Pakistan Bombing: Why the Lahore attack was different to Brussels

Pakistan Bombing: Why the Lahore attack was different to Brussels

Pakistani Christians mourn as they attend a funeral for one of the victims of the bombing

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Following the bombing in Lahore that killed more than 70 people on Easter Sunday, security and military officials will now bring in specialist 'rangers' with greater powers to fight Islamist militants.

The last few months have seen a number of high-profile terrorist attacks across the globe, and Oxford University terrorism expert Dr. Jonathan Leader Maynard came onto the Jonny Gould feat. Ash show to shed some light on terrorism.

Over the course of the interview, Dr. Maynard clarified a number of different issues. 

Why the Lahore attack was different to Brussels: "It's completely different in the main part, because it's a totally different organisation who has perpetrated the attack. This is an unusual group, Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which are a splinter faction of the Pakistani wing of the Taliban, as opposed to the Brussels and Paris attacks who were cells linked to Islamic State. Islamic State and the Taliban are two different organisations. They're similar, there are ideological similarities, but that's an important aspect of what's different between these two attacks." 

Why major attacks abroad should be a cause for worry: "The Taliban splinter group that organised the attack claimed to be targeting Christians, but the vast bulk of the victims were Muslim. It’s very important we don’t get our impressions distorted by overly-focusing on specific components of the attacks. The key thing to remember about terrorism is that it is an attack on the whole. Therefore it's very important that while we're obviously more concerned by attacks nearby, we see the bigger picture."

The potential impact of Donald Trump's politics: "The majority of terrorist deaths in the west are not from Islamic fundamentalism. They are mainly from white supremicists. So Donald Trump. from my perspective of a security analyst. is very much in danger of worsening the problem. I cannot describe how much Islamic fundamentalist organisations will be cheering to the rafters every time Donald Trump says things like 'ban all muslims from entering the country', because a core part of their strategy is trying to get western states to overreact and engage in discriminatory political pressure and violence against Muslims. They want to create this divide, they want to create a huge religious cultural strife in our state. The huge message that needs to come out is not reinforcing that divison, but creating solidarity."