NARATHIWAT PROVINCE, THAILAND – It is bad enough to lose one’s partner to terrorists, but to lose one’s own life as well?
In all my years as a counter terrorism analyst in Canada the hardest interviews I had to do were with the families of two dead terrorists. I sat down with two mothers whose sons had died abroad while part of violent extremist groups.
The anguish of trying to understand why one’s son would do such a thing was palpable. Beyond the stigma of the public looking at them as the ‘mothers of terrorists’ was the unceasing questions of why, and how, their sons made such choices was painful to process.
These conversations I had were of course slightly different than ones where families lost loved ones TO terrorism, not where the lost ones were themselves terrorists. Imagine then a scenario where a woman loses her husband to terrorists and then is killed in turn by them years later.
This is what happened in southern Thailand two years ago.
On this day in 2018
A 51 year-old woman whose husband was killed by terrorists three years earlier was also shot dead as she was going to work. No evidence pointing to the killers was found at the scene.
She sustained two gunshot wounds, to her right torso and back. Another bullet hole was found in the left handlebar of her bike.
The area in southern Thailand where she was killed, Narathiwat province, has been the site of an Islamist extremist insurgency for thirty years. Terrorists are seeking to carve out an independent Islamic territory in what was historically part of Malaysia and called the Patani Sultanate (for more details see my 2017 book The Lesser Jihads).
A widow is undoubtedly still grieving for her husband when she too is killed. What sense does any of this make?