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).
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.
Read More Today in Terrorism
On May 31, 1906 a Spanish anarchist threw a bomb hoping to hit King Alfonso XIII, killing 24 and wounding more than 100.
On May 30, 2009 two pamphlet-bombs exploded outside an Ecuadorian TV station and ministry: no victims or significant damage ensued.
On May 29, 2016 35 civilians were wounded in an ISIS attack using rockets containing chlorine gas in Iraq’s Nineveh Province.