Saturday, June 20, 2015

Rep. Gohmert: Obama Outed Active Israeli Iranian Spy Mission - Mark Langfan

by Mark Langfan

Congressman also blasts White House for disclosing possible use of Azerbaijani airspace by Israel in Iran strike.

Obama delivers remarks at the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue in Washington
Obama delivers remarks at the Adas Israel Congregation synagogue in Washington
United States Congressman Louie Gohmert revealed Thursday that the Obama administration had “outed” an active Israeli spy mission in Iran. Israel, he said, had infiltrated Israeli spies into mainland Iran via cargo boats.

He dropped the bombshell in a speech at EMET’s 9th annual “Rays of Light in the Darkness” gala dinner.

Rep. Gohmert, who is one Israel’s fiercest and truest friends on Capitol Hill, stated: “We are on the brink of disaster.”

He listed a stream of virulently anti-Israel actions taken by President Obama which included the “outing” of the Israeli spy mission, and the Obama Administration’s disclosing of possible use of Azerbaijani airspace by Israel.

Rep. Gohmert did not elaborate on whether Obama’s disclosure of Israeli covert operations had resulted in the capture or death of any of Israel’s Iranian spies.

Gohmert also related that he is often asked about prophecies of “end-of-days” events, and how they might be tied to the current events. He explained, “I tell everybody, the only way America will be around until the end of days is if America is the best friend Israel ever had.”

However, the plain talking congressman made clear, “the new gas chambers are called nuclear weapons. And, we can’t, can’t allow Iran to kill millions of Jews. They must be stopped!”

Rep. Gohmert's accusations are sure to add fuel to the controversy ignited by former Israeli ambassador to the United States, MK Michael Oren (Kulanu), that President Obama has purposefully destroyed the Israeli-United States relationship.

1939 all over again

EMET, Hebrew for “truth,” also stands for the Endowment for Middle East Truth, founded and headed by Sarah Stern, the indefatigable pro-Israel advocate on Capitol Hill.

The dinner, which was attended by close to 500 people this year, presents the “Speaker of the Truth” awards to numerous people from different fields awards for telling the truth about Israel and the Middle East.

Ms. Stern opened the evening with George Orwell’s famous saying, that “In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

And, she added, “that makes us ‘revolutionaries!”

She continued by adding that the “moral universe has been turned on its head. And, the people we are recognizing tonight are trying to right the upside-down world with the truth.”

Ms. Stern lamented that “Jewish Americans are asleep at the wheel and it’s 1939 all over again.” As a testament to Ms. Stern’s success, former CIA director James Woolsey, and former US Defense Intelligence Agency director Lt. General Michael T. Flynn, along with many other Washington bigwigs, were in attendance.

The barbarians are inside the gates

The senator's “Speaker of the Truth” award went to freshman Senator Tom Cotton who has spearheaded the drive to expose President Obama’s nuclear deal as a catastrophic mistake.
Sen. Cotton, a Harvard Law School graduate, enlisted to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan after graduation and rose to the rank of captain, earning a Bronze State for “heroic achievement or service.”

He stated that he has a particular issue with Iran in that “All of the most lethal IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) came from Iran. And, America’s armored vehicles couldn’t withstand Iran’s IEDs.”

The media ‘Truth’ award went to Erick Stakelbeck, who is a TV regular and who has written several books including his latest, “ISIS exposed: Beheadings, Slavery, and the Hellish Reality of Radical Islam.”

Stakelbeck explained that James Comey, America’s current FBI director recently stated that “hundreds, maybe thousands” of people across America are actively receiving Islamic recruitment from terrorist organizations to attack the US homeland, and that the FBI is actively investigating “people in various stages of radicalizing in all 50 states.”

“The barbarians are not at the gates,” Stakelbeck ominously warned. “They are inside the gates.”

A Pakistani for Israel

Perhaps the most exciting speaker of truth was Kasim Hafeez, a Pakistani Muslim who – after reading Alan Dershowitz’s book, “The Case for Israel” – turned from a radical jihadist to an Israel lover. In fact, Hafeez, now works for CUFI, “Christians United for Israel.”

Hafeez has had to endure ostracism by his family and friends. But after visiting Israel for three weeks, he said, he saw that all the propaganda about Israel was a total lie and that Israel is a “true beacon of freedom in the Muslim world.”

The evening continued with the brilliant world-renowned author and TV personality Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, who gave a rousing speech, asserting “Israel is the most moral country on the face of the earth. While, Rome, Alexander the Great, and Hannibal were rampaging through the world, the Jews of Israel were teaching the world to 'turn our swords into plowshares.'”

The night's last awardee was Professor Irwin Cotler, who defends Israel’s human rights record throughout the world.

If EMET, or the “truth,” was what you were looking for, EMET’s annual dinner was the place to be to hear it pronounced loud and clear.

Mark Langfan


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

The nature of the Abbas regime - Yoram Ettinger

by Yoram Ettinger

The Abbas regime has been characterized by a rare combination of endemic corruption, kleptomania ("Mr. 20%" is Abbas' nickname), nepotism, hate education, incitement, terrorism, an anti-U.S. and pro-Venezuela, Russia and China worldview, noncompliance with internal and external agreements, and egregious violations of civil liberties.

The nature of President Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority has turned most Palestinians against the PA president and has led most Jerusalem Arabs to prefer Israeli sovereignty. It has also catapulted Hamas to prominence on the Palestinian street. 

The Abbas regime has been characterized by a rare combination of endemic corruption, kleptomania ("Mr. 20%" is Abbas' nickname), nepotism, hate education, incitement, terrorism, an anti-U.S. and pro-Venezuela, Russia and China worldview, noncompliance with internal and external agreements, and egregious violations of civil liberties. All this has fueled Muslim emigration and the flight of Christian Arabs from Bethlehem, Beit Jala and Ramallah. 

The nature of the Palestinian Authority has been shaped since its establishment in 1993 by the late Yasser Arafat, by Abbas and by other Palestinians imported from terrorist camps in Sudan, Yemen, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya and Tunisia, imposing themselves ruthlessly upon the indigenous Arabs of Judea and Samaria. In 2003, I was rebuked by a prominent Palestinian: "We shall never forgive the Jewish state for imposing upon us the Tunisia-based PLO Sodom and Gomorrah."

Irrespective of the nature of the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. has been, by far, its largest single-state donor (averaging $500 million annually, in economic and security assistance). In addition, the U.S. has led the pack of donors to the U.N. Relief and Works Agency ($250 million in 2014), which has not reduced the threat of incitement or hate-education-driven Palestinian terrorism. It has not inclined Palestinians toward peaceful coexistence with the Jewish state, nor has it advanced the cause of democracy and human rights in the Palestinian Authority. 

In September 1993, on the eve of the conclusion of the Oslo Accords, Elias Freij, the Christian mayor of Bethlehem, and other Christian leaders from Bethlehem and Beit Jala (unsuccessfully) implored then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to refrain from transferring both towns -- which were included in the Jerusalem District during the Ottoman, British and Jordanian rule -- to the emerging Palestinian Authority. They expected severe oppression of Christian Arabs by the Palestinian Authority, which would cause Bethlehem and Beit Jala to be "top heavy on churches, but very low on Christians." And indeed, Bethlehem's Christian majority has been reduced to a 15% minority. 

Before the signing of the Oslo Accords, I introduced the New York Times' William Safire to a former mayor of Beit Jala, Farah al-Araj, who predicted that "the current state of affairs will produce a larger community of Beit Jala Christians in Belize than Christians left in Beit Jala." In 2015, Christian emigrants from Beit Jala achieve prominence in Belize, politically and financially, while those remaining in Beit Jala are oppressed religiously and physically. 

Abbas' stashed accounts and nepotism were highlighted by the anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian Stephen Lendman, who accused Abbas of "bribes, secret investments and hidden bank accounts ... earning $1 million monthly. ... Abbas holds several Jordanian accounts ... not under any national or international scrutiny. ... Abbas urged Moscow to supply him with a new advanced presidential jet. ... His sons, Tarek and Yasser, profit handsomely from all PA projects." 

According to Jonathan Schanzer, "The conspicuous wealth of Abbas' own sons, Yasser and Tarek, has become a source of quiet controversy in Palestinian society. ... Yasser enjoys a monopoly on the sale of U.S.-made cigarettes ... chairs a Palestinian engineering conglomerate ... boasting $35 million annual revenues. ... Tarek is just as ambitious in the business world."

Bassam Eid, the founder of the Jerusalem-based Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, concludes that "the Palestinians need strong democratic institutions and an end to human rights violations. ... [However], Abbas runs a corrupt dictatorship, using international funds to consolidate his own administration, rather than to develop the Palestinian economy. In east Jerusalem, the PA is so mistrusted that most Palestinians would prefer to live under Israeli rule."

American interests, morality and common sense should prompt the U.S. Congress to condition further foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority on dramatic transformation of its conduct.

Yoram Ettinger


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Netanyahu: A dark day for the UN; no limit to hypocrisy - Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

by Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff

PM Benjamin Netanyahu outraged after U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon accuses Israel of using excessive force against Palestinian children • U.N. report on children and armed conflict has 32 paragraphs on Israel, only eight on Iraq, 15 on Afghanistan, 18 on Syria.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
Photo credit: Reuters

Yoni Hersch, News Agencies and Israel Hayom Staff


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Shaking Hands with Iran - Daniel Mael

by Daniel Mael

  • According to the organization Iran Human Rights, the Iranian regime has executed a prisoner every two hours this month.
  • "So far in 2015, more than 560 have been executed, and we are just in the first half of the year... What we are witnessing today is not so much different from what ISIS is doing. The difference is that the Iranian authorities do it in a more controlled manner, and represent a country which is a full member of the international community with good diplomatic relations with the West." — Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, spokesman for Iran Human Rights.
  • Now the West, with the possibility of a nuclear deal, stands to increase Iran's diplomatic standing.
As negotiations between the P5+1 countries and Iran continue, human rights concerns under the Iranian regime remain on the periphery.

