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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All Shabaab Bombs Bus Bound for Kampala Uganda

A bomb attack on a Kampala-bound bus in Nairobi by the al-Shabaab militants on the night of December 20, claimed three lives and injured 26 as the bus was preparing to leave for Kampala. It could have been worse if the attacker had found his way into the bus undetected.

This comes as the al-Shabaab leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, also known as Abu Zubayr, threatened further attacks on Uganda and Burundi for contributing troops to the African Union mission. Such incidents should remind us that these militants are still around and are going nowhere until they achieve their mission.

On the question of how terrorist attacks can be foiled, it is important to investigate just why someone might be inclined to become a suicide bomber. In my understanding, terrorists are not born, they are created. Unprovoked, most human beings will continue to live their own lives, attempting to improve their environment and acquire a greater quality of life. But, once provoked, any person has the potential to revert to violent means to ward off a perceived or real threat.

Terrorists could make a bomb in an item as small as a soda can. They could sneak weapons in body cavities. They could set off a bomb to go off in a line at a sporting event, or in the security line at an airport. Risk is just something that we have to deal with. Fortunately, like many risks, the risk from terrorism is very small. Thinking outside the box can help.

The target of a suicide bomber is usually a highly populated space which is likely to be a well-known public area, usually at peak times like the festive season we are in. This is the most damaging method in terms of destruction of life, property and evidence. A suicide bomber will typically place himself and his deadly payload wherever he thinks he will kill the most people.

A single suicide bomber can carry enough explosive on his body to kill or gravely wound everyone within a 50-foot radius in an open area. A bomber driving a truck or car laden with explosives could destroy an entire building.

The destruction can

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