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July 27, 2005

What Drives A Suicide Bomber To Be A Suicide Bomber?

Topics: Terrorism

Lori Allen, a University of Chicago anthropology graduate student, conducted research in the West Bank under a Social Science Research Council-GSC Program fellowship and wrote an article that first appeared in Middle East Report 223 (Summer 2002). In that article she wrote that the "Average Bomber" was not driven to self destruction by dispair, all Palestinians living under 'occupation' are desperate, and that neither does poverty explain the motivation for self destruction (to which I add - 'and the murder of innocents'), rather, that a combination of faith and conviction motivates (suicide) bombers: "Religion is the factor that creates the bravery in [the suicide bomber] to be a martyr. And religion makes him (or her) highly sensitive to the issue of justice [to which I add - a perverted blind since of his/her distorted (by the Islamist's definition and teachings)] view of what constitutes justice.

After reading Lori's article, I reread the words, "Religion is the factor that creates the bravery in the bomber to be a martyr. And religion makes him highly sensitive to the issue of justice." Subsequently, the first thought that came to mind was, "That's one hell of a distortion of reality to get out of a 'religion,' and when did murder, suicide, and maiming innocent people have anything to do with God or religion? But of course we're not talking about just any religion, where talking about Islam. And, we're in the year 2005, three years after Lori's report, so are the motives the same?

Today, for a more up to date analysis, we can look to Andrew Cochran writing at The CounterTerrorism Blog on his appearance on MSNBC's "Connected" program to discuss the 7/7 London attacks (you can see video of the segment on the linked page). One of his fellow guests was Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it. It's a post that I think you'll find very interesting and informative.

Posted by Hyscience at July 27, 2005 9:20 PM

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