The Obama Administration, over the objections of countless human rights organizations, has made clear that the United States is not seeking to alter the nature of the Iranian regime. Rather, the aim of the direct negotiations is solely to reach an agreeable compromise over the Iran's continued nuclear enrichment. The current nominal deadline for negotiations is June 30.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is notoriously the world's largest state sponsor of terrorism. Proxy organizations include Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Gaza Strip and Houthi rebels in Yemen. The regime's support of barbarism is reflected within Iran as well, as Iranian leaders support unspeakable human rights abuses on a daily basis.

With the deadline for negotiations only days away, June 2015 has been no exception.
According to a June 17 press release from the organization Iran Human Rights, which "supports the Iranian people's struggle for human rights and amplifies their voices on the international stage," the Iranian regime has executed a prisoner every two hours this month:
"According to reports collected by IHR so far in June at least 206 people have been executed in different Iranian cities. 60 of the executions have been announced by the official sources while IHR has managed to confirm 146 other executions which have not been announced by the authorities."
"So far in 2015 more than 560 people have been executed in the country and we are just in the first half of the year," Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, the spokesman of IHR, said in an interview. "This is unprecedented in the last 25 years! Unfortunately, people in Iran feel that the international community has closed its eyes on what they are going through."

The executions are just the tip of the crane. As IHR reported Wednesday morning, Mohammed Moghimi, a defense lawyer for civil activist Atena Faraghadani, was scheduled to be released from prison on June 16, after three days in prison. What, exactly, was his crime?

"Mohammad Moghimi was charged with 'non-adultery illegitimate relations' for shaking hands with his female client," writes IHR. "He had gone to Evin Prison to meet Ms. Faraghadani and to prepare an appeal request for her 12-year prison sentence." According to IHR sources, the forbidden handshake "happened in the presence of two agents in the room. Atena apologized for this right there... but the agents didn't let it go and took her back to her prison ward and arrested Mr. Moghimi right there."

Moghimi release was released on condition that he meet a bail of roughly $60,000.

And why is Faraghadani in prison? For Facebook posts. A Revolutionary Court in Tehran sentenced her to 12 years and 9 months in prison for posts against the government, which constituted "assembly and collusion against national security," "propaganda against the state," and "insulting the Supreme Leader, the President, Members of the Parliament, and the IRGC [Revolutionary Guards] Ward 2-A agents, " according to IHR.

"What we are witnessing in Iran today is not much different from what ISIS is doing," argues Amiry-Moghaddam. "The difference is that the Iranian authorities do it in a more controlled manner, and represent a country which is a full member of the international community with good diplomatic relations with the West."

Now the West, with the possibility of a nuclear deal, stands to increase Iran's diplomatic standing -- and with not even a minimal regard for human rights.

While U.S. negotiators shake hands with Iranian diplomats during the next round of talks in Geneva, Iranian citizens cannot shake hands among themselves without fear of years of imprisonment. While officials, both from the West and from Iran, share updates on social media, Iranians at home face jail time for staking out the wrong position in Facebook posts.

Does Iran's foreign minister risk going to jail? Iranian FM Javad Zarif (right) is apparently touching the arm of EU Foreign Affairs representative Federica Mogherini (second from right). Back in Tehran, the lawyer Mohammad Moghimi (inset top) was arrested and charged with "non-adultery illegitimate relations," for shaking hands with his female client, Atena Faraghadani (inset bottom). Faraghadani was sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison, for Facebook posts critical of the regime.

If the Iranian regime cannot trust its own citizens' handshakes, how can the West trust the Iranian regime with uranium centrifuges?

Daniel Mael is a fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Salomon Center.


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

State Department Report Minimizes Palestinian Incitement to Violence - IPT News

by IPT News

With respect to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the report praises the PA for taking "significant steps to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank that fall under its control do not create content that leads to incitement to violence."

The U.S. State Department's Country Reports on Terrorism 2014 issued Friday minimizes official Palestinian incitement to violence against Israel and completely overlooks Palestinian glorification of terrorists.

The annual report lists major terrorist incidents worldwide and outlines each country's counterterrorism efforts and legislation. Terrorism attacks and their resulting deaths spiked last year, the report found, an increase largely driven by attacks by the Islamic State and Nigeria's Boko Haram terrorist groups.

With respect to the Palestinian Authority (PA), the report praises the PA for taking "significant steps to ensure that official institutions in the West Bank that fall under its control do not create content that leads to incitement to violence." The report acknowledges that "some instances of inciting taking place via official media" still occur, listing only three examples. However, the report diminishes the fact that incitement to violence is a systematic and institutionalized PA phenomenon.

Click here for an Investigative Project on Terrorism comprehensive outline of Palestinian violent incitement focused only on incidents last fall.

The State Department assessment also ignores the direct participation of senior PA officials in praising terrorists and inciting violence against Israelis and Jews.

For example, the report does not mention PA President Mahmoud Abbas' call last October for Palestinians to prevent Jews from going to the Temple Mount compound "in any way." The video clip of Abbas' Oct. 17 speech was shown 19 on PA television times in three days, implicitly calling for Palestinians to use violence against Israelis.

Instead, the report described PA efforts "to ensure" Friday sermons in more than 1,800 mosques controlled by the PA "do not endorse incitement to violence ... the guidance is that no sermon can discuss political or lead to incitement to violence."

In February, however, the PA Minister of Religious Affairs and other prominent religious officials resorted to an age-old blood libel accusing Jews of attacking Muslims sites and that Israel is trying to destroy the al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) reports. Such accusations are baseless and encourage Palestinians to conduct terrorist attacks against Israel.

The State Department report also omits any reference to official Palestinian glorification of terrorists.

For example, after the October shooting of Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Abbas sent a condolence letter to the family of terrorist Mutaz Hijazi who was killed by Israeli authorities in a firefight during a raid for his capture. In the letter, Abbas called the terrorist a "Shahid," a martyr, who "rose to Heaven while defending our people's rights and holy places," PMW reported.

Moreover, a senior Fatah official claimed that Hijazi was a Fatah operative and expressed pride in his actions, a PMW translation shows.

These blatant omissions from the report leave create a sense that examples of Palestinian incitement to violence and glorification of terrorists are sporadic occurrences. In reality, the Palestinian Authority institutionalizes a systematic campaign of violent incitement and continues to praise terrorists for killing Jews and Israelis, while encouraging other Palestinians to follow in their footsteps.

IPT News


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Benghazigate in Historical Context - Ken Eliasberg

by Ken Eliasberg

Benghazi places in bold relief the essential Hillary -- incredibly incompetent and fundamentally dishonest. Incompetent because she not only needlessly placed Americans in harm’s way, but, worse yet, she failed to come to their aid when aid was requested. Dishonest because she lied about the real nature of the Benghazi catastrophe (as did the rest of Obama’s minions) long after she knew that the slaughter was not due to a casual protest run amok because of any video taking Islam to task.

While Hillary Clinton’s very checkered career has served up any number of examples of just how unfit to be president she is, none so clearly captures the real Hillary’s essence as Benghazi.

Why? Because Benghazi places in bold relief the essential Hillary -- incredibly incompetent and fundamentally dishonest. Incompetent because she not only needlessly placed Americans in harm’s way, but, worse yet, she failed to come to their aid when aid was requested. Dishonest because she lied about the real nature of the Benghazi catastrophe (as did the rest of Obama’s minions) long after she knew that the slaughter was not due to a casual protest run amok because of any video taking Islam to task. That is what she is – incompetent and dishonest, and, as I noted in a previous column, lacking a modicum of judgment. By any measure, she is unfit to lead – anything at all, much less the greatest country on the planet.

But in the history of numerous Washington scandals, where should we put Benghazi? Right at the top! Why? Because, to pick up on one of the left’s favorite critical mantras, Hillary lied and Americans died. To put Benghazigate in perspective let’s compare and contrast it with one of the left’s all-time favorites -- Watergate, for which President Richard M. Nixon was pilloried and ultimately driven from office (an affair in which Hillary made her bones, so to speak). Watergate, which involved a keystone cop raid on Democratic headquarters at the Watergate hotel, was a bungled effort at larceny; it was almost universally described as a “third-rate burglary.” No one died; indeed no one was even injured (except possibly the bruised egos of the men who carried out what was an obviously unnecessary criminal act (McGovern was never considered a serious threat to Nixon’s re-election effort). And Nixon, a very bright guy, no matter how unlikable he appeared to be, handled the cover up in an incredibly stupid manner, thereby committing an act of political suicide.

In Benghazi, as noted, Americans who were placed in a very dangerous position -- for what reason, the administration has yet to reveal -- informed their superiors of their precarious situation and requested help of said superiors to deal with the danger at hand. Unfortunately, their request went unheeded, and, as a consequence, they were slaughtered. Furthermore, contrasting the Watergate cover-up with that employed in Benghazigate, Nixon burnt 18 minutes of tape, Hillary deleted more than 30,000 emails, or half the entire amount involved in her 4 years in office. In addition, Hillary used her own server at her personal residence, a procedure in clear violation of common practice, if not the law. In short, Watergate pales into insignificance when contrasted with Benghazigate; as noted, Watergate was a third-rate burglary (a bungled one at that), while, as noted in the title, Benghazigate was a first-rate massacre.

Thanks to Hillary’s fundamental dishonesty, we are still trying to find out what happened that evening. When queried on the possible cause -- before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, her response was an audacious “what difference at this point does it make?” To which Senator Ron Johnson, a decent fellow, wilted into silence instead of making the following observations:
  1. To the people behind you (family and friends of the deceased at Benghazi) it makes all the difference in the world; and
  2. To her point that what’s important is that it should not happen again, how do we do that if we don’t know why it happened the first time.
But, as noted, Senator Johnson and his colleagues were intimidated into relative silence by Hillary’s brazen and disingenuous attack.

