September 3, 2010: 22 year-old suicide bomber kills 73 in Quetta, Pakistan

On this day in 2010, the Pakistani Sunni terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was behind a suicide bombing targeting Shia Muslims in Quetta.

For people who claim to be ‘faithful’ they sure seem to target others who say the same.

QUETTA, PAKISTAN — When I was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s in southern Ontario (Canada’s most populous province) I listened to a lot of pop music. I had two older brothers who were into music as well and it is to my late brother Bob that I owe my lifelong allegiance to the Doobie Brothers.

Not all of the music I listened to was very good – this was the 70s after all! – but some of it has stuck with me all these years. One song, by the Canadian band called The Original Caste (don’t ask!), was ‘One Tin Soldier‘ and was about a favourite 70s theme: love your neighbour, don’t kill each other (this was the era of the Vietnam War after all). One particular lyric is worth repeating (hey, if you want to listen to the whole song click here):

Go ahead and hate your neighbor, Go ahead and cheat a friend, Do it in the name of Heaven, You can justify it in the end

The underlying theme here is of course violence in the name of religion. It is a far too common phenomenon (as I expounded upon at great length in When Religions Kill) and is not limited to any one faith. Still, we seem to hear and see a lot of one particular variety: Islamist terrorism.

Whether it is Al Qaeda (AQ), Islamic State (ISIS) or any one of hundreds of other groups that claim to be fulfilling Allah’s will, there is a lot of violence to go around. An interesting aspect of Islamist terrorism is how terrorists, who are usually Sunni, target Muslims who adhere to a different (and wrong, at least in the eyes of the terrorists) hue.

One of the most common targets is the Shia Muslim community. Sunni terrorist organisations see the Shia as apostates who deserve death. Today’s featured attack is a good example.

On September 3, 2010 the Pakistani terrorist group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) sent a 22-year old suicide bomber to attack Shia Muslims commemorating Quds Day, an annual event marking support for Jerusalem, in Quetta. In all, 73 people were killed and over 160 were wounded.

We understand these are attempts to bring Sunni and Shia sects against each other.

Shia leader Allama Abbas Kumaili appealing for calm

The killing of Shia by Sunnis is something I will undoubtedly write more about in future Today in Terrorism pieces. There are far too many incidents to cover. Sigh…

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.

Leave a Reply