Looking At The Growth Of Suicide Terrorism Criminology Essay

Variations on suicide terrorist act day of the month to ancient times ( Bloom, 2005 ; Hoffman, 1998 ; Pape, 2005 ) . Most analysts trace the development of modern suicide terrorist act to Sri Lanka and Lebanon in the 1980s ( Sprinzak, 2000 ; Gunaratna, 2000 ; Winkates, 2006 ) . Among terrorist activities, suicide terrorist act is noted for being cheap, lifelessly, and particularly effectual in carry throughing terrorists ‘ ends ( Hoffman, 2003, p. 1 ; Jalalzai, 2005, p. 110 ) . For many old ages, Acts of the Apostless of suicide terrorist act seemed to be confined to a few countries and to be comparatively limited in frequence. In recent old ages, the range and the frequence of suicide terrorist act has expanded dramatically.

While the figure of entire terrorist onslaughts of all sorts fell from 660 in 1988 to 250 in 1998, the figure of suicide terrorist onslaughts was mounting quickly ( Clayton, 2003, p. 18 ) . The figure of suicide terrorist onslaughts during the period 2000-2005 “ is 2.7 times greater in comparing to the period get downing in the 1980s and enduring until 1999 ” ( Pedahzur & A ; Perlinger, 2006, p. 1987 ) . During the decennary 1981-1990, there were an norm of 4.7 suicide terrorist onslaughts per twelvemonth ; from 1991-2000, the mean suicide onslaughts per twelvemonth increased to 16, and so from 2001-2005, the mean figure per twelvemonth jumped to 180 ( Atran, 2006, p. 128 ) . The growing of suicide terrorist act has been particularly dramatic in the past few old ages. The entire figure of world-wide suicide terrorist onslaughts climbed from 81 in 2001 to 91 in 2002 to 99 in 2003 to 163 in 2004 and so to 460 in 2005 ( Atran, 2006, p. 129 ) . The figure will be even higher when the concluding count for 2006 is made.

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Not merely has the frequence of suicide terrorist onslaughts increased dramatically in recent old ages, so has its range. In the 1980s, modern self-destruction terrorist act was found in merely a few states, such as Lebanon and Sri Lanka. By the mid-1990s, suicide terrorist act had become a everyday characteristic of the Israeli-Palestinian struggle ( Brym & A ; Araj, 2006, p. 1970 ) . During the period 2000-2005 the geographic range of suicide terrorist act expanded dramatically. During this period, there were suicide terrorist onslaughts in Indonesia ( Bali ) , Sri Lanka, Jordan, Israel, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United States ( 9/11 ) , England ( the July 2005 London bombardments ) , Russia, Chechnya, many provinces of the former Soviet Union, and Bangladesh among other topographic points ( Bowers, Derrick, Olimov, 2004 ; Atran, 2006 ) . Atran ( 2006 ) notes that “ during 2000-2004, there were 472 suicide onslaughts in 22 states, killing more than 7,000 and injuring tends of 1000s ” ( p. 127 ) .

The spread of modern suicide terrorist act to the West ( the U.S. and U.K. ) and the rapid enlargement of suicide terrorist act into Middle Eastern states such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq has been particularly noteworthy ( Bergen, 2003 ; Eggen & A ; Wilson, 2005 ; Gall, 266 ; Hassan, 2004 ; Gall & A ; Masood, 2006 ; Karzai & A ; Jones, 2006 ; Jalalzai, 2005 ) . Suicide terrorist act did non happen in Iraq prior to the 2003 U.S. invasion ( Murphy, 2005, p. 1 ) . Now suicide terrorist onslaughts average more than one per twenty-four hours in Iraq ( Atran, 2006, p. 127 ) . Eggen & A ; Wilson ( 2005 ) note that “ for sheer volume, Iraq is now the planetary centre of suicide terrorist act ” ( p. A1 ) . Between the March 2003 U.S. invasion and the terminal of June 2005, there were about 400 suicide bombardments in Iraq ( Eggen & A ; Wilson, 2005, p. A1 ) . Iraq ‘s neighbour Saudi Arabia has become so alarmed about the lifting self-destruction terrorist act that in April of 2006 the Saudi authorities announced programs to construct a multibillion-dollar electrified fencing along its 560 mile boundary line with Iraq ( Dreazen & A ; Shiskin, 2006, p. A1 ) . In Afghanistan, suicide terrorist act was both rare and reasonably uneffective until really late ( Gall, 2006 ; Dreazen & A ; Shishkin, 2006, p. A1 ) . During the first six months of 2006, there were 32 suicide terrorist onslaughts in Afghanistan, “ more than the entire committed in the full history of the state ” ( Karzai & A ; Jones, 2006, p. 9 ) . Furthermore, the Afghan self-destruction onslaughts have become progressively effectual ( in footings of the devastation they cause and the figure of people they kill ) as the self-destruction terrorists adopt new inventions such as explosive waistcoats ( Gall, 2006, p. A15 ) . Even as suicide terrorist act was spread outing into new countries, there was an rush in onslaughts in countries where self-destruction terrorist act is good established. For illustration, in October of 2006, a suicide terrorist in Colombo, Sri Lanka drove a truck packed with explosives into a military convoy, killing 94 people and injuring 150 others ( Senanayake, 2006, p. A10 ) .