So, for an extended period – well past the point when the truth was abundantly clear, Hillary adhered to the standard Clintonian response -- denial (lie), stonewall, slow walk, etc. (when William Safire called Hillary a “congenital liar,” he flattered her).

When it became clear that Benghazi was a planned terrorist attack -- i.e. that Hillary and the administration could no longer lie about some irrelevant video -- Hillary stepped up and claimed “responsibility,” Now usually, when one claims responsibility for a failure of management, one is accountable for such a failure, i.e. they are punished for the failure. Not so with the new Clinton form of responsibility; it’s just I’m sorry, and we move on -- no one, not even an underling, falls on a sword. In this regard, it should be noted that the mainstream media did little to out the truth; if this were a Republican involved, they would be screaming for her head. The full story on Benghazi has yet to be told, and, if Hillary has anything to say about it, it never will.

Benghazi is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Hillary’s qualification for any position of rank. She is fundamentally dishonest, completely incompetent, lacking in any leadership skills, unpleasant, unlikable, and yet there is the real possibility that this harridan may end up as our next president. That disturbing possibility may say a lot more about the depleted state of America than it does about Hillary Clinton.

Ken Eliasberg


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Devil in a Deep Blue Pantsuit - Doris O'Brien

by Doris O'Brien

No middle ground between party lines was considered.  No hopeful concept of moving America forward as a united, determined people. Her message – impure and simple – was vintage Hillary, reminding us that the messenger is the same divisive figure who was dumped by worried Democrats in her last presidential run.

Hillary Clinton’s run for the presidency is driven by a lust for power, a sense of entitlement, and enough conceit to fancy herself the best one for the job.  But none of these insures her success.  To drive Hillary’s engine of ambition back to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue will require both high maintenance and high-octane fuel.

To date, the Clinton campaign has been sputtering, even as her handlers insist it’s right on track.  Just to make sure, however, they reissued a “let’s do launch” invitation from their candidate to the American electorate.  Clinton showed up on Roosevelt Island, in the middle of New York City’s East River, wearing a signature blue pantsuit.  She clapped, waved, grinned, and pointed in supposed recognition to the small gathering of faithful.  Bill was there in a bright red polo, trying to look inconspicuously supportive.  Chelsea and hubby, Marc Mezvinsky, wore shades of white.  Together their little family looked essentially like the America flag.

If the choice of colors wasn’t calculated, the rhetoric certainly was.  Hillary’s long-awaited debut proved unenlightening but very telling.  Before then, she’d been in peripatetic listening mode, nodding her head at selective groups of those “average Americans” she hopes to lift from their misery.  With her newly acquired knowledge, it was time for Hillary to lay out a campaign blueprint that highlighted her views on the most pressing issues of our time.

If you anticipated fresh insights, fugettaboutit.  In their place was a predictable laundry list of hackneyed generalizations, the biggest of which is that Republican policies are bad and hers are good.  No middle ground between party lines was considered.  No hopeful concept of moving America forward as a united, determined people. Her message – impure and simple – was vintage Hillary, reminding us that the messenger is the same divisive figure who was dumped by worried Democrats in her last presidential run.

But this time around, Hillary isn’t sparring with another serious Democrat.  She’s fighting for her political life against a slew of Republicans, and she will come out swinging.  A lot of the swing will be swagger; nobody can be more shrill or more smarmy than Her Heinous.  She can gleefully tar the Republican field as a bunch of choirboys singing the same off-key tune, then turn around and pretend to be unfairly bullied by the lot of them.

Nothing would make Hillary happier than to see Carly Fiorina dropped from the GOP lineup…and the sooner, the better.  That would admirably serve Hillary’s a-gender, which it is predicated on a Republican war against women and the urgency of electing her the first female president of the United States.  Count on her playing the grandmother card at every whistle stop.

Polls show that Hillary is not considered particularly trustworthy.  But a candidate doesn’t have to be loved to be elected.  All she has to do is convince enough voters to dislike – and even fear – her opponent more than they do her.  To this end, she frames her arguments in “us against them” terms.  This is a clever move, because it requires no plausibility and gets the most applause from a partisan crowd.  I remember Madeleine Albright telling an audience of Wellesley women that they needed to “push back” against Republicans.  It obviously never occurred to the former secretary of state that there might be Republicans like me in the reunion crowd.  Liberals are like that.  They cannot imagine anybody – especially females with a college degree – not holding to the same superior convictions.  Hillary is determined to lift to the executive level the puerile charge of Nancy Pelosi that if Republicans took control of the Senate, it would be the end of civilization as we know it.

We can expect to see this “good versus evil” thread running through the entire fabric of her campaign.  The choice she offers will be clear: either you rise with caring Democrats, or you suffer with selfish Republicans.  A liberal acquaintance of mine confided that some of the Republican contenders “frighten” her, particularly Scott Walker.  Asked why, she said that he had not gone to college.  This is untrue, of course, but the main point is that liberals parade as egalitarians until snobbery suits them better.  And while it may now be acceptable, for example, to perceive race in other than black and white terms, and gender as something neither male or female, such latitude is not allowed in party politics.  For Democrats, the true sign of political correctness is to vote Democratic.

So once again Hillary Clinton finds herself foraging on the floor of the liberal forest primeval for the same old-growth wood by which to frame her political platform.  She’ll recycle the tired bundle of charges against her opponents, such as “trickle down” economics, the war on women, class warfare, white privilege, the threat of global warming, the villainy of voter I.D., the tragedy of the minimum wage, the weakness of present gun laws, and no boots on the ground.  While she is hesitant to associate herself with the policies of the Obama administration, Ms. Clinton excuses them as worthy attempts to recover from Bush’s legacy of the most severe economic downturn since the Great Depression.  (By the way, those of us who were around in the ’30s find that comparison laughable.)

It’s commonplace for politicians to tell us what ails America.  The harder part is to propose a cure that is something more than a promise, a platitude, or a pipe dream.  The easiest gesture in politics is to point a finger at – or maybe even give the finger to – the other party.  Hillary excels in all of the above.  She is already promising to provide free college tuition to everyone in America, as if that would solve the educational crisis of K through 12.

Rahm Emanuel recognized that every crisis has the potential for political gain.  He may have felt like eating those words when his Chicago mayoral re-election was in jeopardy, but his advice is not lost on Hillary.  The more crises, real or imagined, the more she can cluck and harangue that something must be done and she is the woman to do it.  She likes to warn that “we have come too far” to allow those nasty Republicans to turn back the clock.  And as Obama did in reference to the recent tragic murder of blacks in a Charleston church, Hillary is quick to inject politics into everything.  She wraps herself in a mantle of self-righteousness, admonishing that there is something “wrong” with a country when communities do not trust the cops that patrol them.  On Roosevelt Island she proclaimed that there was something wrong when the leading hedge fund operators make more than all the kindergarten teachers combined.

Who knows if the stats she spouts are even true?  And who in her camp even cares?  Hillary knows that her base is so passionately loaded for Wall Street bear, they aren’t particularly bothered by the inherent hypocrisy of a rich woman whose wealth has been considerably enhanced by Wall Street cronyism; whose son-in-law, standing on the stage behind her, is a Wall street trader and hedge fund founder; and whose own daughter started her post-college career in the same lucrative trade.  When pressed about the sizeable Clinton fortune, Hillary replied, “Bill and I feel truly blessed.”

Once a Republican standard-bearer is chosen, Hillary will likely ratchet up the fear rhetoric even further.  She understands that a defeat in 2016 would spell her political doom.  She would be a pariah in her own party, possibly ushering in a long Democrat power drought.  Requests for her and Bill to deliver high-priced speeches would dry up as well.  And the Clinton foundation would fall into deeper disarray.  So what’s a woman running for president of the United States to do?  Whatever it takes!

Doris O'Brien


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.

Does Islam Have a Role in Suicide Bombings? - A.J. Caschetta

by A.J. Caschetta

Khomeini selected specific passages from the Qur'an and hadith (canonical collections of Muhammad's alleged sayings and actions) to craft his suicidal version of radical Islam. His two-part rhetorical plan necessitated convincing Muslims that suicide is not suicide and that death is not death.

Following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini built a culture of martyrdom and suicide attacks. On October 30, 1980, Mohammed Hossein Fahmideh, a 13-year-old boy, allegedly crawled beneath an Iraqi tank and exploded a grenade. Khomeini had a special monument dedicated to Fahmideh, shown above, intended to appeal to children, and thousands of children were conscripted as suicide bombers.
When journalists, historians, psychologists, and experts in group dynamics, organizational structures, and criminal justice write about the unique set of circumstances that lead to suicide terrorism, they share the view that Islam has little to do with it. Most analysts either downplay or ignore altogether the role of Islam in suicide terrorism while some attempt to refute the connection and condemn others for not doing so.
This reluctance to countenance the role of Islam and Islamism in suicide terrorism has led to some fantastical and far-fetched theories that blur the nature of the deed with euphemisms and neologisms ("tactical martyrdom,"[1] "sordid pleasure,"[2] "altruistic murder") and blame the victims, especially Israelis, for their unhappy fate. And far too often, the causes of suicide terrorism are said to be the policies of the West.

