March 11, 1995: Car bomb targets police and their families in Algeria

On this day in 1995 a car bomb exploded in Algiers near housing for police officers and their families, wounding at least 63 people.

ALGIERS, ALGERIA – Working in law enforcement and security is hard enough: imagine what happens when your personal life is affected.

A few years ago I featured a podcast with my eldest daughter about her memories of 9/11. She was 12 at the time and has distinct recollections of what transpired that day. Even in light of her youth at the time her recounting of that day was remarkable.

One other thing that struck me were her views of what it was like to be the child of someone who worked in security intelligence. She recalled ‘take your child to work’ days, although her experiences were much different than those of her classmates whose parents had more ‘normal’ jobs.

RELATED: Borealis speaks to his daughter about her memories of 9/11

She also recalled times when her dad was not around. Foreign trips, late hours, and weekends which were all linked to breaking events were part of the norm. Thank God her mother was around!

Those of us in these positions took our work seriously and had to keep a lot back from our families – largely due to security clearances and sensitive information. We hoped that what we did to help keep us all safe did not have an effect on them.

But sometimes it did.

On this day in 1995

A car bomb exploded in Algiers near housing for police officers and their families, wounding at least 63 people. The Armed Islamic Group – aka the GIA, an Islamist terrorist group – had warned hours earlier that it would begin a campaign to kill wives, daughters and other women related to police and army personnel unless fundamentalist women were freed from Algerian prisons.

Otherwise we will take revenge for every Muslim woman whose honor is violated or who remains in captivity, by killing the women of the tyrants in the army, police and their supporters.

GIA statement

Most of the wounded were members of policemen’s families: half the victims were only slightly wounded and were treated and released from hospitals. Usually the GIA targeted policemen, army officers, civic leaders, intellectuals and foreigners.

It is one thing to accept danger in one’s job. It is quite another to have one’s family exposed to it.

Read More Today in Terrorism

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

Leave a Reply