian Movement, that assists the Arab terrorists in setting up for their attack in the US, detonating a nuclear weapon at the Super Bowl. He wasn't aware of the plan, however, and was killed when he was of no further use to the Arabs.
- Also the Arabs themselves, who're mentioned as members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (a left-wing radical group that operated in the 1970s and 1980s). And who are also helped by German terrorists from the Red Army Faction. The whole plot of the book is about the terrorists the Soviet Union used to support finding themselves cut adrift by Soviet collapse, and reacting by trying to destroy the Soviet-American detente.
- Other novels still mention or feature them, albeit not as the main heavies. In The Cardinal of the Kremlin, it's mentioned that several SDI research scientists in Europe have ended up killed by "left-wing gangs," the implication being that they were acting as deniable executioners in hits ordered by the Kremlin. In Clear and Present Danger, the real-life Colombian group M19 appears a couple of times - it's mentioned that The Cartel has thoroughly subverted it, and is able to use one of its shooters to kill the visiting U.S. ambassador and FBI director (the real group were suspected of acting for Pablo Escobar's goals). In Rainbow Six, various European left-wing terrorists serve as mooks - the main villains hire them to carry out several terrorist attacks in order to cause a panic that they hope will cause authorities to hire one of their companies to provide security at the upcoming Olympics, where the company will be able to infect visitors from all over the world with a deadly pandemic. The main villains are Corrupt Corporate Executives, but are motivated by environmentalist beliefs, and as such, qualify as left-wing terrorists themselves. Finally, Clancy's portrayal of the IRA, throughout the series, tends to paint them as left-wing rather than fairly center-right Irish nationalists (with the less Marxist, more Catholic/nationalist members tending to be more reasonable). All in all, these are among the most common villains of the Jack Ryan universe, and also among the most loathsome. They tend to be detached ideologues with 0% Approval Rating among the people they're trying to "liberate," and tend to induce Even Evil Has Standards among their Soviet handlers (who, at best, see them as expendable idiots, and at worst, consider it disgraceful for their government to work with them at all).
- The organization run by "General Ludd" in the episode of The Blacklist of the same name was a militant group trying to bring about the downfall of American capitalism.
- The Falcon and the Winter Soldier: The Flag Smashers are Well-Intentioned Extremist radical anarchists who sprang up in Eastern Europe in the wake of the events of Avengers: Endgame. Their slogan is "One World, One People" and their ethos is that they don't want "the same assholes" who ran the world before the Blip picking up where they left off. Claiming that the Global Repatriation Committee is prioritizing the needs of Blipped people at the expense of people who weren't, they're shown robbing banks and medicine shipments to deliver the proceeds to refugee camps. They soon escalate to car bombings against GRC facilities.
- Guerrilla: The faction of British Black Panthers Jas and Marcus are with, plus the IRA and the German Marxist group they seek help from. Also a member of the Quebecois separatist/Marxist FLQ is introduced.
- Law & Order: Criminal Intent: In "Revolution", Nichols and Eames have to find a former member of the Baader-Meinhof Gang who has decided to reignite his ideological struggle on the streets of New York.
- An episode of the U.S. version of Life On Mars featured the 1970s student radical group the Weathermen claiming responsibility for (fictional) bomb attacks on former colleagues of Gene Hunt. Though they were a real left-wing terrorist group, they never attacked New York police in this manner, and actually strove to avoid casualties (unlike many, they succeeded).
- Motherland: Fort Salem: The Spree is a witch terrorist group that has committed atrocities in the US, such as a mass suicide caused by magic that opens the show, and they're described as being anarchists.
- S.W.A.T.: 1975: The New Patriots from "Any Second Now" wanted to tear down the corrupt and ineffectual current establishment and build a new one that would not neglect and cast aside people like women, veterans, the handicapped, and African-Americans. After the group's leader was imprisoned for a bombing that ironically killed six innocent people, his brother tried to orchestrate his release by taking a radio station hostage, which brought him into conflict with S.W.A.T.
- The fictional Citizen's Liberation Order for a Democratic Society (CLODS) in MAD magazine. The CLODS' leader, Field Marshall Arnold Marighella was named MAD's "Underground Revolutionary" of The Year.
