May 24, 2014: Suicide bombers target restaurant in Djibouti

On May 24, 2014 Al Shabaab claimed a suicide attack on a restaurant in Djibouti, killing one and wounding dozens.

LA CHAUMIERE RESTAURANT, DJIBOUTI – Wanting to help your neighbour going through a hard time may be ‘neighbourly’ but it can invite terrible consequences.

They say good fences make good neighbours. I guess this appeals to our territoriality as humans, always wanting to make sure we all know what belongs to whom. We have a long history of making lines on maps – even if these lines make no sense of facts on the ground. We just want to put our markers down and woe to those who ignore them!

So what do we do when the neighbours are in trouble? Do we turn a blind eye and hunker down, pretending not to have seen or heard anything? Or do we offer our assistance?

What if the neighbour is dealing with a terrorist group?

This has come up a lot in recent years in eastern Africa, especially Somalia where the Islamist terrorist group Al Shabaab has been wreaking havoc for almost two decades. Somalia has been more or less a failed state for three decades and is nowhere near able to handle these terrorists on their own. So the neighbours (primarily Kenya and Uganda under the auspices of the African Union) have intervened, as has Djibouti, a tiny statelet on the Red Sea

So what happens when the terrorists target the foreign state to warn against ‘meddling’ in the affairs of others?

On this day in 2014

Al Shabaab claimed a suicide attack on the Chaumiere Restaurant in Djibouti in which one patron was killed and 14 Europeans and an undisclosed number of locals were injured. A man and a woman blew themselves up at a restaurant which was packed with Western military personnel (Djibouti is a former French colony and serves as a base for several military counter terrorism ops in the region).

As part of the ongoing Jihad against the Western-led Crusade against Islam, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen forces have on Saturday night carried out a successful operation against the coalition of Western Crusaders based in Djibouti.

Al Shabaab statement

Many believed that the attack was linked to Djibouti’s ongoing military deployment in Somalia, where its troops make up part of the the African Union mission (AMISOM) force. Kenya and Uganda have also suffered Al Shabaab attacks. There is a price, you see, for keeping the neighbourhood safe – and free from terrorism

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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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