SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – If you are going to plan a terrorist attack aim high.
A lot of terrorists, as you have seen through the hundreds of attacks described in this series over the past year and a half or so, seem satisfied with aiming at what can be called ‘low-hanging fruit’. Please, I am not labelling any death insignificant: it’s just that many bomb-chuckers seem content with going after those who have no protection.
This, of course, stands to reason. If you want to succeed why would you try to kill someone who receives the highest level of protection? That would be a recipe for failure most times. Hence, markets, hotels, schools, etc. bear the brunt of attacks.
Sometimes attacks appear to be aimed at both simultaneously.
On this day in 1978
A garbage truck compactor set off a bomb that had been placed in a bin immediately outside the Hilton Hotel in Sydney where a Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (called CHOGM – it sounds awful when you say it out loud!) was being held. Three people were killed and others were severely injured.
The Australian government was accused of a cover-up and rushing the investigation after which three men were tried, convicted and sentenced to prison for seven years although many thought they had nothing to do with the crime.
There were those who argued that the bomb had been placed by ASIO (the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, that country’s version of CSIS where I used to work) to “justify its existence. I call bullshit on that.
We may never know who was behind the bombing but it stands to reason that a meeting of heads of government would attract a large crowd or potential terrorists. No one has to invent conspiracy theories to account for it.
Read More Today in Terrorism
On May 31, 1906 a Spanish anarchist threw a bomb hoping to hit King Alfonso XIII, killing 24 and wounding more than 100.
On May 30, 2009 two pamphlet-bombs exploded outside an Ecuadorian TV station and ministry: no victims or significant damage ensued.
On May 29, 2016 35 civilians were wounded in an ISIS attack using rockets containing chlorine gas in Iraq’s Nineveh Province.