- The Vox Populli in Bioshock Infinite has a rather vague ideology that is broadly left wing, and according to Word of God are based on the real-life Red Army Faction. In terms of their rhetoric and aesthetic, they draw heavily from a variety of different militant far-left movements historically — right down to a Communist-inspired red motif — though in terms of their motivation they're effectively a much larger, much more organized version of several very violent slave revolts that historically took place in the United States: they don't really have a view of society after the revolution, they just desperately want to be free of the heavily nationalistic, theocratic, racist government of The Founders. However, by the time they get around to actually revolting the Vox have become a hostile faction as well.
- In the cancelled Rainbow Six: Patriots, the antagonists were a terrorist group called "True Patriots", who judging by their methods and motivations are a militarized, fanatic version of Occupy Wall Street.
- The King of the Hill episode "The Accidental Terrorist" had Hank accidentally inspire a group of these to blow up a car dealership, with hilarity ensuing when he tries to find them afterward with the Arlen PD.
Hank: Excuse me, do you remember a tall, sickly-looking kid with one of those mustache beards who was in here last night?
Copy Shop Clerk: You mean him? Him? Or him? Sir, we got a liberal arts college and a halfway house down the road, you've gotta be more specific.
Also includes Animal Wrongs Groups who engage in terrorism. Generally thought to be on the Left, but usually not socialist or communist.
- This is the basic modus operandi of Ras al'Ghul and Poison Ivy in Batman. Ras al'Ghul wants to wipe out the majority of the human race and eradicate most, if not all, human technology in order to let the world recover from the harms humanity has inflicted upon it, vowing he and his family will then rule over the "reborn" Earth as god-emperors and make a new Eden from it. Poison Ivy's entire character revolves around her vendetta against humans harming nature, swinging back and forth between committing "standard" eco-terrorist strikes against polluting corporations and the like and attempting to commit genocide on the entire human race, with occasional dabbling in things like feeding humans to Man Eating Plants for her own sick pleasure.
- A superpowered eco-terrorist group fought the New Warriors a lot in the early days of their original series.
Film — Live Action
- Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) features a band of fanatical eco-terrorists who attack Monarch and steal an experimental device — the Orca — that enables communication with Kaiju, hoping to wake up and release all of the dozen-plus kaiju on Earth to devastate humanity and wipe out human civilization, all in the names of stopping/undoing humanity's destructive influence on the planet. It turns out that the plan was concocted by the Monarch scientist who built the Orca, as she had become radicalized from her own boss's "kaiju are vital for the health of Earth" beliefs. By doing this, they unleash Ghidorah. When he turns out to be engaged in Hostile Terraforming that will probably result in humanity's complete extinction, rather than decimation, the Monarch scientist who concocted the plot is horrified — only to be called out by the terrorist leader, who points out that they were basically committing genocide anyway, and this is an equally acceptable extension of their goals.
- Subverted in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. The three hot chicks claim to be from an extreme animal rights group and recruit Jay and Silent Bob to liberate an animal research facility, but the mission is really a cover for a jewel heist.
- Woggle in Dead Famous by Ben Elton is a reality show contestant who's initially presented as merely an antisocial and very unhygienic hippy - until it's revealed that he was part of an Animal Wrongs Group who were involved in terrorism, and has served time in jail for violently assaulting a teenage girl who got in his way during hunt sabotage. He also ends up blowing up the house that the contestants were living in; but gets the time wrong, as he's been living in an underground tunnel for days with no way of telling the time, so the house is now empty and no one's hurt.
- The Phoenix group in Rainbow Six, along with Corrupt Corporate Executive John Brightling.
- Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: The bomber is considered to be one by the FBI, as his profile does not match that of conventional terrorists.
- An animal-rights activist group schemes against a genetic-engineering experiment involving a mouse at the climax of Zadie Smith's White Teeth. While they are hardly violent (they plan on disrupting the presentation by standing up and spewing eco-propaganda), they do end up inadvertently cooperating with a radical fundamentalist Islamic group (really a glorified street gang of South Asians and some Blacks with vague ties to Islam) who also do not want the mouse to be genetically upgraded, and are willing to commit murder to see this is so. Absurdly, these two would have been (again inadvertently) joined by a third radical group - a completely non-violent sect of Jehovah's Witnesses of West Indian descent - but they were unable to get into the pavilion where the presentation was being held, so instead they protest outside the building by loudly singing hymns.
