September 29, 1970: Elderly man injured costly Uruguay bombing

On September 29, 1970 members of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement bombed the Carrasco Bowling Club in Montevideo, Uruguay

MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY – Some terrorists go back, waaaaay back, for their inspiration.

It seems that we as humans need those we look up to. We see them as somehow better than us and seek to emulate their actions and their lives.

Religions are well known for using historical figures as their inspiration. Christians, for example, revere Jesus Christ, who lived more than 2,000 years ago. Buddhists seek inspiration in the Buddha, who graced this planet somewhere in the 5th to 4th century BCE. Muslims see Muhammad (570-632 AD) as their role model.

WWJD? Not sure, it kinda depends on the circumstances. (Photo: Painting by Heinrich Hofmann, 1889, Public Domain)

Terrorists are not really different: they ARE humans after all (despite what some see them as – monsters). They put precedents on a pedestal. Jihadis are known for this, often quoting past masters in their modern online propaganda.

Today’s terrorist incident is a very interesting manifestation of our collective pattern of citing those who came before us as roadmaps for what to do today.

On this day in 1970

Members of the Tupamaros National Liberation Movement bombed the Carrasco Bowling Club in Montevideo, Uruguay, gravely injuring an elderly caretaker and causing an estimated $160,000 in structural damage.

Words divide us; action unites us.

Tupamaro slogan

The Tupamaro movement was named after the revolutionary Tupac Amaru II, an Andean who led a major indigenous revolt against the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru in 1780, and who later became a mythical figure. The movement began by staging the robbing of banks, gun clubs and other businesses in the early 1960s, then distributing stolen food and money among the poor in Uruguay.

While the group is no longer active, in light of today’s focus on indigenous rights I would not be surprised to see groups like this, some of which may turn to violence to get their way, arise. I wonder if Tupac Amaru is still available?

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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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