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June Today in Terrorism

June 9, 2016: Suicide bombers attack Kiwi soldiers in Iraq

On June 9, 2016 ISIS claimed an attack near a military camp in northern Baghdad where 106 New Zealand soldiers were stationed

TAJI MILITARY CAMP, IRAQ – Sending soldiers abroad to deal with terrorism invites the very evil they are seeking to fight.

Ever since 9/11, and probably even on occasion before, we have seen foreign military deployments by Western and other nations to confront terrorist groups. Afghanistan. Iraq (ill-advisedly in that instance). Somalia. The Sahel of Africa. Maybe Mozambique next.

This is part and parcel of the militarisation of counter terrorism in the post-9/11 period. Yes, there is a role for the world’s military in dealing with and stopping terrorism, a field normally seen as a security intelligence/law enforcement responsibility. And yes, I did discuss all this in my 2019 book An End to the War on Terrorism.

There is some question as to whether this is indeed the best strategy. Foreign troops on a nation’s soil not only are seen at times as unwanted but mistakes are made and innocent lives are taken.

Over where? Over there! (Photo: Author unknown / U.S. National Archives image)

This deployment also attracts the attention of terrorist groups.

On this day in 2016

Islamic State (ISIS) claimed an attack near a military camp in northern Baghdad where 106 New Zealand soldiers were stationed; no NZ (or co-located Australian) personnel were harmed. Five Iraqi soldiers and seven civilians were killed in the explosion, and another 28 were injured.

A car bomb was detonated close to a checkpoint outside the south-western secure perimeter of the camp.

NZ Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee

Terrorist groups benefit from foreign troop presence. That alone should give us pause when this tactic is being considered.

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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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