When terrorism scrapes the bottom of the barrel

Terrorists do awful things.  We need not try to find more proof of this, what with two and a half years of subhuman brutality by Islamic State – beheadings, drowning people in cages, burning people alive, throwing people off buildings to their deaths, raping children…  The list goes on and on.  It would be hard to top (bottom?) this level of depravity.

But I think someone just did.

According to a report on a Nigerian news site, the terrorist group Boko Haram – yes those guys who stole the young girls in Chibok – just claimed responsibility for an attack on a university in Maiduguri, the capital and largest city in the northeast Nigerian state of Borno, in which at least four people, including a university professor, were killed.  The MO was a suicide bomber, a frequent tactic used by the group.

Except that this particular suicide bombing was a little different: it was carried out by a 7-year old boy.  Yes, you read that correctly, a 7-YEAR OLD BOY.  A child who, if he were in Canada, would be in grade two.

What the hell could possibly justify making a 7-year old child carry a bomb  into a university campus and having him detonate it (or, more likely, have someone detonate it remotely, as I highly doubt a child would have the slightest idea how to do this)?  This sends despicability to new lows.  Mind you, this is the same group that convinced a woman to be a suicide bomber and have her do the deed with a baby strapped to her back.  Jesus…

For the record I reject the all-too-common belief that suicide bombing is a “cowardly act”.  Excuse me?  Would you be willing to sacrifice your life for a cause?  No?  I didn’t think so.  Suicide bombers may be many things, but cowards they are not.

No, the cowards are those who force 7-year olds and moms with babies on their backs to do the dirty act.  Some guy who thinks he is a big deal with the swagger and the AK-47 and the “Allahu akbars” doesn’t have the cojones to don a suicide vest and press the switch, so he gets a child to do it.  Or a mother and infant.  Some hero – NOT!

When I read stories like these I rapidly get to the point where I don’t give a rat’s you-know-what about your “cause”.  You may very well have legitimate grievances that have not been addressed and you may very well have reached the limit of your patience and hope that that grievance can be resolved in any way other than violence.  As a result you make the ultimate sacrifice.  THAT I can respect, even if I disagree with the method and cannot support the killing of innocents, for that is usually where the victims are.

But no, you get a child to do what you are afraid to, because:
a) you are a primitive coward, and

b) you know that security forces won’t suspect children and mothers with infants so you exploit that to get through – who cares what happens to the bomb carriers?

Nope, sorry, you just cashed in your membership to the human race and I sincerely hope you die ignominiously in agony, sooner rather than later.

You disgust me.

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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