RAWALPINDI, PAKISTAN – We may loathe terrorists but we have to at least recognise that some of them have balls.
We hear a lot about ‘soft targets‘. This is of course a reference to the fact that most venues identified by terrorists do not have much, if any, protection. As a consequence, they are next to impossible to defend. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out why violent extremists opt for these places. After all, they want to succeed in their attacks, the better to sow fear and uncertainty.
It thus stands to reason that most terrorists would not attempt to hit well-guarded or well-armed places. Those in those venues would be better able not only to defend themselves but to harm or kill the terrorists. Why would any violent extremist want to risk failure in that way?
There are exceptions of course.
On this day in 2009
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) terrorists dressed in army uniforms attacked Pakistan’s military HQ in Islamabad in what became a 24-hour siege/hostage taking. 11 soldiers and civilians were killed and several wounded: in all nine terrorists were killed and their leader was captured alive. The attack occurred just before the Pakistani army had planned a US-backed offensive against the TTP in Waziristan region on the border with Afghanistan, the hub of extremism in Pakistan.
Perhaps the attack on the GHQ may prove to be a watershed that compels the security and civilian establishment, as well as most of the opposition groups, to realize that the time to distinguish between ‘good’ and ‘bad’ religious militants or Taliban was over, and a consensus was needed to confront all such groups as enemies of the state.Editor at the Pakistani newspaper Dawn
So while the terrorists all died or were captured – the leader, Aqeel alias Dr. Usman Aqeel, was hanged in 2014 – this brazen assault nevertheless shocked Pakistan and worsened concerns that terrorists could one day take over a state that is part of the nuclear club. Terrorists with nukes – now THERE’s something to worry about!
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