Daily Video

June 10, 2014

Terrorists attack Pakistan’s busiest airport


The Pakistani Taliban carried out a deadly assault at their country’s busiest airport over the weekend. More than 43,000 people travel through the Karachi international airport every day. No passengers were harmed, but the death toll soared to 36 as of Tuesday morning — including all ten attackers, airport personnel and security forces.

Heavily armed militants dressed as airport security, evaded checkpoints and made their way into the airport via a side entrance. According to their spokesman, they wanted to hijack a plane and seek revenge for the death of their leader in a U.S. drone strike last year.

As the gun battle raged, the authorities evacuated the airport and canceled incoming flights. Troops had to get passengers off aircraft that were sitting on the tarmac.
Saim Rizvi was one of them. He used Twitter to express himself: “They fire rocket launchers. May God protect the country and passengers on board, as well as on the floor.” A few minutes later, he tweeted: “We’re going to be off-loaded soon. Commandos are on the plane. Long live the Pakistan army.”

The goal of the Pakistani Taliban is to topple the Pakistani government and establish strict Islamic rules. This is of grave concern to the international community since Pakistan is one of a handful of countries that has nuclear weapons. Karachi, which is the largest metropolitan city in Pakistan, has long been used as a sanctuary for Taliban insurgents.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif started peace negotiations with the Taliban earlier this year, but talks have broken down.

Warm up questions

Teachers, write the words “fundamentalist” and “extremist” on the board and pose the following question to students:

  1. What does each of these words mean? Who is typically described as a “fundamentalist” or an “extremist”?
  2. Give three examples of terrorist attacks. What was the public reaction to these attacks? Was the goal of the terrorists achieved?
Discussion questions
  1. Why do you think the Pakistan Taliban chose the Karachi airport to attack?
  2. How do attacks like this affect the world’s perception of Pakistan as a country?
  3. What problems can arise when we group a whole country or all members of a religion together based on the actions of a few? How can we make sure not to stereotype individuals, whole countries or regions?
Writing prompt

Imagine that after watching the video one of your friends in class turns to you and says “Man, those Muslims are all a bunch of crazy terrorists!” How would you react to this statement? What would you say to try to educate your friend? Write the conversation into a scene in a play or screenplay.  Make sure the conversation has a beginning, a middle and an end.

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