January Today in Terrorism

January 26, 2008: Car bombing in Beirut

On this day in 2008 a powerful car bomb killed one of Lebanon’s top terrorism investigators and three other people in eastern Beirut

BEIRUT, LEBANON – Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Sometimes the terrorists do, with tragic results.

Counter terrorism is a dangerous business. Not only are you trying to identify, track and neutralise (sometimes through arrests, sometimes through ‘kinetic’ action) terrorists before they strike but you can find yourself targeted by the very violent actors you are after.

Read all about it! (Photo: Phil Gurski)

As you will read in my very soon to be published 6th book (The Peaceable Kingdom? A history of terrorism in Canada from Confederation to the Present), Canadians who worked in this field were threatened with violence. This probably took the form of “stop following me – or else!”. None were killed or injured thankfully.

On occasion the bad guys do get the good guys.

On this day in 2008

A powerful car bomb killed one of Lebanon’s top terrorism investigators and three other people in eastern Beirut in the latest of attacks aimed at Lebanese security officials. The blast made a three-foot-deep crater in the pavement and set a dozen cars ablaze. In addition to the death of the CT investigator, his bodyguard and two civilians were also killed, and three dozen people were wounded.

I was driving and suddenly heard a loud boom. I did not know what happened. I woke up and found myself in the car covered with blood, and people around me were screaming and cars burning.


I could find no reference to a group which claimed responsibility for the attack, although some pointed the finger at Hizballah. In any event, a key Lebanese figure was taken out of commission and the country was a little less safe as a result.

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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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