- An episode of the British medical drama Casualty which would have begun with a Muslim carrying out a suicide bombing was rewritten so that the bombing was committed by animal rights extremists.
- The Criminal Minds episode "Empty Planet" has an anti-technology bomber who believes that the world is going to be overtaken by robots if we don't do something about it. Really, though, he was just trying to live out the plot of a novel because he (wrongly) believed the book's author was his mother and that somehow his crimes would serve to unite them.
- Dark Angel: An eco terrorist/luddite group called the May 22 Movement (Ted Kaczynski's birthday) take everyone hostage at a conference showcasing genetic engineering, something which they're opposed to like Kaczynski.
- We're led to think an eco-terrorist group are the villains of Flashpoint's second season premiere, "One Wrong Move". Turns out to be a remnant of said group and the brainwashed daughter of two former members.
- In the JAG episode "Surface Warfare" environmental activists sabotage naval exercises off the shores of Florida.
- As an excuse to quit the Scenery Censor around Mariska Hargitay's pregnancy, an episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit had Benson going undercover with eco-terrorists for an off-screen arc.
- A save-the-whales extremist tried to destroy a submarine on NCIS, believing that naval sonar and other signaling was disrupting whales' migration and breeding.
- An environmental group is suspected of planting a bomb on an oil drilling platform. While they turn out to have been responsible for a number of arsons, they didn't bomb the oil platform. As the leader herself points out, the bombing could have resulted in a massive environmental disaster by contaminating the ocean with a lot of oil, which is the last thing they want.
- Minimum Security has the main characters committing acts of eco-terrorism but it is treated in a heroic manner.
- In Aberrant, one of the minor Nova teams in the Player's Guide is Greenwar, which sits between here and Animal Wrongs Group, since it's not shy in the slightest about using its nova members to commit acts of murder and Mind Rape.
- Pokémon Black and White has Team Plasma, based in the Pokéverse equivalent of New York City. The organization is hellbent on spreading the message that training Pokémon is wrong no matter what methods they have to use, and in reality, outside of N, his sisters, Rood and a few Grunts, don't actually care about Pokemon and want to take over the world by tricking everyone else into releasing their Pokémon so they have no resistance to their rule. Once their plan is foiled and they return after 2 years, they ditch their cover altogether and try to take over Unova by force using the freezing power of Kyurem.
- Pokémon X and Y features Team Flare, which is from the Pokémon version of France, and wants to destroy every Pokémon and all of humanity save for a select few in order to save the planet from resource exhaustion and recreate a more "beautiful" world.
- Saints Row 2's FUZZ activity might have an eco-terrorist attack (with said eco-terrorists attacking people and vehicles with flamethrowers) as one of the events that the player has to take care of. Given the nature of FUZZ, this can only go one way...
- On Archer, Lana and Archer must defend a pipeline from an eco-terrorist plotting to blow it up.
- In Generator Rex, The Green Fist is a small group that fights for the liberation of EVOs captured by Providence. Believing that EVOs should be allowed to roam free in their natural habitats, the Green Fist began to release captured EVOs all over South America by ambushing Providence prisons.
- The three Titan Shifter spies from Attack on Titan are definitely terrorists from the pseudo-Germanic Kingdom of Marley, engaging in organized attacks to destabilize their enemy while infiltrating the ranks of the military to kidnap the royal family and steal their titan-controlling abilities. The country is modeled after Nazi Germany but in a way that mockingly resembles the west, from diverse servicemen across all castes (usually very unwillingly) to international diplomatic events. Not helping matters is that Marley's true rulers are a noble house with explicitly lowest-class origins, who orchestrated these war crimes on their own race.
- The Mickey Mouse Comic Universe has doctor Vulter, who has been explicitely convicted on terrorism charges at least once due his attempts at taking over the world and, in his debut, disrupting the sea routes with a submarine. He doesn't seem to have an ideology, he just wants to conquer the world and uses terrorist tactics.
