March 30, 2002: Islamist terrorists attack temple in India

On March 30 2002 an attack on Jammu’s Raghunath temple killed a dozen people and wounded another 20.

RAGHUNATH TEMPLE, INDIA – Some targets appear so lucrative to terrorists that they go back for seconds.

When you look at terrorism across time and space two main things stand out:

a) most attacks either fail or are rarely very lethal (9/11 was indeed a once in a lifetime event), and;

b) most groups are very ad hoc in their target selection (again, 9/11 was an exception).

It is rare for a group to go to great lengths in planning to do something: it is even rarer for that same group to go back to the same site more than once over a period of time.

The reasons are not that complicated. After the first attack one would assume security at the site would be increased, making a second attack harder. The venue would have to be pretty special to want to hit twice.

Quotes about Fool Me Once (28 quotes)
But NOT the Weather Underground terrorist group! (Photo:

An Islamist group did just this two decades ago.

On this day in 2002

An attack on Jammu’s Raghunath temple killed a dozen people and wounded another 20. A half-year later another attack killed ten and wounded 40. The attackers were Islamist terrorists.

It was a response to Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Syed’s assertion that militancy was on its last legs.

Jamiat-ul-Mujahedeen and Harkat-e-Jihad statement

Unfortunately, the police investigation was bungled and many suspects went free. The jihadis had won, not once but twice.

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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.

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