February 8, 2004 and 2016 | Attacks against police in Iraq

Whatever you think of policing it is a hard job: it is harder when they are targeted by terrorists.

TODAY IN TERRORISM — What kind of experiences have you had with the police? Good ones? Bad ones? Neither good nor bad?

Not surprisingly I have had almost universal good experiences. I used to brief local police across Canada on terrorism issues and I also worked for the Ontario Provincial Police Anti-Terrorism Section (OPP-PATS) for a time in 2015. Hence I support what the police do for us, even if it is not always perfect.

Police put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf. When a shooter is loose in our cities they run TOWARDS him/her while we are running AWAY. If you need a better example of this courageous behaviour, recall the first responders (including police) who ran up the stairs at the World Trade Center in New York on 9/11 and who died doing their duty.

In 2004 three people were killed and eight wounded in a bomb attack in the offices of the Iraqi deputy police chief in Sawaryah, 40 miles south of Baghdad.

Given that we expect police to uphold the laws we as a society have chosen for ourselves it is not rocket science to realise that those who do not want to follow those laws – i.e. criminals – see police as an obstacle. At times, these actors target and kill police officers.

Some of my buddies

Terrorists too are criminals and they too see police as getting in the way of what they are trying to achieve. Hence, they too target police in attacks. On this day in Iraq in two separate years Islamist extremists carried out action against police forces, with deadly results.

In 2004 three people were killed and eight wounded in a bomb attack in the offices of the Iraqi deputy police chief in Sawaryah, 40 miles south of Baghdad. The homemade bomb is believed to have been planted by a night-shift security guard – i.e. it was an inside job. Two days later a car bomb exploded outside the police station in Iskandiriyah, 30 miles south of Baghdad, killing at least 54 people and wounding at least 60 others. Most of the casualties were Iraqis applying for jobs with the police.

In 2016 Islamic State (ISSI) announced that it had executed more than 300 police and army personnel, in addition to civil activists by firing squad in Mosul. Apparently, several were subjected to torture by foreign-born jihadists before their deaths.

I will always have a great deal of respect for what the men and women in uniform do for us. They put their lives on the line day in and day out. To me, that deserves our thanks.


MORE:
February 7, 2016 | Kabul Supreme Court Bombing


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