November 11, 1994: Suicide bomber kills soldiers in Gaza Strip

On November 11, 1994 a suicide bomber killed three Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the former Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip

NETZARIM SETTLEMENT, PALESTINE – For all the talk of sophisticated terrorist attacks some are ludicrously simple.

9/11 has had a disproportionate impact on our understanding of terrorism on many fronts. From a casualty standpoint – almost 3,000 dead – no other attack comes close (and here’s hoping none ever will!). If we look at media coverage we see that no other incident has ever garnered so much attention (we were all glued to our TV sets for days back in 2001). And from a propaganda angle, this one act rocketed Al Qaeda (AQ) into our collective minds like no other terrorist group before or since.

The other aspect worth discussing is the modus operandi. Using civilian aircraft, hijacked and flown into buildings, was a brilliant move. We are all accustomed to seeing planes overhead and no longer give this a second thought. The terrorists may also have played on the conviction that passengers would see this as yet another run-of-the-mill hijacking (“Take this plane to Cuba“), a minor inconvenience in one’s day. How wrong we all were.

Hey Orville, what if this invention of ours is used to take down the Twin Towers one day? (Photo: Public Domain)

For all the complexity of 9/11 other terrorist attacks are numbingly simple in comparison. Take today’s featured attack.

On this day in 1994

A suicide bomber killed three Israeli soldiers at a checkpoint near the former Israeli settlement of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip: in addition six soldiers were injured.

Here is where it gets interesting. The terrorist was on a bicycle at the time. He rode up to the checkpoint, which is guarded by both Israeli and Palestinian forces, and set off explosives he was carrying. A Palestinian family of six that happened to be driving by was also injured in the blast.

 It’s almost impossible to stop a committed suicide bomber.

Israeli Health Minister Ephraim Sneh

Putting increased security at airports is one thing (as we have all witnessed, much to our chagrin). But cracking down on bicycles??

PS As this post will appear on Remembrance Day allow me to express my respects for all soldiers everywhere who died while serving. Lest we forget.

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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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