- The titular character of V for Vendetta, a Deconstruction of the Bomb Throwing Anarchist, qualifies. Whether he is simply an Anti-Hero, a Well-Intentioned Extremist, or a villain is likely to depend to a large extent on the reader's political views (V expresses that he considers himself the Monster); Word of God indicates that this is intentional. However, given that, typical of Moore's Black-and-Grey Morality, he is the opposition to the openly fascist Norsefire régime, which crosses the Moral Event Horizon several times, he is likely to be viewed significantly more sympathetically than a large number of other examples on this list.
- Wonder Woman (1942): Nikos Aegeus is a Greek national who is said to be the leader of a terrorist group but their ideology is never revealed and his own is stated to differ from it as the reason he joined was due to his love of the power rush he gets from being able to order people around, hurting people and having them fear him.
Film — Live Action
- The Red Triangle Gang - the band of terrorist scum (one of whom resorts to the stereotypically Arab technique of strapping dynamite to his chest) working for The Penguin in Batman Returns - are an interesting case. Though on the surface they appear to be just a bunch of costumed psychopaths, there are a number of clues in the film suggesting they just might be communists or communist sympathizers. Most obviously, there is their gang symbol (which some of them even have painted or tattooed on their faces), which strongly evokes the red triangle used by anti-fascist groups in Europe.note But they also are never shown stealing anything, they love using mindless violence to cow bourgeois society into submission (a key belief of the more perverted incarnations of Marxism-Leninism), they dress as circus performers (a form of entertainment strongly identified with Russia), and the Penguin makes them live in the most spartan, anti-bourgeois settings possible (first a bitterly cold Arctic zoo exhibit, then an abandoned and nearly empty office building, and then the zoo exhibit again). And to top it all off, in the movie's original script a character outright calls them "carny Bolsheviks." On the other hand, they do end up being used as pawns in a political scheme launched by a very capitalist millionaire department store owner who has slowly gained influence over the Penguin; and the Penguin himself increasingly grows fond of the finer things of Gotham City life as he becomes complicit in the political scheme, wearing a fine suit and sipping champagne.
- The Fishes from Children of Men are dedicated to ensuring England is open to immigrants, as opposed to the government's fascist but well-meaning policies. They have committed terrorist bombings in the past, but claim to have stopped after a bombing in Liverpool. It's left ambiguous whether they still bomb or if the government is framing them, though they are still willing to kill law-enforcement and even assassinate their own leader in exchange for a more radical one to advance their goals. They would qualify for left-wing terrorists, however since the film takes place in a Childless Dystopia it falls more into this category.
- Day Night Day Night deliberately cuts out the section where the propaganda video is produced (we just see the preparation for it). The composition of the group is practically a lampshade-hanging: it contains not only whites (apparently of American origin), but blacks, Asians, even a deaf terrorist with a sign-language interpreter! The initial backdrop for the video is a bunch of dudes with AK-47s mostly covered in black, somewhat like a niqab with only part of the face showing. That backdrop is switched for an even more generic black fist. The protagonist often speaks quietly (subtitles are necessary for viewing) addressed to "you", presumably God, but we get no information about the actual religious beliefs of any characters. No exposition or context is given in the film, the viewer is thrown into the deep end with characters who've already decided on a course of action and don't waste time discussing their motivation.
- Fight Club: Project Mayhem aim to destroy capitalism and bring back full-throated masculinity into society. To judge by Tyler's speech, he wants all of modern civilization gone too, back into a hunter-gatherer mode of life. Initially they start with minor thefts and vandalism, then escalate into bombing (empty) buildings holding credit records to wipe out debt.
- The Nicolas Cage movie Next did this, with the bad guys being a group of apparently Francophone Europeans.
- In the film The Peacemaker, a white Bosnian Serb tries to suicide bomb New York City with a backpack nuke.
- RIFT from Transcendence. We're introduced to them organizing a country-wide attack on labs working on artificial intelligence, using means such as poisoned cakes, bombs, and Will getting shot by a poisoned bullet. They are an Evil Luddite group that believe that A.I. Is a Crapshoot and are willing to commit wanton murder and mass destruction to prevent A.I. research from getting any results, and later to prevent Will Caster's Virtual Ghost from helping mankind. They even consider kicking the planet back to the middle ages technology-wise (regardless of how many people died because of this) as an acceptable sacrifice to destroy the Caster A.I. The movie ends without us finding out if they became a Karma Houdini or not (although it was hinted that they wouldn't).
