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September Today in Terrorism

September 8, 2019: Massacre in Burkina Faso

On September 8, 2019 at least 29 people were killed after a food convoy and a transport truck were attacked in Burkina Faso

SANMATENGA, BURKINA FASO – I know I have said this more times than I care to remember but terrorists do stoop to new lows with disturbing frequency.

Terrorists are a loathsome breed, aren’t they?

I don’t want to get dragged into the whole ‘one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter‘ argument where some violent actors are seen as ‘heroes‘, valiantly struggling for the forces of good. This is not a Robin Hood-type story (besides, Robin Hood was a legend, not a real person).

I steal from the rich to give to the poor, even though I don’t exist (Photo: Arran Bee on flickr, CC BY 2.0)

The truth is that most terrorists are awful people. They maim and kill innocent civilians most of the time and try to sell their acts as attempts either to right wrongs or fulfill God’s duty (hello ISIS!). There is nothing ‘heroic‘ about this.

Take today’s attack.

On this day in 2019

At least 29 people were killed after a food convoy and a transport truck were attacked in Burkina Faso, most likely by jihadis. In two different incidents the first targeted the convoy resulting in the deaths of 14 civilians, while in the second the truck hit an explosive device in Sanmatenga province, killing 15 people and wounding six.

This drama comes as important security efforts are underway in this region. Military reinforcements have been deployed.

Government spokesperson

I don’t know about you but attacking a food convoy and a transport truck strikes me as pretty low-hanging fruit. Can someone please tell me how these acts ‘right wrongs’?

I am waiting.

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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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