It is non merely the geographic range of modern self-destruction terrorist act which is spread outing. The range of suicide terrorist act is besides spread outing in footings of the scope and type of marks ( about every populace assemblage topographic point is now a mark ) and the scope and types of arms and explosives used ( e.g. , belt bombs, vest bombs, truck bombs, improvised explosive devices [ IEDs ] , etc. ) ( Merari, 2004 ; Hoffman, 2003 ; Pedahzur, 2005 ) . Furthermore, there has been an enlargement of the range of suicide terrorist act in footings of the people who carry out the suicide mission. In the 1980s and early 1990s, suicide terrorist act was chiefly carried out by immature work forces. In the 2000s, adult females are playing an progressively of import function in suicide terrorist act, as are teens, kids, and grownups in their mid-thirtiess and mid-fortiess ( Zedalis, 2004 ; Berko & A ; Erez, 2005 ; Patkin, 2004 ) .

This paper provides an overview and analysis of suicide terrorist act. Following a treatment of the definition of suicide terrorist act, the paper traces the history of suicide terrorist act from ancient times through the development of modern suicide terrorist act in the latter twentieth century. The chief characteristics and features of suicide terrorist act and self-destruction terrorists ( persons and organisations ) are discussed. A concluding subdivision examines some of the major theories or accounts of suicide terrorist act, sing the influence of single, societal, and organisational motivations and factors.


Before trying to specify suicide terrorist act, it is necessary to first specify what is meant by the term “ terrorist act. ” This is non that easy. As Dershowitz ( 2002 ) observes, the trouble in geting at a definition that everyone can hold upon is illustrated by the chorus, “ One adult male ‘s terrorist is another adult male ‘s freedom combatant ” ( p. 4 ) . Dershowitz ( 2002 ) breaks down most definitions of terrorist act into three chief elements: 1 ) the nature of the targeted victims ; 2 ) the nature of those who commit the force ; and 3 ) the method by which the terrorist seeks to act upon their audiences ( pp. 4-5 ) . Atran ( 2003 ) observes that “ the construct of ‘terror ‘ as systematic usage of force to achieve political terminals was foremost codified by Maximilien Robespierre during the Gallic Revolution ” ( p. 1535 ) . Robespierre saw panic as an “ emanation of virtuousness ” that delivered fleet justness ( Atran, 2003, p. 1535 ) . Another trouble occurs in dividing the constructs of “ panic ” and “ terrorist act ” . The undermentioned transition from the Dictionary of Terrorism illustrates the possible countries of confusion between these two footings:

No consensus exists on the relationship between terrorist act and panic. Perceivers frequently see panics in a historical context such as in France under Robespierre or Russia under Stalin. Some see terrorist act as the more organized signifier of panic, and yet others stress that panic is a province of head while terrorist act refers to organized societal activity. The most polarised positions are that panic can happen without terrorist act, and that panic is the key to terrorist act ( Thackrah, 2004, p. 264 ) .