The Islamic Context

Suicide terrorism has become so commonplace that it is easy to overlook how relatively new and suddenly popular the phenomenon is. Between the end of World War II and the Iranian revolution, there were no suicide attacks in the world. Yet only months after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini solidified power and formed the Pasdaran and Basij, suicide attacks began to appear in conflicts involving Shiites (Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq war) and then took root among Palestinian Sunni groups.[3] It eventually became the preferred tactic of Islamist terror organizations.
Khomeini selected specific passages from the Qur'an and hadith (canonical collections of Muhammad's alleged sayings and actions) to craft his suicidal version of radical Islam. His two-part rhetorical plan necessitated convincing Muslims that suicide is not suicide and that death is not death. Capitalizing on—or perhaps fabricating—the case of Hossein Fahmideh, a 13-year-old boy who on October 30, 1980, allegedly crawled beneath an Iraqi tank and exploded a grenade, Khomeini built a culture of martyrdom. Thousands of children were conscripted for his new invention—the "human wave attack"—and spread the tactic of suicide bombing. Khomeini had a special monument dedicated to Famideh, intended to appeal to children. He then used Famideh's image on book bags, murals, posters, and stamps to inspire children to follow him and drink "the nectar of martyrdom."[4] The tactic spread quickly to Lebanon where the Iraqi embassy was struck on December 15, 1981, in what is generally considered the first documented suicide attack of the modern era. As terrorism expert Matthew Levitt points out, Iran's influence was greatly increased in 1982 when "1,500 IRGC [Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps] advisers set up a base in the Bekaa Valley as part of its goal to export the Islamic revolution to the Arab world."[5] Then in 1983, U.S. interests were subjected to suicide terrorism for the first time when the U.S. embassy in Beirut was bombed in April, killing sixty-three. Later, on October 23, 1983, the U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut were bombed with a loss of 299 lives.
Khomeini and fellow radical Shiite cleric, Amal's Musa Sadr, framed the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) as a modern incarnation of the Battle of Karbala, portraying the Iranian people as Muhammad's grandson and Shiite martyr Hussein ibn Ali and Saddam Hussein as his nemesis Caliph Yazid. They understood that Shiite veneration for the self-sacrifice of Hussein's followers, who died willingly along with their leader, could be leveraged. Khomeini also relied on passages from the Qur'an extolling the virtue of "one who sells himself to seek the pleasure of Allah."[6] Yet most authors of books on suicide terrorism ignore how Khomeini and Sadr carefully manipulated Islamic tradition, preferring the simple and uncritical assertion that Islam prohibits suicide.
Accepting the cliché that "Islam prohibits suicide" is much easier than explaining exactly where or how Islamic tradition makes suicide prohibited (haram). It is certainly the popular view, authorized by the Islamic Supreme Council,[7] the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR),[8] and Wikipedia.[9] On the rare occasions that Islamic texts are examined, few authors delve into the hadiths, but some cite the Qur'an. The cited passage is always sura 4:29, which they claim means "do not kill yourself."
Current head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has become the leading theoretician of suicide terrorism, blurring the line between suicide and martyrdom. Zawahiri differentiates the two on the basis of intention: Ending one's life "out of depression and despair" is suicide, but ending one's life "to service Islam" is martyrdom.
Yet the issue is far from settled. At best, one might argue that sura 4:29 appears to contain a prohibition against self-slaughter. This view hinges on the word anfusakum, most often translated as "oneself" or "yourself" while an equally convincing argument can be made that it be translated as "others like one." An examination of the three most common English translations of the Qur'an, those of Ahmed Raza Khan, Marmaduke Pickthal, and Yusef Ali, alerts readers to potential discrepancies.[10] The phrase in question from 4:29 is the imperative wa-la taqtulu anfusakum: Khan's translation reads, "do not kill one another," Pickthal's reads, "kill not one another," and Ali's reads, "Nor kill (or destroy) yourselves."[11]
As long ago as 1946, Arabic scholar Franz Rosenthal concluded that "there is no absolutely certain evidence to indicate that Muhammad ever discussed the problem of suicide by means of divine revelation."[12] He argued that the oft-cited Qur'anic prohibition against suicide in 4:29 is in fact a mistranslation resulting from a misapplication of the reflexive pronoun. His 1946-era list of "available translations" of the Qur'an includes eight that treat 4:29 as a prohibition against suicide, five as a prohibition against killing fellow Muslims, and seven that point out the ambiguity through notes or double translations.
The claim that "Islam prohibits suicide" appears in one form or another in the work of many analysts.
Nevertheless, the claim that "Islam prohibits suicide" appears in one form or another in the work of analysts Christoph Reuter, Mia Bloom, Barbara Victor, Robert Pape, Adam Lankford, Rosemarie Skaine, Diego Gambetta, Stephen Holmes, Luca Ricolfi, Mohammed M. Hafez, Joyce M. Davis, Ariel Merari, and more.[13] To demonstrate how deeply-rooted the belief has become, three cases deserve special attention. First, when Bruce Hoffman's venerable Inside Terrorism was revised and expanded in 2006, a new chapter on suicide terrorism was included. It begins with the recognition that in "no area of contemporary terrorism has religion had a greater impact than in propelling the vast increase of suicide attacks that have occurred since 9/11" but also includes the sentence: "The Qu'ran, however, expressly forbids suicide."[14] Second, Assaf Moghadam's The Globalization of Martyrdom is perhaps the best book on the topic, its very title proclaiming the connection between suicide bombing and religion. And yet among nearly 300 pages of unflinching analysis of the Islamic components to suicide terrorism is the assertion that "Islam prohibits the taking of one's own life."[15] And finally, even Daniel Pipes, in a 1986 article that posited state support as the most immediate cause of the then-new phenomenon, wrote that "suicide is strictly forbidden in Islam"—though his claim is qualified by "A Qur'anic verse, 'Do not kill yourselves' (4:29) is commonly understood to condemn suicide."[16] Not Hoffman, Moghadam, or Pipes sought to disconnect Islam from suicide bombing, yet each repeated the claim.
More recently, the Egyptian born physician and current head of al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has become the leading theoretician of suicide terrorism by rhetorically blurring the line between suicide and martyrdom. In essays such as "Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Killing of Innocents," among others, Zawahiri differentiates the two on the basis of intention: Ending one's life "out of depression and despair" is suicide, but ending one's life "to service Islam" is martyrdom.[17] Ideologues from Hezbollah (Fadhalla, Nasrallah) and Hamas (Yassin, Rantisi) have argued along similar lines.[18]
For the second part of Khomeini's plan—convincing Muslims that death is not death—the Qur'an proved very helpful. Along with the oft-cited verses of the sword, there are a number of Qur'anic passages wielded as staples by suicide-terror recruiters. Several excoriate those who believe Muslims killed while fighting the enemy are actually dead: Both 2:154 and 3:169 claim "those who are slain in the way of Allah ... are alive" and are provided "sustenance." Other passages elaborate on this promise, such as 4:74 and 9:111 where, depending on the translator, the reward is named "Paradise" or "the Garden." And various hadiths elaborate even further. As Zawahiri puts it:
The Martyr is special to Allah. He is forgiven from the first drop of blood [that he sheds]. He sees his throne in Paradise where he will be adorned with the ornaments of faith. He will wed the Aynhour [wide-eyed virgins] and will not know the torments of the grave ... And he will couple with seventy-two Aynhour and be able to offer intercessions for seventy of his relatives.[19]
The number of analysts who simply dismiss the Islamic concept of shahada (martyrdom) is distressing. Some, like Joyce M. Davis, are so invested in the notion that Islam prohibits suicide that they are led to unsubstantiated and simplistic solutions, such as the conclusion that the 9/11 hijackers were "terrorists distorting their religion's true teachings ... not martyrs."[20] These "true teachings" are often proclaimed but seldom produced, and each of the nineteen terrorists saw himself as a martyr.
Each of the nineteen 9/11 terrorists saw himself as a martyr.
On par with Davis's shallow handling of martyrdom is the evasive treatment characteristic of recently-deceased Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad El-Sarraj.[21] In an interview about Umm Nidal, a woman who would ultimately see three of her sons become suicide bombers,[22] Sarraj explained that any grief she felt at the deaths of her sons was short-lived and "supported by the cultural belief that whoever dies as a martyr is not really dead."[23] Sarraj is partially correct in identifying the cultural component of Palestinian suicide terror, but he refuses to acknowledge the Qur'anic origins of that culture.
Providing examples of suicide in pre-Islamic cultures seems a publishing house prerequisite for books on the topic.
Analysts who disregard the ways that Islamic tradition is used to recruit, promote, justify, extol, and mythologize self-immolation as martyrdom must close their minds to mountains of evidence in order to conclude that the 9/11 terrorists' "deviations from reason were not necessarily the result of their religious beliefs"[24] and that "mainstream interpretations of Islamic texts do not support"[25] their actions. When they mention Islam, they do so in a guarded, often euphemized way: "the belief in some kind of afterlife may attenuate the psychological costs of commitment."[26] Reasonable analyses of the reverence for martyrdom in Islam are tempered by admonitions that "secular groups can resort to these attacks, too."[27] With blinders on, many assert that nearly anything can cause suicide terrorism—except Islam. The will to equivocate is so strong that it prompted Navid Kermani to advise those looking to understand the 9/11 attacks to ignore the Qur'an and blame Nietzsche[28] and Scott Atran to argue that "Islam and religious ideology per se aren't the principal cause of suicide bombing and terror in today's world—at least no more than are soccer, friendship, or faith for a better future."[29]

