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February 4, 2008: Suicide bomber hits shopping mall in Israel

On February 4, 2008 a Hamas suicide bomber struck a shopping mall in Dimona, Israel, killing one woman and wounding another nine people

DIMONA, ISRAEL – If one part of a terrorist group doesn’t approve an attack by another does anyone care?

Terrorism is complicated. There, I said it.

We are all inundated with analysis on terrorism from different quarters: academics, national security ‘experts, former law enforcement/security intelligence officers, even people like me! We all have different views based on different experiences, some more direct than others.

Yet despite all this input we are no closer to either understanding terrorism or preventing it from happening. On the understanding end we disagree on how important groups are (vs individuals), whether terrorism is top-down or bottom-up (or both), what the role of leadership is, etc., etc., etc.

How many terrorism ‘experts’ does it take to screw in a light bulb? (Photo: Asar Studios, Public Domain)

The reality is that terrorism varies from place to place and from time to time and if anyone thinks they have a handle on it they are merely fooling themselves. Today’s featured attack is a good example I think.

On this day in 2008

A suicide bomber exploded his deadly load at a shopping mall in Dimona, Israel, killing one woman and wounding another nine people, one critically. Israeli police killed an accomplice before he could detonate his own suicide belt.

It was like a war. People were running like crazy. I saw a piece of a human being right there, next to my leg.

Witness Rosa Enberg

Here is where it gets interesting. While initially a unit of Fatah’s al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the Gaza Strip identified as the “Army of Palestine” claimed responsibility for launching the attack along with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Hamas later said it was their man. But other reports maintained that the ‘armed wing‘ of Hamas acted without the authority of the terrorist organisation’s ‘political wing’ in Syria.

Huh? If the left hand of terrorism does not know what the right hand is doing does in matter? Not really as the end is the same: death and destruction.

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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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