This past week there has been an abundance of terror activity. From the ISIS’s Brussels attack to the Taliban’s bombing in Pakistan to the reclaiming of Palmyra and to the FBI unlocking the iPhone of one of the San Bernardino terrorists. This back and forth war shows no signs of slowing down. The world is fighting terrorists daily and is trying to prevent vicious atrocities.
ISIS attack on Brussels:
On March 23, 2016 there were three coordinated bombings in Brussels. The bombing inflicted pain on families across the globe. ISIS claimed responsibility for these acts of terror. This plan was carried out by multiple people with affiliations to ISIS. Two bombs went off at the airport and one bomb went off in a nearby train station. There were 32 civilians who passed away and over 300 people were injured. Amongst the people involved in the attack, two were brothers. One brother was a suicide bomber in the airport and the other was the suicide bomber at the nearby train station. They had lengthy criminal records, but were not linked to terrorism before hand. One of the three bombers was connected to the Paris bombing in the November of 2015. Police were able to link the Paris bombing and Brussels bombing due to the similar bomb build. One bomber is missing and the police are currently trying their best to capture him. There were supposed to be three bombs detonated in the airport, but luckily the third, which was the strongest, never went off. Police made arrests afterwards to likely suspects, however none seemed to be the missing third bomber. European nations are keeping a close eye for any terror activity and continue to try to put pieces together of past bombings. The whole world is now on watch, and are studying terror trends and evidence in order to prevent future attacks.
Image of the Brussels bombing.
On March 27, 2016, there was a bombing in Pakistan. It was Easter Sunday and Christians were mingling with their Muslim neighbors at a neighborhood park. Parents brought their children to play at the nearby park. Suddenly, there was an explosion which ended up killing at least 72, and leaving at least 300 people wounded. Sadly, the 72 dead were made up of mostly women and small kids. The Taliban was responsible for this attack and stated they were targeting Christians. It has become common to see these Islamic terrorists target Christians. These types of attacks are very nerve racking and keep attracting worldwide attention.
An image of the Pakistan bombing aftermath.
Take back of Palmyra:
Recently, on March 27, 2016, the Syrian pro-government troops took back the ancient city Palmyra. ISIS occupied the area for 10 months and everyone wondered what they did with it. After a week of sifting through the city, Syrian forces say that a lot of damage was done, but it could have been worse. The Syrian troops discovered a mass grave where many were buried. Palmyra is in the Homs countryside of north Damascus. This city is known for its valuable ancient ruins and is a United Nations World Heritage Sight. ISIS demolished ruins like the 1,800 year old Arch of Triumph and the 2,000 year old temple of Baalshamin. They also beheaded old statues and destroyed other pieces of art. ISIS also carried out a public execution to Khalid al-Asaad who was the retired chief of antiques in Palmyra. They kept him alive initially until he gave them intel on where all the antiques were located. In the ancient times, Palmyra was the crossroads of many civilizations and had Roman and Persian influence. The Syrian forces continue to fight militant groups like ISIS in order to regain old land. This war has no signs of slowing down since its start in 2011. Millions have been injured and hundreds of thousands have died in this fight against terror according to the United Nations.
The Syrian city of Palmyra.
FBI cracking the code:
On March 29, 2016, the FBI finally unlocked the iPhone of Syed Farook, one of the terrorists in the San Bernardino shooting. The big technology giant Apple did not cooperate with the FBI, so the FBI had help from an unnamed third party to break into the phone. This event led to many protesters fighting for privacy against the FBI. Farook was one of the shooters in the terror attack which killed 14 people, and this devastating event occurred in December 2015. Apple’s refusal to comply to the government’s needs led to a court case. After unlocking the iPhone without assistance of Apple, the government dropped the case. Apple argues that, “people in the United States and around the world deserve data protection, security and privacy,” Apple said. The FBI decided to keep the third party and method to unlock the iPhone 5c confidential. By unlocking the terrorist’s iPhone, the FBI gained intelligence and could possibly have gained information on other terror plots around the U.S. Getting more information on terrorists can be vital in preventing future attacks.
The recent bombings have been losses for the world and wins for the terrorists. However, the take back of Palmyra and gaining access to Syed Farook’s phone have been great victories for the world. Hopefully, the world governments can learn from these atrocities in order to prevent additional horrific events and making the world a safer place. Piecing these attacks together and gaining valuable intelligence on terrorist organizations can be vital in winning the war against terror.
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