Thought of the week – hate vs. terrorism: the same thing?
Why is it that we have a hard time distinguishing between hate and terrorism? The two are, after all, NOT the same!
Take the shooting outside a gay bar in Bratislava, Slovakia, in mid-October. A man who was reputedly the son of a far-right politician and who held anti-gay and anti-Jewish views opened fire, killing two and wounding one before taking his own life.
Slovak politicians immediately labeled it a hate crime. I do not know what Slovakian law says, but that would fit Canadian law (“a criminal offence committed against a person, group of people or property that is motivated by the suspect’s hate, prejudice or bias, based on race, colour, national or ethnic origin, language, religion, sex, age, mental or physical disability, or sexual orientation”).
OK, that certainly appears to describe what happened.
Except that local police were pondering terrorism charges (whom are they going to charge? The shooter is dead!). And maybe that is indeed what that nation’s law demands.
But we are frequently blurring the lines between hate and terrorism. Yes, they are linked and the way I like to frame it is that all terrorism is hate, but not all hate is terrorism.
What do we gain by piling up terrorism statistics? Is it a way to prove our point that right-wing acts of violence, many of which are very hateful, are also terrorism? Does this ‘prove’ that right-wing terrorism is more dangerous than the jihadi variety which has been so dominant for so long (not if you are a follower of this weekly summary it is most definitely not!)?
Whatever the motive this is muddying the waters further, not making them clearer.
This week by the numbers
Countries where an attack occurred: Afghanistan, Kenya, Iraq, Israel, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Yemen
Casualties (dead/injured/terrorists arrested/terrorists killed): 89/70/68/200
Predominant ideology of attackers: Jihadi/Islamist
Right-Wing attacks: zero
- A blast hit a bus carrying Taliban administration employees in Kabul on November 2, injuring seven people. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
- Unknown armed men shot dead two miners and a guard of a salt mine in Afghanistan’s northern Faryab province on November 5. While there was no claim of responsibility suspicion rose that it was Islamic State in Khorasan (ISK).
- Bangladesh’s RAB stated on November 4 that Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya, a recently discovered militant outfit, targeted young people and brainwashed them into leaving homes.
Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)
- The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) reportedly killed dozens of suspected rebels and seized heavy weaponry in a November 4 bombardment on new camps of Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) in eastern DRC.
- Al Shabaab (AS) kidnapped two Kenyan paramedics and their patient in Mandera County and drove them to Somalia on November 1.
- Indian security forces killed a terrorist during an infiltration attempt along the Line of Control in the Sudpora, Kupwara district on October 31.
- Indian police arrested two Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorists during a search operation in the Kellar area of the Shopian district of Jammu and Kashmir on October 31.
- India’s Supreme Court on November 3 affirmed the death penalty for an LeT terrorist convicted in the December 2000 Red Fort attack in which three were killed.
- Police arrested four Jamatul Ansar Fil Hindal Sharqiya militants in the Laksham area of central India on November 4 and seized leaflets and books promoting radicalisation.
- Iraqi security forces seized two ISIS explosive suicide belts during an operation in the Yathrib district of the Saladin governorate on October 31.
- Iraqi counter-terrorism forces captured a senior ISIS commander in Kirkuk on October 31: he was a security commander in the so-called Wilayat of Kirkuk and a commander of the Raid team of the al-Furqan force in Nineveh.
- A Turkish soldier was killed when PKK terrorists opened fire on Turkish positions in the Operation Claw-Lock Zone of northern Iraq on November 4.
- ISIS terrorists released a Kurdish shepherd they had seized on September 6 in the town of Kifri, Diyala province, on November 4 after the payment of a $50,000 ransom.
- Israeli troops on November 2 shot dead a 54-year old Palestinian who rammed car into a soldier, who was left severely injured.
- Three Israeli policemen were wounded, one by friendly fire, in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City on November 3: the alleged 20-yr old Palestinian assailant was shot dead. He appears to have been associated with the Lion’s Den terrorist group.
- On November 6 Hamas arrested two ‘Salafists’ for firing rockets at Israel on November 3.
- A European Union (EU) official stated on November 2 that the body is ready to support “all initiatives” to “prevent” the arming of rebel groups that have been harassing Cabo Delgado for the past five years.
- A court in Myanmar found a former lawmaker from ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s party guilty of terrorism and handed down a 148-year prison sentence, which when added to previous convictions extends his total prison term to 173 years.
