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The 1605 Gunpowder Plot was a failed attempt by a group of English Catholics including Guy Fawkes to assassinate King James I, and to blow up the Palace of Westminster, the English seat of government. Aghai, "The beginnings of modern terrorism can be traced back to England and the Gunpowder Plot of 1605." Although the modern concept of religious terrorism had not yet come into use in the 17th century, David C.Rapoport and Lindsay Clutterbuck point out that the Plot, with its use of explosives, was an early precursor of 19th century anarchist terrorism.Some Muslims of the country were also weary of the French presence in MISCA, with the French accused of not doing enough to stop attacks by Anti-balaka militias.

Rapoport, a "religious wave", or cycle, of terrorism, dates from approximately 1979 to the present.

According to Rapoport, this wave most prominently features Islamic terrorism, but also includes terrorism by Christians and other religious groups that may have been influenced by Islamic terrorism.

In May 2014, it was reported that around 600,000 people in CAR were internally displaced with 160,000 of these in the capital Bangui.

The Muslim population of Bangui had dropped from 138,000 to 900.

While Anti-balaka groups have been frequently described as Christian militias in the media this has been denied by Church leaders.

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