Suicide Bombings

“Modern suicide terror attacks can be defined as violent, politically motivated actions executed knowingly, actively, and with prior intent by individuals who kill themselves while destroying their chosen civilian or military targets” (Schweitzer). Why people choose to wear explosives into a crowded building or bus to take their own lives along with those of many innocent people has been a mystery for years.  The most likely reason is due to an unfailing yet sadly very misguided loyalty to a cause that is destructive and deadly.  These people are convinced (brainwashed) by their leaders this is a divine order and they will be a martyr if they die for their beliefs.  Many of them are not evil people, but simply do what they are told.  These people need to be educated to understand that what they are doing does not make them a martyr, but rather a killer who chooses to die with his victims.  Religion and the humiliation of life under occupation were the key motives for suicide bombers bent on starting a better life in paradise” (Shuman).

One fact is clear, whatever the reason or cause for suicide bombings, they have proven to be a devastation and cause of fear to citizens in many countries and they need to be stopped. Zarqawi’s (a terrorist leader) group, which has killed hundreds of civilians in indiscriminate suicide bombings and provoked a backlash that other groups fear, will undermine the insurgency (Phillips).  “The 9 November 2005 bombings 0n, in which three hotels were targeted by suicide attackers killing 60 and injuring more than 100, were later claimed by the Al-Qaeda group” (IRIN).  In the UK the level of alertness for terrorist attacks was raised after an attack at the Heathrow airport in Scotland in 2007. (Al JaZeera). Bombings like these take innocent lives almost daily for no clear purpose.

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Although the vast majority of the bombers are young single men from religious but tormented backgrounds, they do not have to be. There are women and even children who are either convinced or ordered by someone they consider to be authority to walk into crowds with bombs.  One woman, who could not get her bomb to explode, confessed that she was ordered by an Al Qaeda leader to go into a wedding wearing a belt with explosives and metal pellets (Women).  “Mervet Masoud, an 18-year-old Palestinian woman, blew herself up near several soldiers, killing herself and slightly wounding one soldier… [She] said in a video released by Islamic Jihad after her attack, `Consider me a martyr’…”(Koch).

The Liberation Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) have carried out more than 200 suicide bombings, more than any other single group worldwide” (PBS). “From the signing of the Oslo agreements in 1993 until the beginning of August 2002 we know of 198 suicide bombing missions, of which 136 ended with the attackers blowing up others along with themselves” (Margalit).  The bombers are taken from the lives they have lived in fear of torment and death and trained to sacrifice themselves for what they think is their religious beliefs.  In reality they are trained to get rid of the people the terrorist leader deems a threat to the terrorist lifestyle.  In carrying out these orders, the bomber kills many people. The count rises daily and the news constantly reports of another suicide bombing.  Some people believe the bombers carry out these orders, because it would be better to kill themselves and some people they consider enemies than be shot for no reason.

One of the main factors leading to the continued occurrences of suicide bombings is the fact that they get positive recognition from peers.  These people are often thought to die a hero’s death. Many Jordanians have long supported suicide bombings against Israel and against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq (Phillips, 919). The religious bombers are trained to believe they are doing what God wants them to do.  They have been specifically selected by the terrorist groups because of their faith and vulnerability.

The key to stopping or reducing future suicide bombings is to keep the terrorist network that builds the bombs from finding, recruiting and brainwashing the human pawns it needs to deliver the bombs (Phillips, Bombings).  The young, vulnerable, highly motivated recruits are easy targets for the terrorist groups to brainwash into following through with their plans.  The leaders of these groups need to be found and stopped in order to keep them from continuing to train vulnerable people into doing their bidding.  In addition to this, there needs to be a better education system to teach the people that suicide bombs do not make a person a martyr, but rather a terrorist.

Currently suicide bombings continue to happen  nearly every day.  Most research indicates that even in the religion claimed by most of the terrorists, suicide and murder are not allowed.  This information is what the potential bombers need to be taught before they fall victim to a terrorist leader who chooses a young vulnerable person to carry out his malicious plans.  These people will most likely believe whoever teaches them first.  There needs to be a system in place to train people more strongly that for any reason it is wrong to take one’s own life and the lives of innocent people.