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January Today in Terrorism

January 9, 2014: Murder of Pakistani counter terrorism police officer

On this day in 2014 a senior Pakistani police officer known for campaigning against the Taliban was killed in a bomb blast in Karachi.

KARACHI, PAKISTAN – Those who work in counter terrorism often put their lives on the line: sometimes they lose those lives.

As someone who worked in counter terrorism for 15 years in the Canadian intelligence community I dealt with some pretty nasty characters who were planning some pretty nasty acts of violence.

Thanks to the efforts of my colleagues and those of our law enforcement counterparts, many of these acts were thwarted and no one got hurt. Still, in cases where a terrorist was taken down before he could do anything those involved in the arrest did put themselves in harm’s way.

Me? Not at all. I was an analyst, not an investigator, not an intelligence officer, not a police officer making arrests. The greatest physical danger I faced was a paper cut.

Home Remedies For Paper Cuts | ThriftyFun
I got this wound during the 2005-2006 Toronto 18 investigation! (Photo: claudiodivizia)

In some countries, counter terrorist operatives really do put their lives on the line. Some do not survive.

On this day in 2014

A senior Pakistani police officer known for campaigning against the Taliban was killed in a bomb blast in Karachi. Chaudhry Aslam, the head of the city’s anti-terror operations, and at least two others died in an attack on a police convoy.

While Mr. Aslam had survived a number of previous attempts on his life, this one, claimed by the Pakistani Taliban, finally succeeded. A car carrying explosives smashed into Mr. Aslam’s convoy leading to the complete destruction of a number of vehicles and damage to nearby buildings.

We will not let the will of the nation be crushed by these cowardly acts by terrorists.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif 

Mr Aslam was often accused of carrying out “fake encounters” – capturing and killing militants in staged gunfights instead of taking them through the courts – although an internal police inquiry cleared him.

Counter terrorism is a nasty business. The Marquess of Queensbury rules seldom apply. I tip my hat to Mr. Aslam and all those who have been killed by terrorists.

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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