December 11, 2007: UN workers killed in Algerian bombing

On December 11, 2007 AQIM claimed responsibility for two car bombs that ripped through the streets of Algiers, killing 37 people and wounding 177.

ALGIERS, ALGERIA – Nothing says success like copying. The same goes for terrorism.

Have you ever bought a knock off product? You know, the ones that look a lot like more popular items but usually cost a lot less. Except that these copies are probably breaking all kinds of copyright laws, not to mention stealing someone else’s blood, toil, sweat and tears.

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Well, the actual quote, attributed to Oscar Wilde, is “imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” I suppose this means that a lot of mediocre people strive for fame by stealing someone else’s ideas and products.

We see imitation and copying in terrorist groups as well. Islamic State (ISIS), for instance, has seen a number of ‘provinces‘ arise in Asia, the Middle East and Africa of late all of which have been very active. So has Al Qaeda (AQ).

One such AQ affiliate is called Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). It has been around for over a decade and has been called the most successful al-Qaeda affiliate when it comes to kidnapping and ransoming foreigners.

On this day in 2007

AQIM claimed responsibility for two car bombs that ripped through the streets of Algiers, killing 37 people, including 11 United Nations workers. As many as 177 were injured in the attacks. Believed to be suicide bombs, the targets could have been the Constitutional Council and UN offices in an upscale neighbourhood of the Algerian capital.

 Another successful conquest carried out by the Knights of the Faith with their blood in defence of the wounded nation of Islam.”

AQIM online statement

These attacks demonstrate that the ‘offspring’ of terrorist groups can sometimes out do their parents (AQ central has been quite quiet since the death of its leader Usama bin Laden in 2011). Let’s hope other progeny don’t engage in a contest of oneupmanship.

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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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