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May Today in Terrorism

May 9 2004: Stadium bombing in Chechnya kills President

On May 9, 2004 a bomb exploded in the Dynamo Stadium in the Chechen capital city, Grozny, killing 10 people including President Akhmad Kadyrov.

GROZNY, CHECHNYA – On rare occasions terrorists succeed in killing heads of state.

Have you ever seen your leader out in public? By ‘leader‘ I mean your president, prime minister, king, despot or whatever. No matter what their position they tend to be very well guarded, surrounded by security personnel. And there is a very good reason for that. People in high status positions tend to be targeted by lots of others.

Take terrorists. If you want to send a political message, and, let’s face it, terrorism is all about sending such a message, what better way to do so than to take out the head of the political system? At a minimum you will get noticed. At a maximum you will set in motion events that have wide-ranging consequences. The assassination of Archduke Ferdinand by a Serbian terrorist in Sarajevo in 1914 led to the slaughter of WWI. That is some effect!

Gee, I wonder if anyone will remember this incident? (Photo: Achille Beltrame – La Domenica del Corriere Anno XVI n. 27 del 5-12.7.1914, Public Domain)

We don’t need to go back to the early part of the last century for an example of this.

On this day in 2004

A bomb exploded in the Dynamo Stadium in the Chechen capital city, Grozny, killing 10 people including President Akhmad Kadyrov. Another 100 people were wounded.

Freedom is something the ordinary man does not need. I wouldn’t say we’re stupid, but we Chechens are more warlike than other nations, and have allowed our warrior instinct and ourselves to be exploited.

Akhmad Kadyrov

Suspicion fell on Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, as Kadyrov had been seen as Moscow’s ‘quisling’ (PS I LOVE that word: check out its etymology!). Whoever was responsible, the terrorists sure aimed high on this occasion.

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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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