November 3, 2018: ADF terrorist attack in DRC

The so-called Allied Democratic Forces abducted and killed civilians in eastern DRC in early November 2018

The so-called Allied Democratic Forces abducted and killed civilians in eastern DRC in early November 2018.

NORTH KIVU, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Terrorist groups sometimes choose awfully odd names.

When it comes to Islamist extremism, one of the concepts adherents hate almost more than anything else is that of democracy. I mean they really hate democracy. Really, really hate it.

I think those of us who live in so-called democratic societies recognise that they are certainly far from perfect: all human systems are thus. Yet would you rather live in a dictatorship? An absolute monarchy? A ‘Caliphate’ run by a terrorist group? I thought not. No, I’ll take democracy, warts and all, thanks very much!

So what is it exactly that gets the jihadis’ knickers in a knot over democracy? Simple: freedom of choice. Islamist terrorists believe that there is only one way of living, of creating a society, and that is THEIR way. Their solution for everything is a narrow, hateful interpretation of Islam that allows for no choice, no debate. As the Palestinian jihadi Abdallah Azzam once famously said: “Jihad and the rifle alone; no negotiations, no conferences, and no dialogues”.

Pretty clear that.

So what gives when an Islamist terrorist group calls itself the ‘Allied Democratic Forces‘ (ADF)? How can a bunch of antediluvian extremists use such a reference in their name? Good question. Whatever the answer they are a nasty, violent bunch.

On this day in 2018 ADF terrorists killed at least seven civilians and abducted 15 others, including children, in the North Kivu region bordering Uganda. The ADF has been around a while: the US designated it as a terror group way back in 2001. It has been blamed for a string of attacks in the region since 2014 that have killed at least 700 civilians, as well as 15 Tanzanian peacekeepers in an assault in December 2017.

It is unclear what the ADF stands for, other than violence. Were it to actually run an area of the DRC whatever system it imposed would sure as hell not be democratic in nature.

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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