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April Today in Terrorism

April 14, 2004: Taliban executes supporters of Afghan president

On this day in 2004, seven people, including at least three government employees, were executed by suspected Taliban terrorists near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan.

PAKTIKA PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN – Who you vote for is your business. I may not agree with your choice but I won’t harm you for making it.

We live in increasingly divided times when extreme opinions on either end of the political spectrum dominate the polls, the media and the voting booth itself.

This gulf in cooperation across party lines can be seen most clearly in the United States where supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed The US Capitol in January of this year when their preferred candidate lost to President Joe Biden.

Their actions were despicable to say the least but at least they were stopped before they could cause too much harm. Hopefully they have learned that violence is not the best way to show political disagreement.

Just expressing our polite disagreement! (Photo: Reuters)

The Washington riot non-withstanding, we in the West are largely spared any form of serious violence when we exercise our right to vote. We can even feel fairly safe professing our political opinions publicly without suffering deadly consequences.

The same can not be said for all countries in the world.

On this day in 2004

Seven people, including at least three government employees, were executed by suspected Taliban terrorists near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan. The victims, who were all from the same family, were travelling in the same car when they were stopped by armed men who demanded to know their political allegiances.

They were asked if they supported President Hamid Karzai and his government, and when they said yes they were killed on the spot

Regional Commander Mohammed Hassain

Hamid Karzai’s government was rife with claims of electoral fraud but those who did support him were well within their rights to do so.

A democracy only works if its citizens are able to voice their opinions without fear of execution. Let’s hope the people of Afghanistan are able to enjoy a functioning democracy some day.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Programme Director for the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) hub at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of five books on terrorism.

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