September 23, 2018: Police killed on duty in Burkina Faso

On September 23, 2018 three police officers were killed in Burkina Faso by probable jihadis while hunting for a mineworkers kidnaped by likely jihadis.

DJIBA, BURKINA FASO – What do we call it when security forces are killed by jihadis while trying to find people kidnaped, also by jihadis?

Years and years ago I recall a really nasty poisoning episode in the US that involved the headache medicine Tylenol. Someone (or several someones) laced capsules with potassium cyanide back in 1982 and when all was said and done at least seven people died.

One of the scariest parts of all this was when relatives of a 27-year-old postal worker named Adam Janus who had died from this poisoning rushed to console grieving family, got headaches themselves, took Tylenol, and died in turn.

When your head is pounding the last thing you want to take is potassium cyanide. (Photo: Austin Kirk on flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The analogy to terrorism transpires when counter terrorism officials are responding to one crisis and find themselves in another.

On this day in 2018

Three police officers were killed in a northern region of Burkina Faso by probable jihadis where they were hunting for a trio of mineworkers kidnaped by likely jihadis.

The abductors are probably members of jihadist groups which are active in the region. They headed towards the Malian border and have no doubt already crossed it.” 

Official in Ougadougou

That same day three miners – a Burkinabe national, an Indian and a South African – were seized by armed men between Djibo and the Inata gold mine. The police were were just trying to do their job. And they paid for it with their lives.

This is a good reminder that things happen inside of other things. Scary, but true.

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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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