Quetta, Pakistan has once again become the site of a horrendous terrorist attack that killed at least 74. The death toll may well climb as many more were seriously injured. Among the dead were lawyers who had gathered at a hospital to mourn the death of a colleague gunned down a few days before. A splinter group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, of the Taliban has claimed responsibility. At the same time a regional branch of the Islamic State took credit for the attack. The Taliban group has declared support for the Islamic State in the past.
The attack was carried out by a suicide bomber dressed in the ‘uniform’ of lawyers in Pakistan: black suit and black tie. Over the past decade the city of Quetta has been targeted frequently by Sunni factions focused on a Shiite minority there. In this latest attack more than 112 were wounded.
Jamaar was added to the global terrorist watchlist by the United States just last week.
This terrorist attack is significant for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that Muslims are the victims.In addition, the attack has received relatively small coverage by western media. Reuters, the BBC, the Washington Post, NPR and ABC News, among others, have all reported the story. But a quick Google search does not indicate that there has been much in the way of follow-up.
It is perhaps not hard to understand why the story has faded so quickly. The target was not the west. As far as is known no westerner was harmed or killed. This is a hard truth. It says something about the values held by western media, especially here in North America. It seems that the War or Terrorism falters when attacks like this one in Quetta fails to command any lasting attention.
Attacks on our own by some of our own are not frequent but neither are they scarce. One need look only at Oklahoma City to understand that great harm can occur in a moment. My second novel, A Prairie Vendetta, which remains a work in progress, will explore a terrorist event in Saskatchewan by homegrown terrorists whose target is not religious in nature, not military in focus, not even especially oriented ethnically. What I am working on is of course entirely fictional, but just today hours before I began writing this blog entry an incident was reported from Southern Ontario.
The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) have confirmed that a suspect was killed in a dramatic police takedown. Twenty-four year old Aaron Driver, suspected of planning a suicide bombing plot had as his goal mass casualties. Driver, a white male, was known to police as a supporter of Daesh. He has not at this point been identified as a convert to Islam. His plot must be regarded as one hatched by one of our own against our own.
Vigilance is needed to prevent such planning and plots. Vigilance is the only way to prevent the execution of such plots. If we know something we must report it to appropriate authorities.
Good reading friends. Thanks for your support.
Ron Stotyn, PhD