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June Today in Terrorism

June 26, 2004: Taliban attacks election officials in Afghanistan

On June 26, 2004 a bomb exploded on a bus carrying women who were election workers in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, killing 2 and wounding 13

JALALABAD, AFGHANISTAN – There is an old saying: “Fool me once shame on you; fool me twice shame on me.” This goes for terrorists too.

An interesting headline crossed my radar recently (June 21). As many of you are aware, the US has decided to pull its troops out of Afghanistan where there has been a military presence since 9/11. The initial purpose was to find those responsible for the attacks on New York, Washington and the failed one near Shanksville (Pennsylvania) but this morphed into propping up various Afghan governments as well.

Now that the US move is weeks away, the Taliban and their other terrorist allies have stepped up the violence and every serious analyst is convinced that this bunch will take over once the US withdrawal is complete. What will ensue is anyone’s guess but there are few positive scenarios.

Incredibly, the Taliban claim that a government led by them will respect Afghans. Their track record is not good in this regard. Taliban co-founder and deputy leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar even had the audacity to say that a “genuine Islamic system” in Afghanistan was the only way to end the war and ensure rights — including for women.

Huh?

Anyone who questions our support for women’s rights will be killed! (Photo: Gerard Van der Leun on flickr, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Pardon me if I am a tad skeptical in this regard. The Taliban are NOT in favour of anyone’s rights but their own. This includes women as today’s featured attack demonstrates.

On this day in 2004

A bomb exploded on a bus carrying women who were election workers in the eastern city of Jalalabad, killing two women and wounding 13 others, including a 5-year-old girl. Taliban officials often threaten Afghans who take part in an election process that they say is intended to strengthen the American-backed government. In a separate attack 14 men were killed for the offence of registering to vote.

These three people were saying the Taliban were telling us, ‘You are non-Muslims. You are helping them and you are getting these cards.’

Jan Muhammad, governor of the province of Uruzgan

So the Taliban hate women, women who help with elections, men who want to vote, and just about everything else that does not jive with their antediluvian version of Islam. And we are supposed to believe their promises now? What, do we look THAT stupid?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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