Distorting the Numbers

Since Yasser Arafat was imagined by most as the opposite of Hamas and Hezbollah, and therefore secular, any group associated with him, including al- Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, is generally treated as a secular group. However, the brigade is hardly secular: The group's logo contains a Qur'anic passage urging Muslims to fight against God's enemies as well as a representation of al-Aqsa mosque.
One popular method of demoting Islamism to a secondary or even irrelevant factor in suicide terrorism is to point to non-Islamic suicide killers as evidence to disconnect Islam from suicide terrorism. Providing examples of suicide in pre-modern and pre-Islamic cultures (such as the Jewish Zealots and Hindu Thugs) seems a publishing house prerequisite for books on the topic. Even the thirteenth-century Muslim Assassins are generally presented as an "offshoot" of Islam and, therefore, not genuinely Islamic, certainly not as Shiites killing Sunnis in an internecine sectarian battle.
The boldest of these numerical distorters is Robert A. Pape, who leads the charge with his own personal brand of statistical pettifogging. Seeking to portray a cultural and religious diversity where none currently exists, Pape writes in Dying to Win that "the presumed connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism is misleading" because "the data show that there is little connection between suicide terrorism and Islamic fundamentalism."[30]
In a study of suicide terrorism, Kamikaze pilots are irrelevant: They targeted military vessels of a declared enemy during wartime.
Pape's numbers add up only through dubious choices that becloud any claim to statistical relevance. For example, including nearly four thousand Japanese Kamikaze pilots in the pool of data provides a strong numerical push in favor of Pape's argument. But in a study of suicide terrorism, Kamikaze pilots are irrelevant: They represented a nation state, flew airplanes clearly marked with the Rising Sun, and targeted military vessels of a declared enemy during wartime. Likewise, those who served in the so-called "Sapper Units" of the Viet Minh and Viet Cong campaigns against French and U.S. troops were high-risk insurgents who carried their bombs in satchels and detonated them at close range while attempting, sometimes unsuccessfully, to escape the blast. Since their deaths were not requisite for success of the mission, they do not qualify as true suicide terrorists.[31]
Another group that is included to dilute the numerical evidence of Islam's dominance of suicide terrorism is the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelan (LTTE). Its elite sub-group, the Black Tigers and Black Tigresses (the female suicide squadron), engaged in suicide bombing in a decades-long uprising against the state of Sri Lanka and its Sinhalese Buddhist population. Because LTTE members are mostly Hindus, their hundreds of suicide attacks are often cited to disconnect suicide terrorism from Islam. Stephen Hopgood takes the largest leap, observing that since religion cannot explain suicide terror among Tamils, it "means that no religion, let alone a specific one like Islam, is a necessary part of explanations for SMs [suicide missions]."[32] But a fuller picture is revealed by the LTTE's contact with Islamist groups, including translation of their manuals into Tamil,[33] and by the fact that the LTTE did not engage in suicide terrorism prior to its contact with Hezbollah.[34]


Another way to divert attention from Islam is to label some groups that participate in suicide terrorism as secular and to accept the view that secular groups employ suicide terrorism. Mia Bloom declares, "It is a mistake to assume that only religious groups use suicide terror. Many of the groups engaged in equivalently lethal campaigns are decidedly secular."[35]
Unfortunately, most authors present "religious" and "secular" as binary opposites and as the only two options for terrorist ideology. Yet the secular status is misleading. Since Yasser Arafat is imagined by most as the opposite of Hamas and Hezbollah, and therefore secular, any group associated with him (Fatah/Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], Tanzim, Force 17, even the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades) is generally treated as a secular group. In fact, Arafat was a devout Muslim, associated in his early days with the Muslim Brotherhood, as were other founding fathers of Fatah, the PLO's foremost constituent organization. And while the new generation of Fatah leaders in the territories may be less religious, they, nevertheless, have a draft constitution for a prospective Palestinian state stipulating that "Islam is the official religion in Palestine" and Shari'a (Islamic law) is "a main source for legislation."[36] Nor is there anything secular about al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades; the group's logo even contains a Qur'anic passage (9:14) urging Muslims to fight against God's enemies. Of the three parts of the group's name, only "Brigade" is not a religious term, and considering that the noun "brigade" is modified by "al-Aqsa" and "martyrs" there is nothing secular whatsoever about the name. Yet remarkably, it is the norm to read, "The group's ideology is based in Palestinian nationalism, not in political Islam."[37]
Likewise, Human Rights Watch considers the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) a secular group because the organization "calls for a Palestinian state encompassing Israel, though not an Islamist one."[38] It may be that when George Habash formed the group in 1968, spouting Marxist rhetoric, it was genuinely a secular terrorist group. However, when the PFLP decided to carry out suicide bombings, recruited and dispatched killers for its newly renamed Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and then extolled them as Islamic martyrs killing Jews in "occupied Jerusalem" in the name of Islam, it forfeited any claim to secularism.[39]
PKK commanders claimed that those who killed themselves in attacks were martyrs who would go to paradise.
Like the Tigers of Tamil, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is also frequently offered as evidence of non-Islamic, secular suicide terrorism. The PKK committed a total of fourteen suicide attacks (a fraction of the LTTE's hundreds[40]) and is not generally cited for its statistical value in offsetting Islamic suicide bombers with non-Islamic ones. Rather its Marxist rhetoric is used as evidence of its secularism even though the group's commanders lauded its suicide terrorist squad as fedayeen and claimed that those who killed themselves in attacks were martyrs who would go to paradise.[41]
But the LTTE and the PKK are still relevant to the discussion, and aside from their direct contact with Islamic terrorist groups,[42] share interesting and overlooked similarities to the Islamic terrorist organizations that dominate today's suicide terrorism. Both groups functioned like cults, dependent on an all-encompassing fanaticism and strident obedience to a central all-important figure: Vellupillai Prabhakaran of the LTTE and Abdullah Öcalan of the PKK. As Israeli scholar Ami Pedahzur pointed out in Suicide Terrorism, both the LTTE and the PKK were "headed by charismatic leaders who were responsible for the sect-like features of their organizations," each of whom "served as the principal source of inspiration for the suicides" and was personally "responsible for adopting the idea of suicide attacks ... [and] devising strategic guidelines for activating bombers."[43]
When Öcalan was captured and called for an end to PKK terrorism, it stopped, though some despondent PKK members subsequently committed conventional suicide, killing only themselves.[44] After 1981, Prabhakaran required all LTTE members to carry cyanide capsules in order to commit suicide in the event of their capture[45] and was frequently photographed with his own capsule suspended around his neck.[46] He was killed in 2009, and the LTTE effectively ceased to exist. While many use this evidence to refute connections between Islam and suicide terrorism, the same evidence suggests that Islamists display cult-like behavior. What Peter Olsson calls "malignant Pied Pipers"—those whose "rigid fundamentalist mentality requires everyone to think and believe exactly as they do, or die"[47]—fit the Islamist mindset. As Daniel Pipes puts it, this mindset supports the view that "whatever your question, private or public, Islam offers the answer."[48]
Millenarianism, utopian ideals, and eschatological narratives are important aspects of both cults and Islamism.
Perhaps radical Islam is best conceived of as a cult. This would explain the commonality among all suicide terrorists and most suicide cults: coercion, cultural approval, and the belief that suicide is not the end but the beginning. Millenarianism, utopian ideals, and eschatological narratives are important aspects of both cults and Islamism. Only instead of merely killing themselves (like those in the Jonestown, Heaven's Gate, and Falun Gong cults), Islamists have found a way to weaponize their deaths to serve the cause of their leaders: Khomeini, Öcalan, Yassin, bin Laden.

The Sanity Question

Most psychological approaches to suicide terrorism focus on the suicidal component and ignore the terrorism and Islamism. Even Adam Lankford, whose revisionist book The Myth of Martyrdom sets out to demolish the view that suicide bombers are essentially normal people, free of the "personal pathologies and psycho-logical disorders"[49] that motivate most suicide attempts, downplays the role of religion in suicide terrorism. Lankford, a criminal justice professor at the University of Alabama, battles against the myopia of many analysts (Scott Atran, Robert Pape, James Feldman, Riaz Hassan, Robert Brym, Mohammed Hafez, Ellen Townsend, Larry Pastor, and Jerrold Post), all of whom have argued that suicide terrorists "have no appreciable psychopathology"[50] and are "much like ordinary soldiers with a strong sense of duty and a willingness to sacrifice for the common good."[51] These terrorists are "psychologically normal,"[52] "psychologically stable,"[53] and "not significantly different from other rebels or soldiers ... willing to engage in high-risk activism."[54] These analysts claim that suicide terrorists are "not truly suicidal,"[55] "qualitatively similar to countless people throughout history who have given their life for a higher cause,"[56] and "normal."[57] Palestinian psychiatrist Sarraj takes it a step further and claims that suicide terrorism is so far from a psychological aberration that "the amazing thing is not the occurrence of the suicide bombings but rather the rarity of them."[58]
Some analysts claim that suicide terrorists are "similar to countless people throughout history who have given their life for a higher cause."
But in arguing that suicide terrorists are suicidal people exploited and motivated by organizations that train and equip them, Lankford's own myopia betrays him. In analyzing a Muslim suicide bomber or attempted bomber, he asserts that "Islamic fundamentalism became the vehicle for his anger and suicidal impulses"[59] but that "even if he had never stumbled across that path, it was only a matter of time before he killed himself or harmed others."[60] Lankford also seems to misunderstand the role of suicide terrorism in the asymmetrical warfare carried out by these organizations, at one point insisting that the suicide bomber's death "does not increase the likelihood of success nor the expected magnitude of destruction."[61] This is clearly wrong: Individual bombers perform the role of precision guidance at a cost far lower than other "smart" weapons. Lankford's argument rests with the assertion that "the terrorists' broader cause is potentially harmed by the death of these attackers because they cannot return to fight another day."[62] This misses the point. No organizational leaders, recruiters, or dispatchers see suicide bombers as precious resources to be conserved. Rather they are cheap weapons to be wielded brazenly, whose deaths confer a degree of operational impunity to the organization.

