May 18, 2003: Disguised Palestinian suicide bomber kills seven in Jerusalem

On May 18, 2003 a suicide bomber attired as an Orthodox Jew killed at least seven people and wounded 26 on a commuter bus in Jerusalem.

JERUSALEM, ISRAEL – Terrorists of course want to succeed, not fail, and will go to great lengths to do so.

As noted on far too many occasions, I LOVE Monty Python’s Flying Circus. I recall watching the episodes on a PBS station my parents got on our old 12-channel TV in the early 1970s and have been hooked on this zany British humour ever since. There are far too many skits to name as my ‘favourite’, not to mention the single greatest movie of all time (Monty Python and the Holy Grail of course!), so I will not try.

The one I want to focus on today, however, which fits the theme of terrorist attack to be highlighted, is ‘How not to be seen‘, sold as a UK government public service message on the benefits of staying invisible (those who did not got shot or blown up). It is silly, but then again that is Monty Python.

Terrorists plan their acts to kill and maim as many people as possible. Trying to stop them is of course the combined security intelligence, military and law enforcement agencies and forces which collect information, infiltrate cells and neutralise these actors.

It thus stands to reason that terrorists do what they can to evade detection. In other words, they try very hard not to be seen. Those efforts can take the form of concealment. Read on…

On this day in 2003

A suicide bomber detonated his deadly load on a Jerusalem commuter bus killing at least seven people and wounding 26 others. The Palestinian terrorist was dressed as an orthodox Jew, wearing a prayer shawl. Attired so he did not attract attention, thereby allowing him to execute his act.

When violent extremists get creative it is up to their opponents to do likewise. In essence, this is what counter terrorism is all about. Let’s hope the latter keep up with the former.

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.

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