15 November 2015

It was not just Paris and Beirut attacked by the Islamic State last week

As more profile pictures of my friends on Facebook take on the colors of the French flag, more posts are being shared urging everyone that "we cannot ignore the other terrorist attack this week." By this admonition, they mean to call attention to the fact that the Islamic State conducted two coordinated bombings on Thursday in Beirut, Lebanon this past Thursday in which the attackers killed 43 people and wounded 239 others.

The posts raise the question as to why so many people expressed their shock and horror over the Paris attacks but made little or no mention of the Beirut attacks. To raise this question is laudable, but the way in which it is put demonstrates an unawareness of the scale of the activities of the Islamic State, a face the questioners do not seem to recognize.

If we are going to (rightly) call attention to another terrorist attack that occurred this past week, let us also call attention to other terrorist attacks committed by the Islamic State and by the Islamic State in West Africa - formerly and more commonly known as Boko Haram - this past week:
  • November 8 - Seven militants linked to the Islamic State attempted to assassinate Ridha Charfeddine in Sousse, Tunisia.
  • November 8 - Three people were killed and twelve wounded by two female suicide bombers in Ngouboua, Chad.
  • November 9 - Two female suicide bombers who intended to attack a mosque in Fotokol, Cameroon, killed 3 people at a security check point.
  • November 9 - The Islamic State attacked an airbase outside of Deir ez-Zor, Syria in which 58 of the assailants were killed.
Certainly these attacks were not of the same scale as the attacks in Beirut and Paris, but is that any reason not to be concerned about them or to show solidarity with those suffering under the attacks? Of course not.
What is more, these are certainly not the only terrorist attacks conducted throughout the world this past week. If we are going to concerned with one attack or two attacks, we should be concerned about all attacks.

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