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April Today in Terrorism

April 24, 2006 bombings at tourist sites in Egypt

On this day in 2006 three bombs ripped through a tourist hub in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula killing 23 and wounding scores.

DAHAB, EGYPT – It is often said that the three most important things in real estate are ‘location, location, location’: the same goes for terrorism.

You gotta feel in a way for Egypt. Terrible governance in recent years notwithstanding, the country has come a long way (down!) since the greatness of the pharaohs. Pyramids, the Sphinx, a complex society, huge cities – Egypt once had it all. Today? Not so much.

What Egypt has done well is to use its glorious past to make money today. The tourism sector accounts for 15% of the country‚Äôs GDP: that’s a lot of camel rides!! It makes sense therefore that the government values this industry and seeks to protect it.

It makes equal sense that terrorists target it.

On this day in 2006

Three bombs ripped through Egypt’s Red Sea resort of Dahab during a peak holiday season, killing 23 people including foreigners and wounding scores more. No group immediately claimed credit for the attacks, which came one day after a new audiotape of Al-Qaeda (AQ) leader Osama bin Laden surfaced accusing the “crusaders” of the West of waging war against Islam.

Around 7 PM we heard three explosions close to the seafront alongside a supermarket in the centre of Dahab. There was a plume of smoke and people started running and screaming.

French tourist Frederic Mingeon

Reaction to the attacks was mixed. Some of the sidewalks were splattered with blood, and bloody footprints were all over as injured people ran in a panic during the bombings while others carried on with their holiday as if nothing happened, wandering around in their swimsuits, sipping beer, heading out for the next coral reef dive expedition.

Egyptian authorities arrested thirty people in conjunction with the incident. That terrorists targeted this tourist area made perfect sense: they were guaranteed a large body count. As noted earlier, terrorism, like real estate, is about location, location, location.

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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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