A Greek-American university professor was among the 21 people killed in a suicide bomb and gun attack on a restaurant in Kabul on the night of Friday, January 17, officials say.
Alexandros Peterson, aged 29, had just accepted a position as a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan. Being born in the U.S. to a Greek mother and a Danish father, Peterson had all three nationalities.
The American of Greek origin was an internationally recognized scholar of grand strategy and energy geopolitics focusing on the Eurasian region. He held a PhD in international relations from the London School of Economics and although he was very young, had traveled and spent a lot of time in many of the world’s most dangerous places, primarily in China and Central Asia.
His book The World Island: Eurasian Geopolitics and The Fate of the West was highly praised among officials and geopolitics experts. He was currently working on his new book project, entitled China in Central Asia. He frequently contributed articles to “The Economist,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “The New York Times” and the Greek “Ekathimerini,” among others.
Peterson happened to be dining on Friday at a popular Lebanese restaurant in downtown Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Apart from the U.S. professor, a high-ranking IMF official, four UN employees and one U.K. candidate in the coming EU elections were among the 13 foreign victims of the attack, for which the Taliban has claimed responsibility. In their statement, the Islamic fundamentalists said that they were targeting foreigners in retaliation to a coalition airstrike on Wednesday, in which a number of Afghan civilians had died in a village north of Kabul.
The attack constituted one of the largest losses of life for Western civilians since the war began more than a decade ago.