May 20, 2007: Backpack full of dynamite explodes at Peru market

On May 20, 2007 six people were killed and about 50 injured in a blast at a market in the city of Juliaca in southern Peru

JULIACA, PERU – At times what looks like a terrorist attack is possibly one even if it is never determined who or what was behind it.

When we get lucky a serious act of violence is incontrovertibly ascribed to a terrorist or to a terrorist group. Either a given act is so obviously one of a terrorist nature (i.e. 9/11) or is immediately claimed by a known (or unknown) group that fits a terrorist profile.

On others it is far from obvious. Complicating matters is our inability to come to any agreement on what is terrorism and what is not. The violence at the US Capitol in January is a good example (for the record I do NOT think it was an act of terrorism).

What we do want? A Trump victory! Why do we want it? Coz Trump said so! (Photo: By Tyler Merbler, CC BY 2.0)

Today’s featured incident is a good case for uncertainty.

On this day in 2007

Six people were killed and about 50 injured in a blast at a market in the city of Juliaca in southern Peru. A backpack containing dynamite exploded at the market, which was crowded with people marking its 40-year anniversary.

Police endeavoured to determine whether the blast was an attack or an accident: one official was confident the explosion was tied to fireworks intended for the celebrations but another said terrorism could not be ruled out.

What the police have to determine is the motive, the aim and what kind of criminal did it.

Police Col Romeo Delgado

If it were indeed an act of terrorism the Marxist group Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) could he behind it. However, by 2007 this group was well past its height. The conundrum thus continues. I wish it were otherwise.

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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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