May 4, 2005: Suicide bomber targets police recruits in Kurdistan

On May 4, 2005 a suicide bomber pretending to be a job seeker blew himself up outside a police recruiting center in Erbil killing at least 60 Kurds

ERBIL, KURDISTAN – Ethnic and religious disagreements are a potent mix for terrorism.

Ya gotta feel for the Kurds.

They are generally seen as the largest ethnic group in the world that has long yearned for a homeland, is well placed to have one and yet has been spurned. They inhabit parts of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey and therein lies part of the problem: none of those four sovereign states has ever shown any inclination to grant them their wish.

At one point they came ever so close. The 1924 Treaty of Sevres, which divided up the Ottoman Empire (which itself had sided with the losing Triple Alliance in WWI), had a clause promising a referendum on Kurdistan. Alas it never came to be, partly for internal Kurdish bickering and partly for the aforementioned sovereign state opposition.

The Kurds are therefore stuck in four different nations and have suffered terribly in many cases (Saddam Husayn’s use of chemical weapons in Halabja against Kurdish civilians in March 1988 is the best example of these atrocities). And yes there is still a great deal of infighting.

Hey! Where’s the nationhood signing ceremony? (Photo: Public Domain)

Saddam Husayn was not the Kurds’ only bane.

On this day in 2005

A suicide bomber pretending to be a job seeker blew himself up outside a police recruiting center in Erbil, the Kurdish provincial capital, killing at least 60 Kurds, most of them prospective policemen, and wounding 150 others. A well-known terrorist group active in northern Iraq (where the Kurds claim territory), Ansar al-Sunna, claimed the blast and said it was intended as retribution for the involvement of Kurdish troops fighting insurgents alongside American forces. 

The scene was like a slaughterhouse with body parts everywhere, heads, hands, eyes. It was terrible. Those who are doing this are animals because it is all against Islam.

Eye witness

The terrorist group added in its statement:

This operation that shakes your throne is a response for the torture our brothers undergo day and night in your prisons and is a response against the pesh merga forces that lent themselves to the crusaders and raised its weapon against the Muslims,. Be acknowledged that we are preparing more for you, so get ready for that sooner or later.

Islamist terrorists’ hatred for the Kurds runs deep. As for the Kurds, they keep looking for that homeland.

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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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