- You Don't Mess with the Zohan has a mash-up of terrorist groups all Played for Laughs. The main character Zohan is an Israeli counter-terrorist who gets tired of all the fighting, so he fakes his death and moves to the U.S. to be a hairstylist. He winds up caught in the middle of three different groups: his arch-enemy, a vaguely-Arab super-terrorist who would really rather be a Western-style businessman; a group of comically inept and also vaguely-Arab U.S. immigrants led by a nobody with a personal grudge against him; and, most fitting for this page, a trio of Right Wing Militia Fanatics hired by a Corrupt Corporate Executive to sow discord between the Israelis and Palestinians in the neighborhood so that they'll destroy each other and he can build a shopping mall.
- Caliphate: The renegade scientists that joined the titular Islamic state to develop a biological weapon to destroy America. Unusually, they were not motivated by religious fanaticism, but rather had their own personal reasons: Dr. Sand was a separatist that wanted Canadian independence after the USA forcibly annexed it which would put him on left-wing terrorism, while Dr. Maera was more motivated by sadism and sexual violence.
- Project Mayhem from Fight Club is an anarchist group which seeks to destroy the world's credit card companies to wipe out debt, and their leader wants humanity brought back to the stone age. This might be considered left-wing, but he also expresses some views that seem more right-wing, like lamenting the loss of masculinity in men, as he sees this (hence the titular underground fighting).
- Ernst von Salomon's It Cannot Be Stormed, released in 1932, makes an early and unusual example. The peasant movement in the novel does not have its own political agenda, protesting against unjust taxes and economic exploitation instead of thinking to overthrow the government, although they seek support among the political opposition, including the National Socialists and Communist Party. Besides peaceful methods of resistance, like protests, some members of the movement plant bombs in public buildings, but even then they make sure that the explosives are harmless to people. One of their demonstrations turns violent only after a policeman attacks one of the peasants carrying the movement's flag.
- The villains in some of the Rogue Warrior books (Marcinko claims they are based on real life but one novel has Portland torn apart, so it's safely fictional) has ties to Muslim terrorists (allowing for a scene in which Dick Marcinko blows away Arabs) but completely unrelated goals. Red Cell and Task Force Blue were domestic traitors, SEAL Team Alpha was government insiders for the Chinese, Violence of Action was Neo-Nazis, Vengeance was the children of a soldier who died under Marcinko in Vietnam. Green Team was global terrorism with the Big Bad an Islamist sympathizer, and Designation Gold was the Russian Mafiya and American traitors in a plot to boost the Russians in Israel and Syria.
- The Trigger by Arthur C. Clarke and Michael Kube-McDowell uses fictional examples of Conspiracy / Terrorists Without a Cause and Reactionary Militias, and an apparently real-life but rather obscure one, Los Macheteros (terrorists for Puerto Rican independence.) Wouldn't be so noticeable if Eastern and Middle Eastern terrorists weren't absent.
- The 4400: In "Trial by Fire", Glen and Dean Keating became domestic terrorists who targeted the 4400 after their sister Gayle was murdered (as seen in "Becoming"). They used firebombs to kill several members of the 4400, including Mary Deneville. Richard and Lily were two of their intended victims. They later tried to destroy Arcadia Estates but Tom and Diana stopped them.
- City On A Hill: In Season 2, Jenny befriends Maeve, an Irish immigrant and a member of her church choir who eventually admits to being involved with the Irish Republican Army. What's more, Jackie eventually finds out that Father Doyle has been stealing money from the church to facilitate gun purchases for the IRA, which Jackie uses to put the priest under his thumb.
- Various episodes of Criminal Minds:
- The unnamed terrorist cell in the "Lo-Fi/Mayhem" two-parter is given no real background, with its members being of various races and ethnicities. It attempts to pull off an overly complex plot to kill a single politician who has Secret Service protection, and may have been the US President or Vice President. However, all of the terrorists commit suicide to evade capture, and one says that since they don't fear death, they'll win in the end, thus implying they were Islamic extremists.
