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December Today in Terrorism

December 1, 2017: Terrorist shooting in Pakistan

Burqa-clad Islamist terrorists attacked an agriculture institute in Peshawar, Pakistan in December 2017, killing nine and wounding 37

Burqa-clad Islamist terrorists attacked an agriculture institute in Peshawar, Pakistan in December 2017, killing nine and wounding 37.

PESHAWAR, PAKISTAN – Terrorists sometimes pretend to be someone else to better their chances of success.

Halloween has come and gone for another year. I read somewhere that it is almost as popular as Christmas in the Western world when it comes to holidays/celebrations. Especially among adults, apparently, which strikes me as a little odd as I always thought this was all about the kids and getting candy from strangers (I don’t know about you, but I was taught never to accept sweets from people I did not know!).

I suppose the newish fad is harmless fun. I mean, who does not enjoy getting dressed up once a year and having a good time with friends? Still, I am pretty sure I am not the only one who thinks the ‘sexy _____’ costume has been greatly overused!

ISIS costumes for Halloween: Party-goers dress up in jihadist-themed outfits  | Daily Mail Online
I am not confident that ‘sexy terrorist’ is such a good idea1

If you are a terrorist it may be a good idea to conceal not only your plans but your identity. Dressing up as a stereotypical jihadi – black keffiyah, suicide belt, AK-47 slung across your back – might get you noticed right away after all and ruin your plans. No, best to be a little more subtle.

This seems to be what three Tehreek-e-Taliban-e-Pakistan (TTP aka the Pakistani Taliban) terrorists were thinking on this day in 2017. Dressed in burqas, they stormed the Agricultural Training Institute in Peshawar, killing nine and wounding dozens. The attackers were also killed by security forces.

3 terrorists entered Agriculture Training Institutes wearing Burqas on main University Road #Peshawar, Police and other Security Agencies responded immediately, operation is in progress; currently 1 terrorist is neutralised #KPPolice

The TTP claimed that their target was not the college – six students were among the dead – but rather a safe house belonging to Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) in the same area. Yeah, whatever.

It is slightly ironic that a bunch of antediluvian misogynists would don all-enveloping burqas to stage an attack. Oh well, I guess consistency is too much to ask from terrorists like this.

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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