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Q&A with a would-be suicide bomber

October 10, 2009
In this Aug. 25, 2008 file photo released by the Iraqi Police, Rania Ibrahim, 15, who they suspected of being a suicide bomber is seen handcuffed to railings in a street in Baqouba, Iraq (AP Photo/Iraqi Police, HO)

In this Aug. 25, 2008 file photo released by the Iraqi Police, Rania Ibrahim, 15, who they suspected of being a suicide bomber is seen handcuffed to railings in a street in Baqouba, Iraq (AP Photo/Iraqi Police, HO)

“My name is Baida Abdul Karim al-Shammari, and I am from New Baquba near the general hospital. I am one of eight children; five were killed. The police raided our home. It was a half-hour before dawn during Ramadan. The Americans were with them.”

These are the words of a would-be suicide bomber; one of 16 suspects who have been captured by police in the Diyala Province of Iraq, as reported by Alissa J. Rubin.

Iraq accounts for the largest share of female suicide bombers, where in the past approximately 60 suicide bombings, successful or unsuccessful, have been carried out by women, according to the New York Times.

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

When researching the lives of female would-be jihadists (suicide bombers), Rubin observed the following similarities:

  • Most women have lost close male relatives (Baida lost her father and brothers)
  • Many of the women live under radical Islamic teachings, their lives dictated by extremists:

“In such places, women are often powerless to control much about their lives; they cannot choose whom they marry, how many children to have or whether they can go to school beyond the primary years. Becoming a suicide bomber is a choice of sorts that gives some women a sense of being special, with a distinguished destiny.”

  • Women wear double abayas to conceal their suicide vests and they apply heavy makeup with the assumption that they are going to heaven.
  • Ensuring a smooth suicide bombing involves preparing a suicide vest, instructing the would-be bomber how to use it and finally developing a mission.

“The group dynamic seemed designed to make participants feel as if they were freely choosing their destiny. That sense of freedom was an important component of their metamorphosis into suicide bombers. It was certainly important to Baida, who felt she controlled little in her life, to feel in control of her death. Her goal was to take revenge on her brothers’ killers — American soldiers”

When Baida was prompted to distinguish the difference between killing American soldiers and killing American civilians, she stated,

“I am willing to explode them, even civilians, because they are invaders and blasphemers and Jewish. I will explode them first because they are Jewish and because they feel free to take our lands.”

Even if Baida chooses to pull out of the suicide mission at the last minute, the decision might already be made for her, as noted below:

“The suicide vests the cell gave to participants were outfitted with remote detonators so that someone else could explode the would-be bomber if she somehow failed to do it herself. This was a relatively new aspect of suicide bombing in Iraq.”


(AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Michael Paulsen)

Baida Abdul Karim al-Shammari, a mother of two boys and a girl under the age of 8 and a wife to a husband who repeatedly physically abused her finds her strength in envisioning the day when she will finally explode herself. Everything else is past tense now, including her children, “Allah will take care of them,” Baida states.

In Rubin’s last interaction with Baida she reaffirmed her strong will and mission:

“If I had not seen you before and talked to you, I would kill you with my own hands…do not be deceived by my peaceful face. I have a heart of stone.”

The moral of the story: Violence aimed at uprooting Jihadists and Talibans in turn sows further jihadists, Baida being a prime example.

War and Bloodshed are not positive words; the resulting Hatred is not a positive either. When the equation in itself undoubtedly appears negative, how can these wars yield any productive results?


One Comment
  1. neilsharp permalink
    October 10, 2009 7:51 am

    it certainly is a shame that these women have to suffer the consequences of hatred. their reasoning is so twisted that they cannot make a fruitful decision on their own. how dastardly is the revenge on one’s soul? it looks as if they have no choice but to lash out and destroy anyone that is in their path. what do we know when we have not lost even a single loved one and they have lost so many of their own? but killing incessantly does no good for anybody ! can’t they even realize that we all must come to peaceful agreements with another?

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