April 28, 2011: Bombing in Moroccan café kills civilians

On April 28, 2011 a likely AQIM suicide bomber attacked a café in the main square of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh, killing 15.

MARRAKESH, MOROCCO – Some believe that terrorism and terror are synonymous. While they are not, it is certainly true that some attacks are so mundane as to be terrifying.

Is there anything more ‘normal’ than a morning cup of ‘joe’ (NB that is one of the many words for coffee). Hundreds of millions start their day with this jolt of caffeine: regular, latte, cappuccino, Frappuccino…whatever. Most would say they cannot do without it.

People indulge this ‘need’ in many ways. Some spend hundreds of dollars on an in-home coffee maker. Others get it on their way to work or school: here in Canada Tim Horton’s coffee has become the next thing to a national icon. Whatever the medium the hot beverage is a must.

How much is this worth to you…your life? (Photo: Zacharias Korsalka on Flickr, Public Domain)

Drinking coffee is so part of our lives that it is hard to see what can go wrong – except a caffeine addiction and trouble getting to sleep if you imbibe after 18h00! Leave it to the terrorists to show us how badly it can all go.

On this day in 2011

A bomb attack in the main square of the Moroccan city of Marrakesh killed 15 people, at least 10 of them foreigners (including a Canadian couple). The blast wrecked the Argana cafe in Djemaa el-Fna square, a popular tourist spot. At least 20 people were injured.

We worked… on the hypothesis that this could… be accidental. But initial results of the investigation confirm that we are confronted with a true criminal act.

Moroccan government spokesman

The Al Qaeda (AQ) affiliate in the region, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), was likely behind the bombing, although it denied it. This incident put the ‘terror‘ in ‘terrorism‘: an attack on an everyday event.

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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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