- In "Amplification" the assistant of an eccentric scientist (who had created a new, more powerful strain of anthrax) kills his mentor in an argument and plans to unleash the anthrax to show how unprepared America really would be in the face of a terrorist attack (though in actuality he was just a spiteful little man who wanted to take revenge on places where he was rejected, one of which was a military research facility).
- An episode of Crossing Jordan had a terrorist bombing committed by a Westerner upset that the U.S. was not "protecting against terrorism enough" and wanted to prove it. There's an element of Ripped from the Headlines to this: the anthrax case shortly after 9/11 remains unsolved, but the only major suspect has been an American virologist who would have had similar motives.
- Crossing Lines: In "Family Ties", it turns out that an extreme Irish nationalist group is committing some mass poisonings of English civilians by dealing tainted cocaine, and hope this will restart The Troubles.
- Several of the disruptive events of the Pattern, on Fringe would technically rank as state-sponsored terrorism against the United States by the alternate United States.
- The Sci-Fi Channel Original Series The Invisible Man frequently used Western terrorists, including Swiss and Canadian terrorists.
- In first season episode "Shadow", a civilian contractor onboard an nuclear attack submarine (SSN) holds the sub ransom, through his lap top computer, with which he supposedly can activate charges or to have them explode automatically unless he stays online.
- Doubly subverted in "Rogue" where the Rogue Warrior Expy and his men, not only captures a nuclear attack submarine (SSN), as per orders, but also takes it to sea and threatens to attack New York unless a ransom is paid. Turns out at the end that the intentions were honorable: a wake up call to make officials aware of the threats posed by terrorists such as Osama bin Laden...
- Over the course of the series, Law & Order had episodes involving a number of these. They ran the gauntlet from radical anti-abortion bombers, a right-wing militia based out of the suburbs committing armored car robberies to fund their activities and one instance of a murder committed by a young white American-born man who wanted to become a radical Islamic terrorist. There was also an Islamic terrorist cell who pretended to be a white racist group as a means of killing a fellow Muslim who would have revealed their plans to commit an attack.
- Mitchell Slocombe from the Medium episode "A Person of Interest" was a Shell-Shocked Veteran of the Vietnam War who murdered a federal judge before killing an additional seventeen people by bombing a government building in an attack that was clearly inspired by the Oklahoma City bombing committed by Timothy McVeigh. Oddly, despite associating with and being described as a Right-Wing Militia Fanatic, his Motive Rant made him seem more like a Left-Wing Radical Terrorist, as his stated goal was to avenge "young American boys whose daddies either weren't rich enough or white enough to keep them out of a racist, classist draft."
- The primary Arc Villains in Person of Interest's third season: Vigilance, a group violently opposed to government surveillance that likes to dramatically quote the Founding Fathers. In one episode they end up in a Mêlée à Trois with the heroes and the government agency that commissioned The Machine to analyze illegal ELINT and identify threats to national security. Their arc comes to an end along with the season when it is revealed that they were just pawns for the private intelligence company Decima; after Vigilance forces the government to shut down the program handling The Machine's terrorism intelligence, Decima stages a terrorist attack of its own and frames Vigilance for it, persuading the government to revive the program using Decima's own machine, Samaritan. Once it comes online, Decima executes a purge, killing all of the remnants of Vigilance left behind in the wake of their staged attack.
- The IRA in Sons of Anarchy. This is an interesting example since while the UK and US governments consider the IRA terrorists, they are usually depicted as La Résistance in American pop culture.
- St. Elsewhere:
- In "Pilot", a domestic terrorist named Andrew Reinhardt plants a bomb in a bank and is injured when it goes off prematurely. An innocent bystander named Katherine McAllister suffers much more serious injuries and dies in "Cora and Arnie". This leads her husband Stephen to shoot and kill Reinhardt as he is being transferred out of St. Eligius.
