npr.org – The Islamic State isn’t the first Middle East extremist group to make a gruesome spectacle of kidnapping and killing Westerners. The first wave came in the 1980s, when Hezbollah in Lebanon seized dozens of Westerners amid an anarchic civil war. But that spree was largely confined to Lebanon and wound down shortly after the country’s war ended in 1990. What followed was, by Middle East standards, a comparatively calm decade in the 1990s, when journalists, aid workers and other Westerners could roam with relative freedom around the region.
Once Tolerated, Westerners Are Now Targeted By Radical Islamists