May 21, 2004: Bombing at Bangladeshi shrine

On May 21, 2004 a bomb injured the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh while he was visiting the Shah Jalal shrine, killing two.

SYLHET, BANGLADESH – War is bad for children and other living things, or so goes the saying: so is it ok to kill to protest it?

Is there anything more human than war?

While other forms of life do engage in lethal battles against others – ants take part in what can only be called war – it is a particularly human phenomenon. And it seems to go back to the early annals of our species.

It is also patently obvious that wars are nasty. Lots of people die, even more are injured, and the collateral damage is usually uncountable. You would think, then, that we would do everything in our power to resort less often to this form of violence.

Stopping wars may be a noble effort but using violence to make your point seems to me to be rather inconsistent, no?

On this day in 2004

A bomb was thrown at the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh while he was visiting the Shah Jalal shrine in Sylhet, killing two people and wounding up to 100. Miraculously, the HC himself survived as the grenade bounced off his stomach and landed at the feet of the District Commissioner.

The High Commissioner is being treated for splinters in his legs below the knees but his condition is not serious.

Doctor Abdus Salam in the emergency ward of the Sylhet Medical College Hospital

The group behind the attack, Harakat-ul-jihad-al-islami Bangladesh (HUJI), said it attacked the HC, who was born in Bangladesh, to protest the UK’s role in the war in Iraq,  “to avenge the deaths of Muslims“. So, killing a few people and maiming a lot more somehow ‘makes up’ for the killing of Iraqis? Can someone please explain this to me?

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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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