Counter-Terrorism: Suicide Bombing In Pakistan

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December 24,2008: In the last seven years, Pakistan has been hit with an increasing number of suicide bomber attacks. There have been 140  since September 11, 2001. So far this year there have been 61 (killing 889 and wounding 2,072), while  last year there were 57. This sudden increase in attacks has shifted attitudes towards Islamic terrorists. There's less admiration for the bombers, and more fear of them. Most of the casualties have been civilians, including many children. This does not do much to gain popularity for the cause. 

Ten times as many suicide bomb attacks took place in Iraq since 2003, and the carnage among civilians turned most Iraqis, and most Moslems in general, against al Qaeda. About 75 percent of the suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan took place in the tribal territories, along the Afghan border, where the goal of the bombers was mainly to terrorize the government into withdrawing security forces from the tribal lands, and coercing hostile tribes to support (or stop opposing) the Islamic militant forces (Taliban and al Qaeda.)

A quarter of the suicide bomber attacks taking place in the lowland cities, which is enough bloodshed to create a hostile atmosphere for the Islamic militants in these densely populated urban areas. The recent attacks in Mumbai, India, drew a certain amount of sympathy from many Pakistanis (although many now believe the attacks were staged by the Mossad or CIA). Despite that, there is growing popular support for this year's war against the Taliban. Al Qaeda has been under attack for several years now, and many of these terrorists have been driven back into the tribal territories. As much as Pakistanis dislike fighting the Pushtun tribes, the Islamic terrorist violence cannot be tolerated. This is especially true since these attacks have gotten more numerous and vicious in the last two years. The Islamic radicals have challenged the Pakistani government to either step aside and allow a religious dictatorship, or fight to prevent that from happening. The fighting, by over 120,000 troops, plus many police, has been going on for over six months now, and will continue into 2009.

 

 


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