Pape ( 2005 ) explains that “ terrorist act involves the usage of force by an organisation other than a national authorities to intimidate or scare a mark audience ” ( p. 9 ) . Pape ( 2005 ) notes farther that most terrorist work stoppages or runs have two general intents: “ to derive protagonists and to hale oppositions ” ( p. 9 ) . While Pape ‘s ( 2005 ) definition specifically excludes the possibility of state-sponsored terrorist act, legion other definitions are wide plenty to include terrorist Acts of the Apostless conducted by or on behalf of a province every bit good as those conducted by private ( non-governmental ) organisations or persons ( Dershowitz, 2005 ; Winkates, 2006 ) . Under U.S. legislative act jurisprudence, terrorist act is defined as “ premeditated, politically motivated force perpetrated against noncombatant marks by subnational groups or clandestine agents, normally intended to act upon an audience ” ( cited in Winkates, 2006, p. 88 ) . Winkates ( 2006 ) defines terrorist act as “ the premeditated menace or usage of force against individuals or belongings, designed to intimidate noncombatant victims, the object of which is to alter or to stabilise private or public policy ” ( pp. 88-89 ) .

Definitions of suicide terrorist act combine the constructs of terrorist act and self-destruction. As is the instance with definitions of “ terrorist act ” , the definitions of suicide terrorist act found in the literature vary widely. As Hafez ( 2006 ) notes, one job in specifying self-destructive terrorist act concerns the assorted possible positions on the act:

… how one describes Acts of the Apostless of self-immolation committed in order to kill others is a undertaking fraught with contention. Those whose support these Acts of the Apostless of force prefer to name them ‘martyrdom operations, ” and their culprits ‘heroes ‘ and ‘freedom combatants. ‘ Those who oppose them prefer to name them ‘homicide bombers, ‘ ‘suicide terrorists, ‘ or ‘suicidal liquidators ‘ ( p. 4 ) .

In an attempt to avoid this argument, Hafez ‘s ( 2006 ) ain definition of suicide terrorist act relies on the more descriptive term of “ suicide bomber ” or “ human bomb ” which is defined as “ an person who willingly uses his or her organic structure to transport or present explosives or explosive stuffs to assail, kill or chief others ” ( p. 4 ) . Like Hafez ( 2006 ) , Bloom ‘s ( 2005 ) definition focuses on self-destruction bombardment which is defined as “ a violent, politically motivated onslaught, carried out in a calculated province of consciousness by a individual who blows himself or herself up together with a chosen mark. The premeditated certain decease of the culprit is the stipulation for the success of the onslaught ” ( p. 76 ) . In footings of the aims of suicide terrorist act, Bloom ( 2005 ) notes,

Although a suicide onslaught aims to physically destruct an initial mark, its primary usage is typically as a arm of psychological warfare intended to impact a larger public audience. The primary mark is non those really killed or injured in the onslaught, but those made to witness it… Through indoctrination and preparation and under magnetic leaders, ego contained suicide cells canalize disparate spiritual or political sentiments of persons into an emotionally bonded group ( p. 77 ) .

The Dictionary of Terrorism defines suicide terrorists as persons who “ are willing to give their ain lives for the greater good of progressing their ideological purposes ” ( Thackrah, 2004, p. 252 ) . Jane ‘s Intelligence Review defines suicide terrorist act as:

… the preparedness to give one ‘s life in the procedure of destructing or trying to destruct a mark to progress a political end. The purpose of the psychologically and physically war-trained terrorist is to decease while destructing the enemy mark ( Gunaratna, 2000, p. 1 ) .

Pedahzur ( 2005 ) states that “ suicide terrorist act includes a diverseness of violent actions perpetrated by people who are cognizant that the odds they will return alive are close to zero ” ( p. 8 ) . Pape ( 2005 ) agrees that,

What distinguishes a suicide terrorist is that the aggressor does non anticipate to last the mission and frequently employees a method of onslaught ( such as a auto bomb, suicide waistcoat, or pounding an aeroplane into a edifice ) that requires his or her decease in order to win. In kernel, suicide terrorists kill others at the same clip that they kill themselves ( p. 10 ) .

Based on this differentiation, Pape ( 2005 ) states that a wide definition of suicide terrorist act “ could include any operation that is designed in such a manner that the terrorist does non anticipate to last it, even if he or she is really killed by constabulary or other guardians. We might name such operations suicide missions alternatively of self-destruction onslaughts ” ( p. 10 ) . Finally, Winkates ( 2006 ) argues that “ the best litmus trial for unequivocal self-destruction terrorist act is the knowing and successful forfeit of a human life to accomplish a terrorist aim ” ( p. 89 ) .


