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January Today in Terrorism

January 16, 2007: Suicide bombing in Iraq

On this day in 2007 at least 70 people were killed at a largely Shiite university in northeastern Baghdad.

BAGHDAD, IRAQ – Terrorists hate lots of things, but Islamist terrorist hatred of women is beyond the pale.

Terrorists are such assholes sometimes.

If you read propaganda by groups such as Islamic State (ISIS) you’d think these terrorists were the vanguard of women’s rights. They talk of how ‘cherished’ women are and how women find their true calling under the protection of their so-called ‘Caliphate’ (or ‘califake’ as some call it).

The reality is a little different. ISIS subjected women to horrendous conditions, imposing draconian measures on their freedom of movement. ISIS terrorists also raped countless Yazidi women. So much for their ‘feminine’ side.

Hi, I’m an ISIS jihadi and this is my son and my, um, er, I think that may be my wife (Photo: Al-Hayat Media Center)

At times, Islamist terrorists cut from the same cloth as ISIS targeted women deliberately in their attacks. Today’s featured attack is a good example.

On this day in 2007

At least 70 people were killed at a largely Shiite university in northeastern Baghdad when a wave of explosions tore through a crowd of students and employees leaving the main gate minutes after classes ended. The majority of the victims were female students: I do not think that was a coincidence.

I saw remains of human flesh. It was horrifying. Flesh and blood were everywhere. People started to run, and there was a state of chaos. Some people fell on the ground and got trampled by others.

Mariam, a literature student at Mustansiriya University.

The fact that the campus was a largely Shiite one just gave the terrorists more incentive: Islamist extremist groups hate the Shia about as much as they hate women.

This attack could not have been carried out by ISIS proper as the organisation did not exist as such in 2007. Not that it matters: when it comes to terrorism, Islamist extremist groups all sing from the song-sheet.

And kill wantonly.

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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