The Socio-Technological Approach

One sub-field of analysis considers the effects of technology on the social groups from which suicide bombers emerge. This is often stretched to the point where technology and social groups are said to cause suicide terrorism rather than facilitate it. Mia Bloom's Dying to Kill analyzes how terrorist organizations recruit, train, and dispatch suicide killers. Bloom is the originator of the theory of "competitive outbidding," which explains the sudden appearance and proliferation of suicide terrorism by claiming that terrorist organizations emulate and compete with each other and try to out-perform one another. In her view, when "multiple insurgent groups are competing for public support, bombings will intensify in both scope and number as they become both the litmus test of militancy and the way to mobilize greater numbers of people within their community."[63]
Bloom's theory is interesting but can only be true when the multiple insurgent groups compete among a population already predisposed to the idea of martyrdom. The first true suicide bombing on record occurred on March 1, 1881, when Ignaty Grinevitsky of the Narodnaya Volya attempted the assassination of Czar Alexander II. Subsequently, the Narodnaya Volya had only limited success with the new tactic, mainly because of its genuine secularism. Worldly renown, the appreciation of one's peers, and the satisfaction of completing a job are apparently not sufficient to compel most people to kill themselves. Only the promise of eternal rewards in paradise has successfully motivated people en masse to kill themselves in order to kill others. Bloom's theory underestimates the significance of this predisposition. Today's terror groups do not create the circumstances that enable suicide terror but take advantage of circumstances created by Islamism.
Only the promise of eternal rewards in paradise has motivated people en masse to kill themselves in order to kill others.
Jeffrey William Lewis' The Business of Martyrdom also focuses on social and technological aspects and approaches suicide terrorism as "a dynamic process that takes on some of the characteristics of the cultures employing it yet also has some common elements observable across societies."[64] But, like Bloom, Lewis often assigns primary motivational status to secondary forces as when he claims the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine turned to suicide attacks in 2002, "likely motivated by a desire to avenge the group's leader, Abu Ali Mustafa ... killed by Israeli forces in 2001."[65] Revenge is a common human tendency. Suicide terror is not. Lewis can barely bring himself to acknowledge "posthumous rewards were undoubtedly an important factor for religiously motivated recruits."[66] His conclusion that "the global jihadi movement has remained marginal because it offers nothing of substance to the majority of the world's Muslims"[67] is disproved every day by residents of Raqqa and Mosul as they join the movement in order to navigate ISIS repression, preferring to become aggressors rather than victims. The same pattern occurred with the citizens of the Sunni Triangle when ISIS's predecessor and quasi-founder Abu Musab Zarqawi was their tormentor a decade ago and to the citizens of Khandahar and Kabul in the mid-1990s under the Taliban.

"The Occupation Made Me Do It"

Many claim that foreign occupation causes suicide bombing worldwide. But no French or Dutch suicide bombers targeted Nazi occupiers in the early 1940s. The Irish Republican Army's Bobby Sands (above) starved to death during a hunger strike, but the group never adopted suicide bombing as a tactic against British occupiers. No Palestinian suicide bombers targeted Egyptian and Trans-Jordanian occupiers in the Gaza Strip and West Bank from 1948 until 1967.
Attempting to disconnect modern-day suicide terrorism from its Islamic context, many authors shift the focus from Islamist perpetrators of suicide terrorism to their victims. In most cases, this means Israel. Given the fact that Israelis have been targeted by suicide bombing more than any other Western people and considering the popularity of anti-Zionism (often just a "safe" form of anti-Semitism), it should come as no surprise that the mere existence of the State of Israel is often portrayed as the chief root cause of suicide terrorism.
The usual narrative begins with the Oslo accords, when, as Jeffrey Lewis puts it, Arafat "recognized Israel and renounced terrorism"[68] while the "majority of Palestinians at the time were supportive of the peace process."[69] Then Jerusalem stalled and slowed the turnover of land, angering the Palestinians who turned to suicide terror as revenge for unfulfilled promises. As terrorism against Israelis increased
dramatically from pre-Oslo sniper fire and knife attacks to post-Oslo suicide bombings, the Israeli government fought back and eventually restricted movement from newly autonomous Palestinian Authority-governed areas into Israel. The argument that Israeli checkpoints humiliate Palestinians to such an extent that they become suicide bombers in retaliation is common. Shalfic Masalqa, a psychologist and a Hebrew University professor, boldly states that when "an adolescent boy is humiliated at an Israeli checkpoint, from that moment on, a suicide bomber is created."[70] Robert Pape claims that foreign occupation causes suicide bombing worldwide, and "what mainly motivates individuals to become suicide terrorists is not the existence of a terrorist sanctuary for indoctrination and training, but deep anger at the presence of foreign combat forces on territory they prize."[71]

No Palestinian suicide bombers targeted Israelis from 1967 until the Oslo accords ended most Israeli control.
History does not concur. No French or Dutch suicide bombers targeted Nazi occupiers in the early 1940s. The Irish Republican Army's Bobby Sands and nine others starved to death during a hunger strike in the Maze prison in Northern Ireland, but the group never adopted suicide bombing as a tactic against British occupiers. No Palestinian suicide bombers targeted Egyptian and Trans-Jordanian occupiers in the Gaza strip and West Bank from 1948 until 1967. And no Palestinian suicide bombers targeted Israelis from 1967 until the Oslo accords ended most Israeli control. Pape's thesis cannot solve this dilemma, and his reductionist assertion that "occupation causes suicide bombing" conflates opportunity with cause.
Among the various victim-blaming explanations for suicide terrorism, one idea stands apart, the so-called retaliatory explanation, which Bloom describes as a "school of thought [which] traces Palestinian suicide bombings to Israeli provocations beginning with the Hebron massacre by Baruch Goldstein in 1994."[72] The most prominent devotee of this canard is perhaps Islamist apologist John Esposito of Georgetown University, who describes the facts of the massacre and then writes: "In response, Hamas [Islamic Resistance Movement] introduced a new type of warfare in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, suicide bombing."[73] Esposito's fable runs into problems with the eight Palestinian suicide attacks against Israelis in 1993 before Goldstein's assault. The first was a Hamas attack on April 16, 1993. It was followed by three attacks in September 1993: one by Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) and two by Hamas. Both PIJ and Hamas carried out suicide attacks on October 4 and November 2.[74] There was no cause and effect, but sadly the lie is found in many places, including important textbooks on the subject.[75]

The Term "Occupied Territories"

After the 1948 Israeli war of independence, the lands that were called Palestine were indeed occupied, but by Egypt in Gaza and the Hashemite Kingdom of Trans-Jordan in the West Bank. Analysts who refer to these lands as "occupied" today have a responsibility to stipulate that the occupiers were not Israelis until after the Six-Day War in 1967. Until the first intifada in 1987, it was a notably calm period in the lives of both Palestinians and Israelis.
As Mohammed Hafez admits, after the Oslo accords, "the majority of Palestinians in the territories were living under full PA administration."[76] Therefore, the term "occupied territory" no longer applies. Even the Hamas members meeting in Philadelphia in 1993 acknowledged that Oslo put an end to their jihad against Israel and thus threatened the continued existence of Hamas. The FBI's tapes of that meeting reveal one Hamas member bemoaning, "There is no occupation now ... this will be classified as terrorism in America."[77] Yet analysts (Hafez included) and journalists especially continue to misuse and overuse the term. In an echo of a frequent bin Laden trope, Pape goes so far as to invent something called "indirect occupation" to claim, as he does repeatedly, that the fifteen Saudi 9/11 terrorists "attacked America in response to U.S. military presence on the Arabian Peninsula."[78]
The most absurd use of the term, showing how meaningless it has become through thoughtless repetition and semantic contortion, comes in journalist Barbara Victor's Army of Roses. Victor writes of the "ray of hope" she felt in Hanan Ashrawi's 2002 call for an end to suicide bombings, only to concede that it was "distressing" because Ashrawi did not object to the ethics of suicide terror but rather feared that it "provided the Israelis an excuse to reoccupy the occupied territories."[79] The territories were either occupied or they were not occupied. Victor is so accustomed to referring to Gaza and the West Bank as occupied territories, she apparently cannot conceive of them in any other way.
The ultimate "blame the victim" calumny comes in the form of Zeev Ma'oz's conspiracy theory accusing Jerusalem of behavior reminiscent of that in the libels about Jews in medieval Europe. Bloom approvingly sums up Ma'oz's theory and states that Jerusalem employs a "deliberate baiting strategy to force a Palestinian reaction in response," which gives it the excuse to employ "heavy handed tactics."[80] The Israelis, the theory implies, do not truly want peace with the Palestinians. They only want to destroy the Palestinians. But because of its treatment by the U.N. and EU and the ever-present danger of boycotters, divesters, and sanctioners, Jerusalem needs political cover to kill Palestinians, so it taunts and slyly lays traps to conceal its murderous desires.
Israelis negotiate with people who preach in now-sovereign territories that the people of Israel must be pushed into the sea.
As Bloom puts it, "when Hamas has ostensibly shifted from targeting civilians (albeit temporarily) or has made pronouncements of its intention to do so (e.g., declaring a hudna or ceasefire), Israel's targeted assassination of a Palestinian leader provided them the justification to renew attacks against Israeli civilians," which is exactly what Jerusalem wants. Bloom's qualifiers speak volumes ("ostensibly" and "albeit temporary"). Her equation of hudna with ceasefire ignores the Islamic context of hudna as a respite, historically used to buy time until a ceasefire is no longer advantageous at which time it is summarily and unceremoniously broken, as in Arafat's numerous comparisons of the Oslo accords to the Treaty of the Hudaibiya. Ma'oz's conspiracy slur ignores the giant leap of faith the Israeli government took in the Oslo accords and continues to take by negotiating with people who deny its right to exist and preach in now-sovereign territories that the people of Israel must be pushed into the sea.

