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September Today in Terrorism

September 27, 2008: Car bomber strikes unknown target in Syria

On September 27, 2008 a car bomb on the outskirts of Syria’s capital Damascus killed at least 17 people.

DAMASCUS, SYRIA – On certain occasions terrorists find a veritable treasure trove of targets, making it hard to determine just who they are trying to kill.

Some crimes are obvious insofar as we have a clear perpetrator, a clear target and a clear motive. Take assassinations, for instance. The target is without doubt a head of state or similarly important personage, the assailant is usually caught right away (unless s/he dies in the act) and the reasons for the attack are plain.

Sic semper tyrannis – or whatever: I failed grade nine Latin! (Photo: Public Domain)

Some crimes are less easily analysable. This could be because the bad guy dies with no transparent motive left behind or the attack occurs in a venue where the case could be made for several possible targets.

Take today’s featured attack.

On this day in 2008

A car bomb on the outskirts of Syria’s capital Damascus killed at least 17 people. The blast happened near buildings used by security forces at an intersection leading to an important Shia shrine.

We felt a very strong explosion. We walked outside… the whole building collapsed. Five members of my family were wounded and are in hospital.

Eyewitness

Over a month later Fatah al Islam, an Al Qaeda (AQ)-linked group claimed the attack. But was it aimed at Syrian security forces or Shia Muslims? As Syria is run by an odd Shia sect and Islamist jihadis hate all Shia does it really matter?

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. and Director of the National Security programme at the University of Ottawa’s Professional Development Institute (PDI). Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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