Tuesday, September 17, 2013

WHAT MAKES AL QAEDA SUICIDE BOMBERS TICK?

According to "The Times of Israel" newspaper, al Qaeda is posting want ads for suicide bombers. The job offer appeared on a closed Internet forum and seeks applicants who are utterly committed to completing their mission. I guess so! Apparently, al Qaeda is low on bombers, so they're running a (short-term) employment advertisement on its Shumukh al-Islam Internet forum. Under the heading “Area of activity: The planet Earth,” the ad seeks jihadists to carry out suicide attacks.

The Hebrew Daily reported that these ads state "Applicants must be Muslim, mentally mature, dedicated, able to listen, and utterly committed to completing their mission". 

Several email addresses are provided for applicants. While their real names are not required, candidates are asked to send details of their nickname or handle, their age, marital status, languages spoken and a list of passports in their possession.

The ad on the forum, which is accessible only to al Qaeda members, specifies the targets of the terror attacks that applicants will be expected to carry out, including “People who fight Islam and Muslims” and enemy “financial, military and media targets.” The ad indicates that the anticipated attacks will be solo operations: “Only one person will be in charge. He will gather all of the intelligence, he will prepare the operation — and he will complete the attack.” However, it continues, “a military panel” will oversee the bomber’s training and select the target. The job description promises only a “very slight chance of being caught.”

The ad has elicited several positive responses, the Yedioth article claimed. One forum participant requested that Germany, Denmark and Sweden be specified as potential targets. The same participant warned the forum to be very careful about what it publishes, for fear that the enemy may see what the group is planning. To win the war on terror, we should analyze and understand the nature of al Qaeda and its penchant for suicide bombings. We must know why they employ this effective tactic to better counter it. Policymakers, first responders, and students of homeland security must fully understand and deal with the growing threat of suicide terror by analyzing such attacks and pinpointing our vulnerabilities and foresee high-risk scenarios for future attacks. 

I believe that America is due for suicide attacks in its heartland and we must continue preparing and implementing an effective and quick response to minimize casualties and losses, when they occur.  
Studying Israel’s experience with suicide bombings, the internationalism of suicide terrorism, high-risk scenarios, methods to confront suicide terror and medical management of suicide terrorism should be incorporated into our educational system in intelligence studies.

By getting into the hearts and minds of suicide bombers, our intelligence community can better confront these very effective and dangerous threats. It would be beneficial to have in-depth studies of successful, and dead, suicide bombers, such as Ignacy Hryniewiecki, Mohammad Sidique Khan, Dilawar Singh Babbar, Abdallah Al-Ajmi, Axel Freiherr Von Dem Bussche-Streithorst, Niser Bin Muhammad Nasr Nawar, and Abdullah Hassan Al Aseery. By conducting what psychologists term "suicidal autopsies", we can learn how they were raised, the "formal" education they had, what mosques they attended, who they admired, the kinds of enticements they fell for, what their traumatic and enjoyable childhood experiences were, etc. Such data can be obtained from interviews and gathering open source intelligence, and would enable our Intelligence Community to counteract the formation and recruitment of future suicide bombers.

As the first edition of this article was written, multiple suicide bombings occurred in southwestern Afghanistan that killed 27 and wounded 110 people in the city of Zaranj. 

According to police, at least three of the attackers' suicide vests exploded but several more bombers were involved. Authorities killed two of them and captured three more after killing several others in the afternoon before they could detonate their explosives.

In Israel, suicide bombings are commonplace:
Total Israel suicide bombings from 2000-2005159
Total victims killed514
Suicide Bomber Demographics 
17 years old5 %
17 – 24 years old76 %
25 – 34 years old17 %
35 + years old2 %
Percent women5 %


I believe the U.S. Intelligence Community should have a specially-trained team of psychologists and psychiatrists flown to Afghanistan, Israel...anywhere in the world where these events occur. We need to develop a scientific base through extensive interviews with these surviving suicidal subjects or with the people who knew them well... beyond the obvious, we must learn what makes them tick...so to speak!
Learn more about suicide bombers:
 
Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and writes the online spy novel series "Corey Pearson- CIA Spymaster in the Caribbean".  The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. Contact him on the Secure Contact Form

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