Female Suicide Bombers

Samira Jassam, al-Qaeda's preeminent recruiter of female Iraqi suicide bombers, arranged for girls to be raped, then presented herself as their advisor and confessor, leading them from the path of stained family honor. Jassam worked with Sunni militants from the Ansar al-Sunna group and is alleged to have recruited 80 women to act as bombers, 28 of whom went on to launch attacks. She is also known as Um al-Mu'minin, "the mother of the believers."
A lively debate rages over why women become suicide bombers. Some authors acknowledge the motivational role of Islamism while simultaneously denying it; admitting there are no rewards mentioned in the Qur'an for female martyrs necessitates at least tacitly acknowledging those promised to men. Barbara Victor[81] and sociologist Rosemarie Skaine[82] emphasize the importance of Palestinian nationalism and suggest that women suicide bombers are an expression of Palestinian feminism. In Victor's telling, suicide bombers are always "martyrs," and their recruiters, dispatchers, and helpers are "activists." Her portrayal of suicide terrorism posits that it is one of very few forms of feminist expression allowed to women in Palestinian culture.
The title of Victor's book is taken from Arafat's January 27, 2002 speech in which he called for something unknown in the conflict at the time, a shahida. This Arabic neologism is a feminization of the noun shahid, literally "witness," but almost universally translated as "martyr." Later that day, Wafa Idris became the first (probably inadvertent) female suicide bomber. Most analysts now believe that Idris was attempting to pass the bomb to her brother and that it exploded prematurely. Victor writes as though the female Palestinian suicide bombers (a half dozen successful and more failed) and their families are heroic feminist figures, manipulated into waging war against a patriarch that, after all, has it coming.
Terrorism expert Anat Berko punctures this myth, explaining, "Superficially it might seem that female terrorists are feminists, standard-bearers in the struggle," but "they will never achieve equality."[83] Yoram Schweitzer of Israel's Institute for National Security Studies goes to considerable lengths to refute representations "of the female Palestinian suicide terrorists as independent women with strong opinions ... who decided to take their fate into their hands with a feeling of completeness and destiny."[84] He shows how these women have been manipulated by their handlers, who make opportunistic, post-hoc claims of their "special noble personal qualities" and use newly-minted myths to motivate men into following their steps. Mira Tzoreff of the Moshe Dayan Center also documents the predatory methods used by Arafat's Tanzim whereby Palestinian girls and young women are seduced, impregnated, threatened with exposure, and then offered a means of escape through their own "martyrdom."[85] Former CIA officer Robert Baer refers to this as an opportunity to "wash away dishonor"[86] brought on by perceived sins. The most grisly version of this tactic is surely Samira Jassam, al-Qaeda's preeminent recruiter of female Iraqi suicide bombers, who arranged for girls to be raped, then presented herself as their advisor and confessor,[87] leading them from the path of stained family honor to what Tzoreff calls "a cloak of authentic Islamic feminism."[88]

Ignoring One's Own Evidence

Another odd tendency among analysts of suicide terrorism is the exploration of Islamist components of martyrdom that are subsequently discounted in their conclusions. For instance, in the concluding chapter of Manufacturing Human Bombs, Hafiz contradicts evidence he presents in the previous five chapters with this profoundly disingenuous statement: "There is nothing inherent in Islam—or any other religion, for that matter—that inclines people toward death and murderous violence."[89]
There are no suicide bombing campaigns in the name of any religion other than Islam.
The qualifying clause "or any other religion, for that matter" is entirely irrelevant since there are no suicide bombing campaigns in the name of any religion other than Islam. Hafiz's statement also ignores evidence he himself presents, such as the accurate claim that Hamas and Islamic Jihad "draw on the abundant Islamic texts concerning jihad and martyrdom in the Qu'ran and prophetic traditions."[90] Moreover, his calls for all parties involved to fulfill a moral "obligation to debunk the myth of the heroic [suicide] bomber"[91] are canceled by his admonition against tinkering with "religious notions" that will be perceived as "an attack on their [Muslim] creed" or an attempt "to 'rewrite the Koran' or 'subvert the will of God.'"[92] The most important thing that Western nations need to do, Hafiz argues, is to stay out of the way and "allow this deadly phenomenon to run its course and implode under its own contradictions."[93] No such implosion is in sight. The only things that curbed the daily suicide attacks in Israel were a sustained military effort and a wall built to keep bombers out.
Journalist Christoph Reuter's thorough documentation of the phenomenon of suicide bombing in My Life Is a Weapon, A Modern History of Suicide Bombing likewise focuses a great deal on Islam. He explores the Shiite-Sunni split that solidified the concept of martyrdom; Iran's ideological takeover of Lebanon in the 1980s when "more than 1,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards ... arrived in Lebanon via Syria in order to erect a beachhead for the Islamic Revolution;"[94] the Palestinians' embrace of the tactic, and finally its global post-modernization by al-Qaeda.
But Reuter's text undercuts itself with non sequiturs and milky bromides such as "Islam as such is not the cause of terrorism and suicide attacks" and "[p]articular aspects of Islam do, however, lend themselves to being interpreted to justify a declaration of outright war against the West and against any opponents among their own peoples. They can equally be used to construct a democratic society."[95] Of course, he neglects to elucidate which aspects of Islam are democratic and completely ignores the paucity of genuinely democratic Islamic states.
An artist's rendition of the martyr's reward. According to al- Qaeda's Ayman Zawahiri, the martyr in paradise will couple with seventy-two virgins. Recently, the imam of al-Ahmady mosque in Jeddah, Columbia University-educated Muhammad Ali Shanqiti, announced that the number of virgins awaiting the martyr is actually far greater than the oft-cited seventy-two. His formula puts the total as high as 19,604.
Some, like journalists Terry McDermott and Reuter, strive to contradict the allure of sex—clearly an important recruiting tool—in Islamic portrayals of paradise. Analyzing the motives of 9/11 terrorist Muhammad Atta, McDermott portrays a man who "would stare stonily in the presence of women." When Atta's master's thesis at Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg was submitted and found to be poorly written, his advisor assigned a female professor to help him rewrite it. After six weeks, Atta protested that "he could no longer bear to be in such close proximity" to her.[96]
Recruiters of suicide bombers rely on the attraction of a highly sexualized paradise.
But then, alluding to the seventy-two dark-eyed virgins promised the martyr in Islamic tradition, Reuter asks "what use would Muhammad Atta have for them? This was a man so terrified of women that in his will, he decreed that no woman be allowed to visit his grave, that his corpse was to be prepared only by women wearing gloves, and that no one should touch his genitals. A man with such a pathological fear of women aspiring to endless sex in heaven? Unlikely."[97] When it comes to Atta's sexuality, the jury is still out,[98] but focusing on one man's motives does not negate the proven fact that recruiters rely on the attraction of a highly sexualized paradise. Anat Berko documents the bait used to lure female suicide bombers who are told that they will become one of the harem of seventy-two virgins awaiting the male suicide bomber: "After each sexual encounter with a shaheed, their hymens miraculously grow back, and they are pure again."[99]
Recently, the imam of al-Ahmady mosque in Jeddah, Columbia University educated Muhammad Ali Shanqiti, announced that the number of virgins awaiting the martyr in paradise is actually far greater than the oft-cited seventy-two. His formula puts the total as high as 19,604.[100] As the mother of Izzedrine Masri, the Sbarro Pizzeria bomber, put it:
I don't believe that my son went as an act of revenge because no one in our family was ever directly hurt through the occupation. But I think that someone put into his head that this was a way to go to paradise. He wanted to go to paradise.[101]


Before Hamlet's famous "to be or not to be" soliloquy, he ruminates on the possibility of suicide as a way out of his predicament. He stops short, however, because "the Everlasting [has] ... fix'd His canon 'gainst self-slaughter." For the world's Islamists, this is not the case; in fact, from the Islamist perspective, the Everlasting actually rewards self-slaughter under the right circumstances.
Far too many analysts and scholars ignore this truth, giving Islam a free pass, perhaps because it is the path of least resistance; perhaps, like John Esposito, because their research is paid for by Islamists;[102] or perhaps because they actually believe, contrary to the evidence, that suicide bombing is inimical to Islam. Today the world is full of disillusioned youths, alienated from their societies and confused about their identities, and there is no shortage of women who believe that their respective societies have socially and economically marginalized them. According to popular academic opinion, this enormous pool of human beings constitutes the population from which suicide bombers will emerge. But popular academic opinion is wrong, for only when Islamism is part of the equation does disillusionment lead to murderous self-detonation. A foreign military presence may offer a depressed, crazed, suicidal person the opportunity to commit suicide while killing the enemy, but only the promise of a heavenly reward can offer the opportunity for martyrdom. The "vast reward"[103] offered to the martyr is the single most important incentive for suicide bombers.
Until academics and journalists can shed their mind-forged manacles and acknowledge that the post-1979 bloom of suicide bombings is all but unthinkable without Islamic tradition, confusion will reign. Until scholars can at least stop ignoring what the terrorists themselves say and write about their goals and motivations, policymakers who look to academics for guidance will remain in the dark, blaming the scourge of suicide terrorism on Nietzsche, the post-modernizing self, or soccer.
A.J. Caschetta is a senior lecturer in English at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.

