By meghna at 5 April, 2010, 9:55 pm
The two female suicide bombers who were responsible for the metro attacks in Moscow, were the widows of former terrorists. It is believed that about 30, “black widows” were trained by the Russian Bin Laden to carry more of such attacks in future.
The presence of suicide bombers has become a matter of grave concern through out the world. Suicide attackers are not driven by the motivation to die but by the zeal to kill others.
These fearless terrorists are often misconceived to be mentally retarded or abnormal, but the psychological studies have proved that they are perfectly normal people who are determined to do things differently.
In the modern era, suicide bombings were initiated in the Second World War by Japanese troops. The “Kamikaze” was used as a strategy to instill terror in the minds of the terror. Takijiro Onishi, who was leading the air force in Manila, used the technique of intentional crashing of aircraft by the inexperienced pilots.
1970’s witnessed the resurrection of suicide bomb attacks in Islamic Terror groups. Hizb’allah used suicide bombings against Israel. Ayottah Khomeini (Iranian Spiritual Leader) re-interpreted the Shia Cult of martyrdom. And hence propagated the concept of suicide committed for religious causes. Hamas is another group operative in Palestine which has carried out numerous attacks including Gaza strip attack and Christmas Day Attack in Jerusalem.
Religion may not be the sole purpose of carrying out such attacks. L.T.T.E which was operative in Sri Lanka used the suicide attacks for accomplishing its political motives.
Reasons for becoming Suicide Bombers:
2. Conditioning done by the terrorist groups that starts from the very early age of an individual.
3. The myth of martyrdom and the posthumous acclamation associated with it.
4. The manipulation jihad and other religious beliefs (like it would open the doors of heaven).
5. The assurance of the terrorist groups to support their families and promise to reward them with both cash and honor.
6. The internalization of terrorist ideology in the minds of the bombers.
7. Values of the cultural societies (in Lebanon and Palestine the suicide bombers are treated with the stature of martyrs). It is estimated that more than 30% of Palestinians support suicide bombers.
8. Revenge ( eg. Black Widows)
9. To bring attention to the demands of the terrorist groups.
10. The urge to follow the footsteps of a charismatic leader, friend or family member.
How is it carried out?
In Gaza, a game “shuhada” is staged by children on streets to offer mock funeral offerings to the suicide bombers (identified as martyrs by them). The children identify with them as their heros and ideals. Usually vulnerable children like them are carefully selected by a terrorist organization.
They are then divided into small groups which is presided by a teacher. Gradually the youngsters are transformed in to weapons of destruction. They are left with no sense of individualism and identity. The ultimate motive is to be an asset to the group. During their training, the candidates have to observe complete abstinence from women and sex. They are taught only selected religious texts from the Arabic Quran. No one; not even the parents of a bomber are informed about his missions.
Suicide Terrorism requires a very few means and little preparation. A determined perpetrator and an effective explosive is all that is needed. It is both cost-effective and more impact-oriented.
Impact of Suicide Terrorism:-
Places like embassies, shopping malls, railway stations, restaurants, buses, parks and posh streets are the most common targets of such attacks. It serves three purposes of the terrorists i.e.
1. Greater chances of causing more damage and causalities.
2. The probability of being caught is comparatively less.
3. A much greater impact of the general public. The terrorized people usually think, “If I’m not safe here, then where can I expect security?”
A terror attack is generally accompanied with two counter-responses by the masses. Most of the people express patriotic sentiments on the advent of such grave happening. Contrary to this, people also doubt the ability of their governments to protect them. Russia and Israel face suicide terrorism on continuous basis. The people in these countries not only possess hostile feelings for the minorities but also advocate stringent governmental action against the terrorists.
The mass public response after such heinous attacks has often empowered the government to take harsh steps. The American Patriot Act being one such example. Sri Lanka also enacted a legislation in 1979 through which it could hold any person under arrest for 18 months without trial.
One of the major problems with regard to suicide bombers is that since they target civilians, in most of the western countries they are tackled by the police and not by the military. To prevent such attacks more and more public places must be guarded. The victims and their families must be provided with immediate medical help. The reconstruction of normal life is very important. The government must take initiatives to regain the trust of the masses.