The world has millions of refugees who have fled their homes out of concern for their safety. Some are targeted by terrorists as well.
The world has seen far too many refugees in recent years. Not that this is a new phenomenon: after WWII millions of Germans were booted out of lands the Nazi regime had occupied and millions more fled the new East Bloc. Today?
According to the UN’s High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) there are currently 70.8 MILLION ‘forcibly displaced people’ worldwide, among which are 25.9 MILLION refugees. This figure is almost beyond belief (1% of all those on Earth)
As many of these are located not in Western countries many of us don’t really pay attention to the problem. We should, for a few reasons:
- It is the right thing to do;
- No one should have to live in abject, life-threatening conditions; and
- Refugees can be co-opted/coerced to join criminal or terrorist movements (Kenya claims that the sprawling Dadaab refugee camp it hosts is a ‘breeding ground for terrorism and that some of the terrorists behind the January 2019 DusitD2 attack in Nairobi came from the camp): the thousands of ex (?) Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists in refugee camps like Al Hol in Syria are of great concern to many.
And if this was not bad enough, there are occasions where refugees are themselves the target of terrorist attacks.
Bombing of refugee camp in Somalia
On this day in 2012 a bomb blast killed two Somali policemen and four refugees close to a camp for displaced people in Mogadishu. The attack appeared to have targeted a police checkpoint: a second bomb failed to detonate. The atrocity occurred after UN officials and foreign journalists had watched food being distributed in the camp.
It is unclear whether the attack was claimed although those behind it were likely from the terrorist group Al Shabaab. These terrorists maintain they ‘never hit Muslims’: a recent report which shows that they have killed 3,000 people since 2015, most of whom follow the Islamic faith, shows that boast to be a lie.
Terrorists can be despicable in their choice of whom to kill or maim at the best (worst?) of times: can they get any lower than putting the most defenceless in their sights?