Another first for you. I was in Mali for the first ever case of suicide bombing in the nations history. February 8th, 2013
“In Mali’s first-ever suicide bombing, an attacker drove a motorcycle up to an army checkpoint in Gao, the largest town in the north, and detonated an explosive belt, wounding one soldier, said First Sergeant Mamadou Keita. The attack was claimed by the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) ”
My wife and I happened to be in Bamako attending a week long training (Field Security And Safety Training), with an expert in the field. He has negotiated over 180 hostage releases all over the world and was a wealth of information about what to watch and be aware of in Al-Qaeda contexts to minimize the risk.
At that time, the security trainer described a jihadist tactical transition that would occur when the French pull out in a years time. He indicated this would spark more gorilla warfare tactics, kidnappings and bombing of soft targets, as the groups try to rebuild their base of support and influence.
I had read just that morning on twitter about the suicide bomber from a resident in the north. So I said to the trainer, “It’s started already.” He was kind of dumbfounded, and the whole room of Mali workers got very silent. We were now in a country with a shocking and terrible new reality. People willing to kill themselves, to kill others, to promote fear and force open a door to impose their ideology on the masses of Mali.
All of North Africa is suffering the birth pains of great things. Amazing transitions are taking place. Some are very positive and optimistic, while others are down right horrific.
I was there the day when someone, for the first time in Malian history, strapped on a bomb and did evil to humanity.
Eye opening day.
“I never for once thought that I would, in my life time, hear of Nigerians strapping bombs to themselves and blowing up innocent people.
We would have sworn that it is impossible. Ten years ago, no Nigerian would have imagined it. We thought it was something that could only happen in other countries. But here we are today witnessing this sordid phenomenon. Even women, who are not known for violence, are now involved. Mr. Chairman, fellow citizens, we will defeat terror and I will lead Nigerians to achieve this.”
(President Goodluck Jonathan. Nigeria)