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January Today in Terrorism

January 15, 2006: Suicide bombing in Afghanistan

On this day in 2006 a suicide car bomb hit a Canadian military convoy in southern Afghanistan, killing three civilians including diplomat Glyn Berry

KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN – International diplomacy is a tough business: sometimes it turns deadly.

War has sometimes been called ‘politics (or diplomacy) by other means’. This quote is attributed to the great Prussian general and military strategist Carl von Clausewitz. Well, what he actually said was Der Krieg ist eine bloße Fortsetzung der Politik mit anderen Mitteln. Just for the record.

The Essence of War: Clausewitz as Educator 1
“Everything in war is simple, but the simplest thing is difficult” – yep, kinda like life (Photo: AKG)

Sometimes the two are combined.

This is what happened in Afghanistan in 2002, just after 9/11. Canada joined its US ally in sending troops, initially the crack Joint Task Force 2 (JTF-2), to find those behind the horrendous attacks on New York and Washington and bring them to justice.

Canada also had a diplomatic mission in that country and sponsored aid organisations to help the average Afghans. One of its diplomats was Glyn Berry, director of the Canadian reconstruction team in the region and formerly political counsellor at the Canadian mission at the UN in New York.

Afghanistan was where he died.

On this day in 2006

A suicide car bomb hit a Canadian military convoy in southern Afghanistan, killing three civilians, including Mr. Berry. Three Canadian soldiers were also injured, two seriously. A Taliban spokesman claimed responsibility for the attack.

These attacks will continue for a long time. We have many more suicide attackers.

Taliban spokesman Qari Mohammed Yousaf

A fellow Canadian, Paul Heinbecker, a former UN ambassador who worked with Mr. Berry, called his colleague the salt of the earth. “He was a guy made for difficult assignments.” Mr. Berry left a wife and two grown sons.

RIP Mr. Berry. Thank you for your service to Canada.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Programme Director for the Security, Economics and Technology (SET) hub at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of five books on terrorism.

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