Suicide panics predates modern truck bombs, self-destruction belts, suicide waistcoats and IEDs. History besides provides legion illustrations of self-destructive terrorist act across assorted faiths, societies, and civilizations ( Sprinzak, 2000 ; Atran, 2003 ; Caldararo, 2006 ) .

Samson & A ; the Philistines. Hafez ( 2006 ) cites the narrative of Samson and the Philistines from chapters 13-16 in the book of Judges of the Bible as potentially one of the earliest illustrations of suicide terrorist act. After being captured, tortured, blinded and imprisoned by the Philistines ( oppressors of the Israelites ) , Samson was one twenty-four hours called upon to “ entertain ” the leaders of the Philistines in their temple. Samson was led to the pillars of the temple where he leaned on the for remainder. Samson so summoned all of his strength and brought down the two cardinal pillars keeping up the temple, therefore killing himself and all of his tormenters, “ so that the dead which he slew at his decease were more than they which he slew in his life ” ( cited in Hafez, 2006, p. 3 ) .

Judaic Zealots ( and Sicarii ) . Pape ( 2005 ) calls the Zealots and the Sicarii the “ universe ‘s first self-destruction terrorists ” ( p. 11 ) . Although some historiographers treat the Zealots and Sicari as the same ancient Judaic religious order active in the first century AD after the Roman business of Palestine, others note that the Zealots and Sicari were really two cabals of the same Judaic religious order ( Bloom, 2005 ; Pape, 2005 ; Winkates, 2006 ) . Bloom ( 2005 ) notes that “ Rapoport differentiates the Sicarii from the Zealots since the focal point of Sicarii choler was Hellenized Jews whereas the Zealots by and large targeted the enemy residents – Romans and the Greeks ” ( p. 8 ) . The name sicarrii means “ dagger-men ” , “ who would infiltrate Roman-controlled metropoliss and stab Judaic confederates or Roman legionnaires with a sica, nobble the staff of the Temple Guard for ransom, or poison their enemies ” ( Bloom, 2005, p. 8 ) . The sica was a little, sickle-like sticker which the Zealots and the Sicarrii normally concealed under their cloaks ( Pape, 2005, p. 12 ) . The Zealots and Sicarii used force to promote public rebellion, including the Judaic War of AD 66. They were good known for assailing their victims in wide daytime and in extremely public topographic points with small evident respect for their ain safety or flight. Pape ( 2005 ) notes that many of these onslaughts “ must hold been suicide missions, since the slayers were frequently instantly captured and put to decease – typically tortured and so crucified or burned alive ” ( p. 12 ) . The Zealots did non shy from martyrdom and intense selflessness in the name of their cause ( and their God ) . Bloom ( 2005 ) studies that during the long besieging of Jerusalem, the Zealot leaders burned the nutrient supply of their ain forces “ as a show of spiritual dedication and in an effort to coerce God ‘s manus to move against the Romans ” ( p. 10 ) . In AD 73 after the Roman general Silva attacked and surrounded Masada, it was Eleazar, leader of the Zealots who persuaded Masada ‘s guardians and refugees to take mass self-destruction over gaining control and entries to the Romans. Winkates ( 2006 ) observes that “ at this cragged fortress on the shore of the Dead Sea, 960 Judaic work forces, adult females, and kids chose self-destruction over certain bondage by the winning Romans ” ( p. 90 ) .

Karbala and the Cult of Sacrifice Among Shia Muslims. Winkates ( 2006 ) observes that “ possibly the most momentous sacrificial act was that of Husayn, direct descendent of the Prophet, when in 680 AD he and his zealots marched to their deceases against 10,000 Sunni military forces near the small town of contemporary Karbala, Iraq ” ( p. 90 ) . This act of mass self-destruction or martyrdom set the phase for the Sunni-Shia split within Islam and forms the footing for the “ cult of forfeit ” among the Shia. It besides explains the implicit in ideological beliefs of the Assassins.

