September 21: Nothing significant happened in terrorism history

Nothing of major significance in the history of terrorism happened on September 21 over the past 150 years

NOWHERE – They say no news is good news. That is certainly true when it comes to terrorism.

If you have been a regular reader of this series over the last few years you will have noticed that we have covered a lot of attacks in a lot of countries over a lot of years (dating back to the latter half of the 1800s). Groups and causes have come and gone and a lot of people have died, often in gruesome ways.

It is often said we are living in an era of terrorism: 9/11 has had a lot to do with that. But terrorism as a social evil did not start that day. Attacks, as noted, have been with us for a century and a half and probably even longer (it all depends on how we define terrorism).

Part of what it means to be human alas! (Photo: Erich Ferdinand on flickr, CC BY2.0)

In researching this series I have had my daughter Erin use a variety of online lists. They are not exhaustive but you have been exposed to a wide variety of what is terrorism. For any given day of the calendar I have an overabundance of events to choose from and settle on one upon which I try to build a theme. I hope you have enjoyed the series and maybe even learned a thing or two.

Today is an exception.

Simply put, nothing of major significance happened on September 21 in recent history. There was a shooting of a Chilean corporal during a bank robbery in Santiago, likely by Marxist Movimiento de la Izquierda Revolucionaria (MIR) extremists, but it proved hard to find much details on this killing. Hence I am treating this day as ‘terrorism-free‘ (no disrespect intended to Corporal Armando Cofré López).

What does this mean? To my mind it illustrates that terrorism, which is real and must be confronted, should not be seen as a constant and ‘existential’ threat. It is part of human society and will most likely continue to be so, but we have to be sanguine in talking and writing about it. In other words, terrorism is a blip on the radar of the world.

So here is to a day with no terrorism! Alas, it will be an outlier.

Read More Today in Terrorism

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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