February 7, 2016 | Kabul Supreme Court Bombing

On this day in 2017 a suicide bombing near the Afghan Supreme Court in central Kabul killed more than a dozen people and wounded many more.

Terrorists opt for a lot of places to attack: sometimes their choices are symbolic in nature.

A few years ago an interesting case wound its way through the Canadian court system. In 2013 Chiheb Esseghaier and Raed Jaser were arrested by the RCMP and charged with planning terrorist attacks against, among other things, a train traveling through the Niagara corridor on its way from New York City to Toronto.

As if terrorism is not interesting enough on its own: things got really bizarre when Mr. Esseghaier elected to defend himself in court (this is rarely a good idea). He made a scene when he effectively told the judge that the Canadian court could not try him as it was based on ‘man’s laws’ and Esseghaier demanded to be tried on ‘God’s laws’. Suffice to say that this defence was not an effective one and the wannabe terrorist was found guilty on four charges in March 2015 (conspiring to damage transportation property with intent to endanger safety for a terrorist organization, conspiring to commit murder for a terrorist group, plus two counts of participating or contributing to a terrorist group).

Islamist extremists like Esseghaier hate everything we stand for: liberalism, education, gender equality, etc., etc., etc. And they really hate our tradition of justice for the reasons cited by Esseghaier: they believe that one book, and one book only – i.e. the Quran – contains all we need to live and judge one another. Hence they try to undermine our legal system.

2016 Kabul Supreme Court Bombing

On occasion that ‘undermining’ takes the form of a terrorist attack.

On this day in 2017 a suicide bombing near the offices of the Afghan Supreme Court in central Kabul during the evening rush hour killed more than a dozen people and wounded many more. While no group immediately claimed the attack suspicion fell on the Taliban as those terrorists had taken credit for many court-related assaults, including on provincial courtrooms and buses carrying court employees.

None of this is surprising. The Taliban want to erase all traces of everything they have decided goes against their medieval convictions. If the US/NATO allies withdraw forces from Afghanistan following a ‘peace’ deal with these terrorists, expect more attacks against the Afghan state.

Including courthouses and all who work in the judicial realm.

February 6, 2004 | Moscow metro bombing

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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