[1] Jeffrey William Lewis, The Business of Martyrdom (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2012), p. 1.
[2] Ariel Glucklich, Dying for Heaven (New York: Harper Collins, 2009), p. 64.
[3] Christoph Reuter, My Life Is a Weapon: A Modern History of Suicide Bombing, trans. Helena Ragg-Kirkby (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2002), chap. 3, "Marketing Martyrdom."
[4] "The martyrdom of Mohammed Hossein Fahmideh, the 13-year old student," Islamic Republic Document Center, Tehran, Oct. 30, 1980.
[5] Matthew Levitt, Hezbollah, The Global Footprint of Lebanon's Party of God (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2013), p. 12.
[6] Qur. 2:207.
[7] Sheikh Hisham Kabbani, "Jihad, Terrorism and Suicide Bombing: The Classical Islamic Perspective," The Islamic Supreme Council of America, Fenton, Mich., accessed Jan. 30, 2015.
[8] "Myths, Stereotypes of Islam Hide the Truth," Council on American Islamic Relations, Washington, D.C., July 14, 2012; Hassan Ali el-Najjar, "Suicide and Mass Shooting: An Islamic Perspective," al-Jazeera (Riyadh), Jan. 27, 2013.
[9] "Religious views on suicide," Wikipedia, Jan. 3, 2015.
[10] See, for example, "The Qur'an," The Center for Muslim-Jewish Engagement, University of Southern California, accessed Jan. 30, 2015; "Welcome to the Multimedia Qur'an," The Multimedia Qur'an, accessed Jan. 30, 2015.
[11] "Qur'an Chapter 2: Al-Baqara (The Cow), Verse 207," The Multimedia Qur'an, accessed Jan. 30, 2015.
[12] Franz Rosenthal, "On Suicide in Islam," Journal of the American Oriental Society, July-Sept. 1946, pp. 239-59, p. 243.
[13] Reuter, My Life Is a Weapon, p. 42; Mia Bloom, Dying to Kill: The Allure of Suicide Terror (New York: Columbia University Press, 2005), pp. 2-3; Barbara Victor, Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers (Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale Books, 2003), p. 30; Robert Pape, Dying to Win (New York: Random House, 2005), p. 91; Adam Lankford, The Myth of Martyrdom: What Really Drives Suicide Bombers, Rampage Shooters, and Other Self-Destructive Killers (New York and London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), pp. 52, 67; Rosemarie Skaine, Female Suicide Bombers (Jefferson, N. C.: McFarland and Company, 2006), p. 17; Diego Gambetta, "Can We Make Sense of Suicide Missions?" in Making Sense of Suicide Missions, ed. Diego Gambetta (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 295; Stephen Holmes, "Al Qaeda, September 11, 2001," in Making Sense of Suicide Missions, p. 137; Luca Ricolfi, "Palestinian 1981–2003," in Making Sense of Suicide Missions, p. 119; Mohammed Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2006), p. 64; Mohammed Hafez, Suicide Bombers in Iraq (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Institute of Peace, 2007), p. 129; Joyce M. Davis, Martyrs: Innocence, Vengeance and Despair in the Middle East (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), p. 112; Ariel Merari, Driven to Death: Psychological and Social Aspects of Suicide Terrorism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2010), p. 129.
[14] Bruce Hoffman, Inside Terrorism, rev. and exp. ed. (New York: Columbia University Press, 2006), p. 159.
[15] Assaf Moghadam, The Globalization of Martyrdom: Al-Qaeda, Salafi Jihad, and the Diffusion of Suicide Attacks (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2008), p. 45.
[16] Daniel Pipes, "The Scourge of Suicide Terrorism," The National Interest, Summer 1986.
[17] Raymond Ibrahim, ed. and trans., The Al Qaeda Reader (New York: Doubleday, 2007), p. 157.
[18] Reuter, My Life Is a Weapon, pp. 115-29.
[19] Ibrahim, The Al Qaeda Reader, pp. 143-4.
[20] Davis, Martyrs, p. 202.
[21] The New York Times, Dec. 18, 2013.
[22] Ibid., Mar. 20, 2013.
[23] Victor, Army of Roses, p. 172.
[24] Holmes, "Al Qaeda, September 11, 2001," p. 172.
[25] Davis, Martyrs, p. 18.
[26] Jon Elster, "Motivations and Beliefs in Suicide Missions," in Making Sense of Suicide Missions, ed. Diego Gambetta (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 243.
[27] Gambetta, "Can We Make Sense of Suicide Missions?" p. 293.
[28] Navid Kermani, "A Dynamite of the Spirit," The Times Literary Supplement (London), Mar. 29, 2002.
[29] Scott Attran, Talking to the Enemy: Religion, Brotherhood, and the (Un) Making of Terrorists (New York: Ecco/HarperCollins, 2010), p. 425.
[30] Pape, Dying to Win, pp. 3, 4.
[31] Leonard Weinberg, "Suicide Terrorism for Secular Causes," in Root Causes of Suicide Terrorism, ed. Ami Pedahzur (New York: Routledge, 2006), pp. 108-21; Robert J. Bunker Body Cavity Bombers (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2013), pp. 3-5.
[32] Stephen Hopgood, "Tamil Tigers, 1987-2002," in Making Sense of Suicide Missions, ed. Diego Gambetta (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006), pp. 43-76.
[33] Rohan Gunaratna, "Questions and Answers," Countering Suicide Terrorism (Herzliya: Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 2000), p. 93.
[34] National Public Radio, May 21, 2009.
[35] Bloom, Dying to Kill, p. 79.
[36] Efraim Karsh, "Palestinian Leaders Don't Want an Independent State," Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2014.
[37] Rosemarie Skaine, Female Suicide Bombers (Jefferson, N.C. and London: McFarland and Company, 2006), p. 123.
[38] Erased in a Moment: Suicide Bombing Attacks against Israeli Civilians (New York: Human Rights Watch Report, 2002), sect. III.
[39] Bloom, Dying to Kill, pp. 30-1; Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs, pp. 20-3, 46-7; "Foreign Terrorist Organizations," Country Reports on Terrorism 2013 (Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Counterterrorism, U.S. Dept. of State, 2014).
[40] See, Paul Moorcraft, Total Destruction of the Tamil Tigers (Yorkshire, U.K.: Pen and Sword Books Limited, 2012), p. 101; Rohan Gunaratna, The New York Times, Apr. 9, 2002.
[41] Dogu Ergil, "Suicide Terrorism in Turkey: The Case of the Workers' Party of Kurdistan," in Countering Suicide Terrorism (Herzliya: Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 2000), pp. 73-88.
[42] Ibid., p. 73.
[43] Ami Pedahzur, Suicide Terrorism (Malden, Mass.: Polity Press, 2005), pp. 70-1.
[44] Dogu Ergil, "Questions and Answers," in Countering Suicide Terrorism (Herzliya: Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 2000), pp. 96-7.
[45] Rohan Gunaratna, "Suicide Terrorism in Sri Lanka," in Countering Suicide Terrorism (Herzliya: Institute for Counter-Terrorism, 2000), p. 68.
[46] BBC News, May 18, 2009.
[47] Peter Alan Olsson, M.D., The Cult of Osama: Psychoanalyzing Bin Laden and His Magnetism for Muslim Youths (Westport, Conn.: Praeger Security International, 2008), p. 3.
[48] Daniel Pipes, interview: "Militant Islam," Conversations with History, Institute of International Studies, University of California, UC Berkeley, accessed Feb. 25, 2015.
[49] Lankford, The Myth of Martyrdom, p. 4.
[50] Scott Atran, "Genesis of Suicide Terrorism," Science, Mar. 2003, pp. 1534-9.
[51] Pape, Dying to Win, p. 218.
[52] Riaz Hassan, "What Motivates the Suicide Bombers," Yale Global (New Haven), Sept. 3, 2009.
[53] Robert Brym, "Six Lessons of Suicide Bombers," Contexts, Fall 2007, pp. 40-5.
[54] Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs, p. 6.
[55] Ellen Townsend, "Suicide Terrorists: Are They Suicidal?" Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior, Feb. 2007, p. 47.
[56] Larry H. Pastor, "Countering the Psychological Consequences of Suicide Terrorism," Psychiatric Annals, 34 (2004): 704.
[57] Voice of America News, Oct. 4, 2006.
[58] Eyad el-Sarrah, "Why We Have Become Suicide Bombers?" quoted in Davis, Martyrs, p. 105.
[59] Lankford, The Myth of Martyrdom, p. 55.
[60] Ibid., p. 55.
[61] Ibid., p. 45.
[62] Ibid. Italics in original.
[63] Bloom, Dying to Kill, p. 78.
[64] Lewis, The Business of Martyrdom, p. 7.
[65] Ibid., p. 170.
[66] Ibid., p. 181-2.
[67] Ibid., p. 220-1.
[68] Ibid., p. 144.
[69] Ibid., p. 152.
[70] Quoted in Victor, Army of Roses, p. 28.
[71] Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman, Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2010), p. 29.
[72] Bloom, Dying to Kill, p. 20.
[73] John Esposito, What Everyone Needs to Know about Islam (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002), p. 124.
[74] Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs, p. 79.
[75] See, for example, Gus Martin, Essentials of Terrorism, Concepts and Controversies, 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2014), p. 150.
[76] Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs, p. 55.
[77] Government Exhibit Philly Meeting — 11E, 3:04-CR-240-G, US v. HFL, Shukri Abu Baker, et al., p. 2.
[78] Pape and Feldman, Cutting the Fuse, pp. 21, 45.
[79] Victor, Army of Roses, p. 201.
[80] Bloom, Dying to Win, pp. 92-4.
[81] Victor, Army of Roses, pp. 80-1, 103-6.
[82] Skaine, Female Suicide Bombers, pp. 31-40.
[83] Anat Berko, The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers (Lanham: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, 2012), p. 10; idem, The Path to Paradise: The Inner World of Suicide Bombers and Their Dispatchers (Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books, 2009), pp. 96-124.
[84] Yoram Schweitzer, "Palestinian Female Suicide Bombers: Reality vs. Myth," in Female Suicide Bombers: Dying for Equality? Yoram Schweitzer, ed. (Tel Aviv: Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies, 2006), pp. 25-41.
[85] Mira Tzoreff, "The Palestinian Shahida: National Patriotism, Islamic Feminism, or Social Crisis," in Schweitzer, ed., Female Suicide Bombers, pp. 13-23.
[86] Cult of the Suicide Bomber, film directed by Kevin Toolis (New York: The Disinformation Company, 2008).
[87] The New York Times, Feb. 3, 2009; BBC News, Feb. 4, 2009.
[88] Tzoreff, "The Palestinian Shahida," pp. 13-23.
[89] Hafez, Manufacturing Human Bombs, p. 73.
[90] Ibid., p. 37.
[91] Ibid., p. 73.
[92] Ibid., p. 74.
[93] Ibid., p. 75.
[94] Reuter, My Life Is a Weapon, p. 57.
[95] Ibid., p. 32.
[96] Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers, The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It, (New York: Harper, 2005), pp. 27, 60, 77.
[97] Reuter, My Life Is a Weapon, p. 8.
[98] See, for example, Corey Robin, "The Way We Live Now: Closet-Case Studies," The New York Times, Dec. 16, 2001.
[99] Berko, The Path to Paradise, p. 166.
[100] "Saudi Based Cleric Muhammad Ali Shanqiti," Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), Washington, D.C., Special Dispatch no. 5452, Sept. 20, 2013.
[101] Um Iyad, quoted in Davis, Martyrs, p. 106.
[102] Martin Kramer, "Dr. Esposito and the seven-percent solution," Sandbox, Apr. 9, 2008; Robert Spencer, "Saudi-funded pseudo-academic John Esposito obscures the truth about jihad terror in Washington Post," Jihad Watch, June 6, 2013; Stephen Schwartz, "John L. Esposito: Apologist for Wahhabi Islam," The American Thinker, Sept. 18, 2011.
[103] Qur. 4:74.

A.J. Caschetta


Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors.