Sometime in 2004,no fewer than 191 people were reportedly killed and over 2,000 were injured when 10 bombs exploded on four trains at three railway stations in Madrid as many were either going or returning from their various places of work.
Never in history has Europe suffered or experienced such a deadly attack on the civilian population. This was initially blamed on Basque Separatist militants group ETA but it soon after a moment it was discovered that an extreme Islamist militant group closely linked to al-Qaeda was behind the deadly attacks on unarmed civilians
The bombs mainly Improvised explosive devices (IED) , we understand , were used in the attacks that killed and maimed many aboard trains near the ever busy Madrid Santa Eugena and Tio Raimundo . These railway stations are always crowded with travellers and commuters alike. This doubtless informed the terrorist’s desire to detonate the bombs in these locations. As luck would have it three of the bombs that did not go off were later found in the neighbourhood, recovered and taken away by the anti-bomb disposal unit.
This harrowing incident was seen or understood to be a retaliation of Spain’s participation in the American-led invasion of Iraq. Spain, we have it on good authority, had about 1,400 soldiers stationed in Iraq at the period under review which did not go down well with Socialist party. Following their victory at the polls, the then new Prime Minister Luis Zapatero recalled his country’s troops which caused quite a stir and bred ill-feeling among the US-led allies forces.
Acts of terror spread like wild fire with virtually all linked to Islam. Is that what the supposedly ”religion of peace” says by the ”founder/s”? I stand corrected here because Muslim faithful would sooner refute this because Islam is believed to be founded by none other than Allah himself .
Be that as it may, international humanitarian law prohibits without exception all acts of terror during international or non-international armed conflicts. This body of law also requires States to prevent and punish breaches. Acts of terrorism may constitute war crimes, subject to international jurisdiction, and the International Criminal Court may be competent to hear such cases. At the same time, the fight against terrorism and the prosecution of persons suspected of terrorism are subject to international humanitarian law if they take place during armed conflict.
However that body of law does not constitute an obstacle to the fight against terrorism. Indeed, suspected terrorists can be prosecuted for acts of terrorism. But even the members of armed forces or “illegal fighters” suspected of acts of terrorism are protected by the Geneva Conventions and are entitled to judicial guarantees if put on trial.
Back home we see Boko Haram an outlawed terrorist gang committing mass murders and destruction of public property in collaboration with a rogue state in the West African sub-region Chad to be precise. Multiple explosions , reports say , rocked Kano a few days ago with many worshippers numbering over 160 incirenated by dangerous powerful explosives. One wonders the rationale behind killing their fellow Muslims who they supposedly profess the same faith.
This single act is more than enough for every sane faithful to part ways with these agents of destruction and chase them out of Nigeria with sticks and cutlasses since it has become very obvious that far from pursuing an Islamist agenda are hell-bent on territorial ambition and acquisition owing to the huge oil deposit discovered somewhere in the Lake Chad Basin. While we all pray for a larger Nigeria under no circumstances should we cede a part thereof to international mercenaries who fight under the cloak of Islam in collaboration with President of Chad to redraw Nigeria’s political map.
Iyoha John Darlington, aka Lington Donovan, a political analyst, public commentator on national and global issues writes from Turin , Italy.
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