- In "The Boom Boom Womb", a deeply religious, fanatical pro-lifer delivers a package containing a bomb to the Boston's Women Clinic, an abortion clinic where Dr. Chandler is performing community service. As soon as the bomber leaves, it explodes, killing the clinic's administrator Dr. Francine Kennedy and injuring several other people. Chandler is physically unharmed but is traumatized by the experience. The bomber later plants another bomb in St. Eligius and calls Dr. Auschlander with a bomb threat demanding that the hospital cease all abortions. Although the police are able to locate the bomb, the bomber plants yet another in a cleaning cart later that afternoon. The next day, the bomb detonates in the vicinity of the hospital gift shop. Chandler is badly injured but survives. Ehrlich has a near miss as he left the gift shop moments before the explosion. The bomber turns himself in at Chandler's bedside so that his arrest will shed light on the issue of abortion.
- S.W.A.T. (2017):
- "Radical" has SWAT up against radical leftists who bomb business targets in LA (after the first was killed by his own device) and then another takes hostages after being cornered.
- "Contamination" involves the LAPD facing off against sovereign citizen militiamen.
- "Inheritance" has SWAT deployed to deal with armed kidnappers trying to be the Spiritual Successor of the disbanded Symbionese Liberation Army. "Encore" identifies them as The Emancipators.
- "Pride" has a group of violently anti-LGBT+ right-wingers attack a Pride event using trucks.
- "Animus" has an example of lone wolf sexist terrorism when a spree killer goes on a rampage against women whom men posted revenge fantasies online about in an extreme MRA group, which is pretty clearly based on Elliot Rodger or similar people. After the team stops him, a similar act's committed in Kansas City, having been inspired by the first, to their dismay.
- "Crusade" has SWAT intervening against the Imperial Dukes, a pro-Neo Nazi terrorist group. They turn into recurring villains, with many cells.
- By their own admission, the protagonists of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Hunted by law enforcement as such, though their goal is to prevent the creation of Skynet, their means are still attacks on private and federal property, kidnapping, sabotage and even outright murder.
- A gang of these set off the plot in War of the Worlds (1988), when they attempt to ransack a military depot and instead let loose some dormant aliens, who take over their bodies.
- Richard Thompson's song about terrorism, "Guns are the Tongues," seems to be about the IRA (he's said the organization is meant to be generic, but the checkpoint they blow up is in Glengarry, and there are other hints). Who the terrorists are, though, is really incidental - the point of the song is that there are other reasons besides ideological fervor one might become a terrorist (in this case, being seduced and rather mentally unbalanced to begin with) and that the freedom fighter/brutal terrorist line is really very subjective if it exists at all. However, he also has a song sung from the perspective of a Muslim extremist suicide bomber, "Outside of the Inside".
- The UK Daily Star comic strip version of Judge Dredd story arc "Wierdies!" featured a neo-fascist group modeled on the English National Front, called the "Normal Fringe" (NF, geddit?) who hated people who had had radical surgery, altering their appearance; they were led by a Hitler lookalike called Adolf Soso, described as "a socially inadequate idiot who not only talks to, but actually loses arguments with, himself".
- The Modesty Blaise story "The Vampire of Malvescu" featured Europe's Fist, a terrorist group dedicated to striking back by committing a retaliatory act of terrorism for every act of Middle Eastern terrorism committed against Europe.
- The first Darwin's Soldiers RP features homegrown terrorists who invade Pelvanida with the express goal of stealing some supplies to build an Einstein-Rosen Bridge.
- While the specific nationalities of the members of Danya's terrorists in Survival of the Fittest has so far remained unknown (though judging by the names, at least one is Swedish), most of the terrorists look distinctly Western and have Western names. So far we've only seen one Asian terrorist, a Vietnamese woman.
- In Red Markets the US government's use of nukes to cut off the Eastern states from Canadanote during the Zombie Apocalypse led to a rise in Canadian terrorism.
- The Act of War series uses a Russian with a vendetta and various groups of Marxist/eco-terrorist groups out of Latin America and Mexico. Ironically, they're used by a bunch of Oil Corporations to take over the Earth. There also appear to be corporate security and Islamic terrorists among them, too.
- In the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series, most of the characters of the Brotherhood of Nod, a mysterious terrorist organization, are Westerners. Their only Middle Eastern character, Hassan, turns out to be a double agent working for the GDI, and is later defeated and executed by the Brotherhood. They combine Radical, Religious, and arguably Ecological terrorism.