The Assassins ( Hashashins or hashish users, besides called fida ‘s in some beginnings ) . The Assasins were an 11th – 12th century Shia Muslim religious order from the Nizari province, “ two slackly affiliated bunchs of mountain fortresses in Syria and Persia ” ( modern twenty-four hours Iran ) ( Andriolo, 2002, p. 737 ) . Their name, the bravos ( which is still used to denominate political slaying today ) , comes from the Arabic word hashishiyyin ( because they purportedly smoked hashish before prosecuting in Acts of the Apostless of force ) . Harmonizing to Pape ( 2005 ) , “ the Assassins created an effectual organisation for the planned, systematic, and long-run usage of political slaying that relied on suicide missions for success. For two centuries, the Assassins ‘ stickers terrorized and demoralized the chiefly Sunni swayers of the part every bit good as leaders of Christian Crusader provinces ” ( p. 12 ) . The organisational construction and subject of the Assassins foreshadows elements of some modern suicide terrorist organisations. Harmonizing to Andriolo ( 2002 ) , the Assassins were comprised of an “ elect corps of immature work forces… taken to a fortress for extended preparation in arms, linguistic communications, and whatever cognition and accomplishments would let them to subsequently go through undetected… their mission was to come so near to a extremely placed and well-protected mark, that they could despatch him certainly with a sticker ” ( p. 737 ) . The Assassins were non merely willing to decease to finish their mission, they openly reveled in their martyrdom. Andriolo ( 2002 ) notes that the “ death-embracing mentality of the bravos… increased their effectivity on proficient and psychological evidences ” ( p. 738 ) . Pape ( 2005 ) studies that the first successful Assassin, “ who killed the vizier to the Great Sultan Malik-shah of Persia in 1092, exclaimed before himself being killed: ‘The violent death of this Satan is the beginning of cloud nine ‘ ” ( p. 12 ) .

The Thugs. The Thugs ( besides known as Thuggees, Phansigars or stranglers ) of India were a Hindu religious order who terrorized and strangled ( but did non brutalise ) chiefly affluent non-European travellers as forfeit to the Hindu goddess Kali ( goddess of clip and cosmopolitan energy ) ( Winkates, 2006, p. 90 ) . Harmonizing to Thug beliefs, the more panic the victims experienced, the more Kali enjoyed their deceases ( Bloom, 2005, p. 5 ) . Like the Assassins, the Thugs embraced decease. They looked frontward to being apprehended and later executed as warrant of their entry into Eden ( Winkates, 2006, p. 90 ) . Winkates ( 2006 ) studies that the Thugs were a late Medieval religious order, but Bloom ( 2005 ) notes that the Thus were linked to the ancient Sargartians who served in the Iranian ground forces and that “ the organisation would boom for 2500 old ages, until the coming of the British Raj, doing them the longest permanent panic group in history ” ( p. 5 ) .

Muslim Suicide Terrorism Against Western Colonial Rule. During the 18th and 19th there were other illustrations of Muslim self-destructive terrorist actions against Western colonial involvements on the Malabar seashore of southwesterly India, in Aceh in contemporary Indonesia, and Mindanao in the southern Philippines ( Hafez, 2006, p. 3 ) . The Muslim suicidal terrorists in Malabar and the Philippines were called juramentado ( intending “ holding sworn an curse ” ) . Their marks were the governing Spanish Christians. In eighteenth century Malabar, the suicide terrorist act “ took the signifier of directed onslaughts against specific persons for societal, economic, or spiritual intents… the Jihadis called juramentados, would hotfoot the enemy, seeking to kill as many Spaniards are possible, until they themselves were killed ” ( Bloom, 2005, p. 12 ) . In the Philippines, the Muslim juramentados practiced two different signifiers of self-destructive onslaughts on the Christians: 1 ) contending the Spanish ground forces, work forces volunteered for front-line arrangement so that they could bear down the enemy military personnels until they themselves were killed ; and 2 ) work forces would come in a Christian colony armed with a short lance or creese, assailing whoever he encountered before he was himself killed ( Andriolo, 2002, p. 738 ) .

Russian nihilists. During the late nineteenth century, Russian nihilists used petroleum bombs to establish self-destruction onslaughts against the Tsarist governments ( Winkates, 2006, p. 90 ) .

Nipponese Kamikazes. Hafez ( 2006 ) argues that it was the Nipponese kamikaze ( “ Godhead air current ” ) pilots of World War II who introduced suicide bombardments in the modern universe ( p. 4 ) . While most analysts include the Nipponese kamikazes in their historical histories of suicide terrorist act, Pape ( 2005 ) notes that they “ are non usually considered terrorists because they targeted entirely soldiers and crewmans, non civilians, and because their actions were directed and authorized by a recognized national authorities ” ( p. 13 ) . Unlike the long history of battleground forfeit and martyrdom by single soldiers, nevertheless, the kamikaze plan was extremely organized and good planned. The plan was conceived by Nipponese Vice Admiral Takijiro Onishi ( commanding officer of the Philippines in October 1944 ) . Onishi believed that the lone thing that would salvage Japan from mortifying licking was a extremist new scheme:

The redemption of our state lies in the custodies of God ‘s soldiers. The lone manner to destruct our oppositions fleet and therefore acquire back on the route to triumph is for our immature work forces to give their lives by crashing their aircraft on enemy ships ( cited in Reuter, 2004, p. 133 ) .

