Nightclub Bombing in Tel Aviv (June 1, 2001)

On this day in 2001, a suicide bomber claimed by 3 separate Palestinian terrorist groups detonated a device outside a Tel Aviv disco killing 21 people.

Most terrorist attacks are claimed by a group: some are claimed by two.

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — Thankfully most nations are relatively free of terrorism or, if they are not, are rarely afflicted by it. Others are unfortunately not of this category. Afghanistan, Somalia, Iraq and Nigeria immediately come to mind.

And then there is Israel.

To list all the terrorist attacks – planned and/or effected – in that country since 1948 would take a very, very long time. I may not be a fan of a lot of what Israel does, and strongly believe its plan to annex large parts of the West Bank is both illegal and will lead to more, not less, terrorism, but this does not excuse the terrorist tactics used by its enemies (Palestinians, Iranians… there a lot of them).

But sometimes even with all these incidents some stand out as particularly brutal. Today’s attack is a case in point.

On June 1, 2001 a suicide bomber detonated his device in front of the crowded Dolphinarium discotheque in Tel Aviv killing 21 people and wounding more than 100. The terrorist mingled with a large group of teenagers, who were standing in line to enter the disco and, while still in line, detonated the explosives strapped to his body. The explosive charge contained a large number of metal objects – including balls and screws – designed to increase the extent of injuries.

Everything went mute. To this day, I don’t know if I lost consciousness. All I know is that I had flown some distance in the air, and everywhere I looked there were dead bodies. It seemed that every single person in that line had been murdered except for me.

Claims of responsibility were made by a number of groups: ‘Palestinian Hizbullah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad. In my experience it is odd for so many organisations to all say that an attack was theirs.

I guess this just goes to show how many people hate Israel and are willing to kill innocent people to prove it.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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