The second and third give most of them Eastern European or Oriental names: Anton Slavik, Oxana Cristos, Killian Quatar, Ajay, Marcion, etc. The Eastern overtones are quite obvious in their peculiar brand of architecture (a sort of uber-modernist meld of Islamic and Orthodox Christian), their religious views, and the fact that they're most active in Eastern Europe (Kane has a thing for Sarajevo). By the third game calling them a terrorist group is a bit of a stretch, they're basically the legitimate government of the parts of the world the UN-backed GDI has abandoned.
- The ultranationalist movement in Modern Warfare is a coalition of Russian terrorists and ex-Federation extremists who use many Soviet-era symbols and weaponry, and are intent on restoring Russia to its former status as a feared, international superpower through any means necessary (their invasion of several European countries in Modern Warfare 3 also makes a lot more sense if one assumes there to be numerous pro-Soviet and/or pro-socialist factions within them). That said, they are not explicitly stated to be communist, and whether they officially hold socialist ideals or are singly fixated on restoring Russian glory at the world stage is never truly elaborated on.
- Cordis Die, Raul Menendez's terrorist organization from Call of Duty: Black Ops II is rather difficult to classify. On the surface, they make themselves out to be a populist faction that seeks justice for the oppressed 99%, taking several cues from the Occupy Wall Street movement, but in reality, they serve simply as a means for their Nicaraguan narco-terrorist leader to take revenge on the West for the devastation of his country and the death of his sister. It has members all around the world, and they do indeed include insurgent groups in Yemen and Afghanistan, but the vast majority of their armed forces consist of Cuban mercenaries, who are, in turn, commanded by a white British guy.
- Though they don't appear in the canon Command & Conquer: Generals, in the Game Mod Rise of the Reds, the Global Liberation Army's ranks include a number of unspecified western terrorists, mostly in the form of anarchists. According to the lore for the mod, a terrorist cell of anarchists attacked Wall Street at some point in the interim between the events of Zero Hour and the start of the mod's storyline.
- Pokémon Colosseum and Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness have Team Snagem and Cipher, who are based in the Pokéverse equivalent of Arizona, steal Pokemon from their trainers, turn them into heartless killing machines that even attack trainers and plan to use them to Take Over the World.
- In Rainbow Six Vegas, the terrorists of that game consist largely of Americans, though led by a Mexican and Mexicans and other Latin-Americans are involved. The reason for their assault on Las Vegas is a complete mystery. At first. Later on, it is revealed their attack on Las Vegas is nothing more than a diversion to steal an experimental weapon from a hidden base located under a Hoover Dam expy. The terrorist leader is revealed to be a member of Rainbow, who is seeking revenge for perceived slights and trying to make a lot of money selling the weapon off.
- Cyrus Temple in Saints Row IV. The events of the previous game cause him to become disillusioned with the United States and he joins an anti-American terrorist group bent on launching a nuke at Washington, DC.
- Splinter Cell: Blacklist has the Engineers, who are mentioned to be borderless and want to force the US to pull out of every country they are stationed in by attacking major US cities. While most of the higher-ups are Arabs, their leader is British, and the regular mercenaries include Americans, British, Mexicans and Russians.
- Group 9 of Gallahad's Watch in Streets of SimCity. Little is known about them, beyond John Gallahad being the only thing standing between them and victory, and they're about to piss him off.
- From XCOM: Enemy Unknown, EXALT is a terrorist organisation/conspiracy that has chosen to oppose your elite alien-hunting organisation, taking advantage of the alien invasion to steal secrets, weapons, and technology in order to fulfill their aim to conquer the world and bring it under their control. They are primarily European/American-looking terrorists dressed sharply with scarves obscuring their faces, and are armed with modern and advanced weapons comparable to what XCOM fields.
- And in the sequel, XCOM lost the war and had to become terrorists. While they're still the good guys compared to the Nazi-esque Alien-Advent-Administration, their modus operandi is now 'kill, steal, and blow shit up'. Mostly blowing shit up.
- A Dutch fireworks safety campaign portrayed a stereotypical, ostensibly Islamist terrorist group who commit atrocities with the use of fireworks as explosives. Because of concerns over racism and offense, the campaign was re-branded to make the characters extremist Flemish separatists who now operate in Belgium where they can easily obtain illegal fireworks.