Onishi was right in his belief that 1000s of immature Nipponese work forces ( some no more than teenage male childs ) would volunteer to give themselves for emperor and state. The kamikaze foray were carried out for 10 months, from October 25, 1944 to August 15, 1945. A sum of 3,843 Nipponese kamikazes sacrificed themselves in the onslaughts ( Pape, 2005, p. 13 ) . While the kamikazes did non get the better of the Americans, Pape ( 2005 ) studies that the onslaughts “ were four to five times more lifelessly than conventional work stoppage missions… they damaged or sank at least 375 U.S. naval vass, killed 12,300 American military mans, and wounded another 36,400 ” ( p. 13 ) . At least ab initio, the kamikaze panic onslaughts worked as Onishi intended to weaken U.S. morale by showing the Nipponese soldiers ‘ resoluteness. American military personnels were ab initio “ dumbfounded ” by the onslaughts ( Reuter, 2004, p. 132 ) . One American soldier who witnessed some of the first kamikaze onslaughts said, “ I reckon there ‘s nil else the Japs could hold done that would hold shaken the morale of U.S. troops more exhaustively than this did ” ( Reuter, 2004, p. 132 ) . The connexion between the Nipponese kamikazes and the subsequent September 11, 2001 self-destruction terrorist onslaughts in America is non lost on modern-day analysts.

Contemporary Suicide Terrorism

Pape ( 2005 ) reports that “ between 1945 and 1980, self-destruction onslaughts temporarily disappeared from the universe scene ” ( p. 13 ) . Pape ( 2005 ) and others ( Laqueur, 2003 ) note the happening of politically- and/or sacredly driven hunger work stoppages and self-destructions ( peculiarly self-immolations ) during this period but Pape ( 2005 ) claims “ there is non a individual recorded case of a suicide terrorist killing others while killing himself ” ( p. 13 ) . Reuter ( 2004 ) disagrees, mentioning a pro-Palestinian “ Nipponese Red Army ” -sponsored onslaught on Israel ‘s Ben Gurion International Airport on May 20, 1972. In what Reuter ( 2004 ) calls the “ first self-destruction onslaughts in the Middle East ” , on this twenty-four hours three Nipponese gunslingers with machine guns killed 24 people at the airdrome. They made no attempt to get away, and two were shot dead by the airdrome guard ( Reuter, 2004, p. 136 ) .

Most analysts trace the beginning of modern suicide terrorist onslaughts ( in which aggressors use modern explosive arms to kill others and themselves at the same clip ) Lebanon in the early 1980s and to Iran during the early old ages of the Iran-Iraq War. Inspired by Iran ‘s usage of “ human minesweepers ” ( self-destructive voluntaries, including kids, would hotfoot the Iraqi forces ) against Iraq, Hizbollah, the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group, launched a series of onslaughts against Western and Israeli marks in Lebanon ( Winkates, 2006, p. 92 ) . Hizbollah suicide aggressors killed 80 and wounded 142 in its April 1983 onslaught on the American Embassy in Beirut, killed 241 and wounded 81 in its October 1983 onslaught on the US Marine central office near Beirut and its coincident onslaught against the Gallic Multinational Force, which killed 58 and wounded 15 ( Winkates, 2006, p. 92 ) . In November 1983, Hizbollah self-destruction terrorists killed 88 and wounded 69 in an onslaught on the Israeli Defense Force central office in Tyre and a month subsequently killed 4 and wounded 15 in an onslaught on the American Embassy in Kuwait ( Winkates, 2006, p. 92 ) . All Hizbollah bombers died in the onslaughts. Sprinzak ( 2000 ) notes that Hizbollah leaders were ab initio really uneasy about the determination to establish suicide onslaughts, under the logical thinking that Islam does non O.K. of trusters taking their ain lives. However, “ suicide terrorist act became so consequence in driving aliens out of Lebanon that there was no motive to halt it. The consequence was theological hair dividing that characterized suicide bombers as exceeding soldiers who risked their lives in a holy war ” ( Sprinzak, 2000, p. 68 ) .

