Airliner Bombings

A week ago or so, a Russian airliner bound for Saint Petersburg, Russia exploded over Egypt. More than 200 lives were lost. Now official opinion is leaning towards the likelihood that a bomb placed aboard the plane was responsible. This opinion is backed by reports of communications between militants operating in the Sinai Peninsula where the plane went down. There has also been speculation that the incident marks a reaction against Russia’s involvement in Syria against opposition to the Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad.

If this is confirmed as a terrorist organized airliner bombing, it would mark at the least the third such incident in the past 25 years or so. On 19 September 1989, UTA Flight 772 was downed over Niger by a bomb, killing all 156 passengers and 15 crew members. France indicted a group of Libyans including the brother-in-law of Muammar al-Gaddafi. Pan Am Flight 103/Lockerbie Boeing 747 killing 270 people on December 21, 1988, a transatlantic flight destroyed in-flight by PETN explosives.

There have been many more attempts by terrorists to blow planes out of the sky. In the past 10 years AL-Qaeda failed in three attempts. Two Chechen suicide bombers, females both, succeeded in 2004 destroying two domestic Russian planes. In 1985 two Air India flights were bombed by Sikh dissidents, one of them on the ground. The list goes on, including a 1933 incident thought to be the first proven act of air sabotage.

There seems little doubt that terrorists regard airliner bombings as meaningful in their twisted pursuit of dominance over the western ideals of freedom and liberty for all.

That brings me to an observation about Remembrance Day (as named in Canada and throughout the Commonwealth of Nations) and Veterans Day (as so named in the USA). In Canada the day is a statutory holiday on which is remembered all men and women who served and still serve during times or war, conflict and peace, since the First and Second Word Wars, The Korean War and all conflicts since then in which Canadian Armed Forces members have served.In the USA Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, has been a legal holiday since 1938, a day dedicated to American veterans of all wars.

I celebrate Remembrance Day by the wearing of a Poppy in the tradition of Canadians across that nation. (Full disclosure: I am a Canadian) I have special cause to pay honor to veterans as I have a son who is a veterans of the conflict in Afghanistan. But, perhaps the greatest reason I have to pay tribute is the reason we have veterans of recent conflicts, call them wars if you wish, in the Middle East. The battle is truly against terrorism fomented by militant Muslims, groups and individuals who I suggest deliberately misuse the Quran to argue the right of their violent actions. These militants espouse acts of terrorism as fully reasonable actions designed to obtain desired ends.

My novel The Chechen’s Revenge and the second in the series now under construction, A Prairie Vendetta, both explore fictionally the design and intent of terrorist acts. But more importantly I also try to expose the activities, in a fictional manner admittedly, of everyday heroes tasked to combat terrorism at home, using every means at their disposal. The goal is to keep us safe. Perhaps these unsung heroes should also be celebrated on November 11th.

Thanks for your support friends. Good reading


Ron Stotyn, PhDpoppy-flowers-320x120

I am a retired college professor and former broadcast journalist. I live in Vermont with my wife. I write near the shores of Lake Champlain. As an author I cast characters in the task of anti-terrorism efforts. The setting for my stories is Canada. My first novel is The Chechen's Revenge, a story of Sean-Guy O'Dwyer-Lariviere and his team of Canadian Anti-terrorism Service agents on the trail of a rebel Chechen, determined to create havoc and death on Toronto's Go Train system. The Chechen's Revenge is now in print and can be ordered online at

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