October 19, 2010: Terrorist attack on Chechen parliament

Chechen terrorists killed as many as 20 people in an attack on that country’s parliament in October of 2010.

Chechen terrorists killed as many as 20 people in an attack on that country’s parliament in October of 2010.

GROZNY, CHECHNYA – Islamist terrorists really hate democracy because it gives people choices: jihadis hate choices.

Humans have been seeking to create systems of governance ever since societies began to form. We used to tolerate the absolute rule by kings (less often queens) whom we viewed as gods, given divine right. These overseers had total dominion over us minions and dictated just about every aspect of our lives (including faith: cuius regio eius religio as we used to say in Latin).

We have the Greeks to thank for our concept of democracy even if that ancient society did not really practice it. Still, with all its faults, democracy remains just about the best system we have yet to come up with. As the great UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill put it:

Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…

Winston Churchill

So what is it about democracy that Islamist extremists really, really hate? Simply put, it allows for us to make our own decisions, elect our own leaders and enact our own laws, all of which are the purview of the majority in a democratic system. Jihadis, on the other hand, hate choice and want to impose their antediluvian views on everyone. They believe that the only system of governance is that of God – as they see and implement it of course.

Hence the symbols of democracy are often the targets of terrorist attacks. On this day in 2010, three Chechen terrorists stormed that country’s parliament in Grozny, launching a bomb and gun attack as deputies arrived for work, killing two guards and an official (the final death toll was as high as 20 with a further 40 injured). All the terrorists were killed by police.

Chechnya has had a whole bunch of problems in the post-Soviet period, many of which have been at the hands of its former overlords in Moscow. Thankfully, the jihadis have not taken over (yet?): what they represent would make Russian rule look like a cakewalk.

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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