Site Search Navigation
Site Mobile Navigation
The pace and scope of the killing are dizzying. Some 300 members of families blown apart by bombs as they celebrated the end of Ramadan in Baghdad. Forty-nine dead at the Istanbul airport, 40 more in Afghanistan. Nine Italians, seven Japanese, three students at American universities and one local woman brutalized in the diplomatic quarter of Dhaka, Bangladesh. The bodies piled up on a bus in Somalia, at a mosque and video club in Cameroon, at a shrine in Saudi Arabia.
All that carnage was in a single week — a single week of summer in what feels like an endless stream of terror attacks. Orlando and Beirut. Paris and Nice and St. Etienne-du-Rouvray, France. Germany and Japan and Egypt. Each bomb or bullet tearing holes in homes and communities.
We stopped the clock on two weeks in March when there were high-profile attacks that commanded headlines — and attacks in places where they have become almost routine. In that period, we counted 247 men, women and children cut down by Islamist extremists in mass killings carried out at soft targets in six countries.
Eight couples were slain together, doing the things couples do.
Muhammad and Shawana Naveed, wed three months before, went for a Sunday stroll in a Pakistan park.
Stephanie and Justin Shults, accountants who met at Vanderbilt University and were living in Brussels, had just dropped her mother off at the airport.
Zeynep Basak Gulsoy and Nusrettin Can Calkinsin, 19-year-old law students, were on their way home from the movies — a Turkish film called “My Mother’s Wound,” about the aftermath of war.
The pair got together in high school. “I will never leave you alone,” she wrote in his yearbook. “I am always beside you and will stay with you.”
Now they are buried side by side.
They were two of the 36 killed in a public square in Ankara, Turkey’s capital, on March 13. That was the opening day of the two weeks — a day in which 19 others fell in attacks on three beachside hotels in Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast. By March 27, extremists affiliated with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, the Islamic State and the Taliban would hit a mosque in Nigeria; an Istanbul street popular with tourists; a soccer stadium in Iraq; a bus in Peshawar, Pakistan; the park in Lahore, Pakistan, where the Naveeds were strolling that Sunday; and the Brussels airport and subway station.