Source: The Sunday Telegraph

On Friday evening, October 11, 2002, a 20-year-old chemistry student carefully tidied his backpack before leaving for the city’s main shopping mall. On arrival, he cast a quick glance around before making his way to the local McDonalds’s. The place was full of families enjoying a Friday night out.

A clown stood at the entrance, entertaining a group of young children. The student approached them and without further ado blew himself up with a homemade bomb hidden in his backpack, killing seven people and wounding another 100.

This was not downtown Tel Aviv but rather the Finnish city of Vantaa, near Helsinki. The homicide bomber was not a hardened terrorist fighting “occupation” or “Western imperialism” but an ordinary citizen of one of the most peaceful societies in the world. What drove the first European homicide bomber to this extreme move may never be fully known. But it is clear that the cancerous phenomenon of homicide bombing is rapidly spreading beyond its original Middle Eastern arena to become a real threat to world security.

Added: 2004