- The Netherlands is set to repatriate 12 women and their children from Kurdish camps in Syria: upon their return the women will be arrested on suspicion of joining jihadi groups and their children will be taken into state care.
- An attempt by Boko Haram (BH) to infiltrate the military base in Wawa town in the Borgu Local Government Area of Niger State was thwarted by the combined team of Nigerian soldiers and air force personnel on October 31.
- Nigerian troops claim to have killed 44 Boko Haram terrorists and captured 50 others on November 3.
- Nigerian Security Intelligence arrested Islamic State West African Province (ISWAP) collaborator, Nasiru Mohammed, on November 5: he was providing “liaising services” to new arrival of terrorists into the North West of Kaduna State.
- Government operatives arrested a suspected ISWAP collaborator in Kaduna on November 6. The individual reportedly coordinated activities of ISWAP, ranging from logistics supply to provision of temporary shelter for terrorists before their deployment to various camps.
- Pakistan’s Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) on November 3 arrested a suspected terrorist allegedly intending to kill a Chinese doctor in Hyderabad and who was associated with the perpetrators of a similar attack on Chinese dentists in Karachi in September.
- A gunman opened fire on Imran Khan while giving a speech in Wazirabad on November 3. Khan was shot in the leg, and a suspect was arrested. Three other people were also wounded.
- An Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) terrorist was wounded and captured in Parang while Philippines security forces were on a routine patrol on November 2.
- Three ASG terrorists surrendered in Sumisip on November 5 and turned in two M16 rifles and ammunition.
- A Philippines soldier was killed and two 2 others wounded when members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) fired at soldiers in Datu Hoffer, Maguindanao del Sur on November 4.
- A bomb blast inside a passenger bus killed one person and wounded ten others in Tacurong city in the Philippines Sultan Kudarat province on November 6. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, BIFF rebels have conducted similar bus bombings in the past.
- A Somali military court executed two Al Shabaab (AS) terrorists in Mogadishu on November 3.
- A roadside bomb blast hit a vehicle carrying students in the Daynille district of Mogadishu on November 3, killing two students and wounding five others, including people passing by. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- A roadside bomb killed at least three people, including a soldier, and injured six others in Mogadishu on November 3. The bomb targeted Mogadishu deputy mayor Ali Yare. The deputy mayor was not in the car when the attack occurred. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.
- Heavy fighting broke out between AS and local militia in the Hiran region, 320 km north of Mogadishu, on November 3. The Somali Defence Ministry claimed its forces and allies killed at least 100 AS terrorists during the fighting.
- The Somali Defence Ministry stated on November 4 that it had uncovered evidence that AS has been torturing reluctant fighters among its ranks.
- An AS suicide bomber killed 15 people and wounded ‘scores’ in an attack on a military base in Mogadishu on November 5. The group also said a second suicide bomber killed 23 troops in Middle Shabelle on November 4 and 36 ‘militias’ the day before, while admitting that eight terrorists also died. Somalia’s Chief of Defence Forces maintained that AS did not achieve its ‘goal’ in suicide attack on the Mogadishu military base.
- The Somali government announced on November 6 that it has blocked AS’s financial accounts in the country’s remittances networks and banks.
- Turkish forces killed four YPG/PKK terrorists during operations in the Gara Region of northern Syria on October 31, as well as two PKK/YPG terrorists during operations in the Operation Peace Spring Zone of Northern Syria.
- Turkish forces killed a YPG/PKK leader in the Operation Peace Spring area of northern Syria on November 1.
- Turkish forces killed five YPG/PKK terrorists in the Operation Peace Spring and Euphrates Shield Zones of northern Syria on November 2.
- Turkish forces killed four YPG/PKK terrorists who were planning attacks on Turkish forces in the Euphrates Shield Zone of northern Syria on November 5.
- Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed on November 5 that they had arrested seven ISIS suspects in Deir ez-Zor.
- After being found guilty in July, two men were sentenced for terrorism offences at Manchester Crown Court on November 4. Ahmiri Ahmedi Azizi was been sentenced to 10 years and Mohammed Hussini to seven years, the former for online material supporting ISIS and the latter for having a ‘digital’ connection with the former.
- An IED laid likely by Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) killed four Yemeni soldiers and wounding five others occurred in Abyan Province on November 4.