Hizbollah ‘s dramatic success at accomplishing its short-run ends of throw outing US and Gallic forces from all of Lebanon, every bit good as restricting Israeli forces to a narrow strip in Southern Lebanon inspired other organisations ( including Hamas, Tamil Tigers and al-Qa’ida ) to follow the suicide terrorist method of onslaught ( Pape, 2005, p. 14 ) . Furthermore, other organisations were encouraged to follow Hizbollah ‘s lead in concentrating on high-profile marks and high-kill ends. Winkates ( 2006 ) notes that prior to Hizbollah ‘s extremely successful self-destruction terrorist onslaughts in the 1980s, “ terrorist groups shied off from killing big figure of victims ” with one analyst observing that “ terrorists want a batch of people watching, non a batch of people deceasing ” ( Winkates, 2006, p. 93 ) . Winkates ( 2006 ) notes that “ Hizbollah changed that ethic ” ( p. 94 ) .

Following Hizbollah, the 2nd most of import early modern self-destruction terrorist organisation was the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam ( LTTE, better known as the Tamil Tigers ) . The Tamil Tigers were founded in 1972 as a Marxist, cultural Tamil, Hindu separationist group seeking independency from the Sinhala Buddhist bulk in Sri Lanka. Their Black Tiger division was formed in 1987 and trained to establish suicide onslaughts against Sri Lankan political leaders, military marks and civilians ( Pape, 2005 ; Winkates, 2006 ) . Winkates ( 2006 ) notes that the LTTE is distinguished as the lone terrorist group to hold assassinated two caputs of authorities ( they murdered former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991 and Sri Lankan President Ranasinghe Premadasa in 1993 ) ( p. 94 ) . The Tamil Tigers besides killed a defence curate in 1991 and a head of naval staff in 1992. Hafez ( 2006 ) observed that exterior of the Middle East, the Tamil Tigers “ have led the battalion in the figure and edification of suicide missions ” ( p. 5 ) . It is estimated that the organisation completed some 250 successful self-destruction onslaughts between 1987 and 2006 ( Hafez, 2006, p. 5 ) .

During the 1990s, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad launched legion self-destruction onslaughts ( with Palestinian voluntaries ) against Israeli civilians and functionaries in support of the Palestinian cause and by the late 1990s/early 2000s, the frequence and deadliness of the self-destructive terrorist onslaughts at that place exceeded those in Sri Lanka ( Pape, 2005 ; Sprinzak, 2000 ; Winkates, 2006 ) . Suicide onslaughts in the Palestinian districts and Israeli received direct support from the Iraq authorities ( which promised money to the households of suicide sufferer ) during this period.

The 1995-1999 Kurdistan Workers ‘ Party ( PKK ) battle against the Turkish authorities brought suicide terrorist act to Turkey, as the PKK launched several onslaughts against Turkish authorities and military marks ( Pape, 2005, p. 12 ) . In the early 2000s, ethnonationalist and Islamist Chechens began establishing self-destruction onslaughts against Russian marks ( Hafez, 2006, p. 5 ) . Al Qaeda began establishing onslaughts against American and Saudi marks in the Middle East in the mid-1990s. Al Qaeda ‘s dramatic entry into the suicide terrorist hall of celebrity occurred on August 7, 1998 when self-destruction terrorists used two bringing trucks loaded with explosives to blow up ( within proceedingss of each other ) , the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing a sum of 224 people ( including 12 Americans ) and wounding more than 4,300 individuals ( Reuter, 2004, p. 142 ) . A little more than two old ages latter, in October of 2000, Al Qaeda self-destruction bombers detonated 225 kilogram of explosive charges alongside the American destroyer, the USS Cole ( which was on a refueling halt in the Yemeni port of Aden ) , killing 17 American crewmans and wounding 40. A twelvemonth subsequently, Al Qaeda self-destruction terrorists launched their biggest operation – and the biggest individual suicide terrorist action to day of the month – with the 9/11 onslaughts in the United States, killing about 3,000 ( Reuter, 2004, p. 144 ) .

As noted in the introductory overview, the frequence and range of suicide terrorist act has increased dramatically during the period following the 9/11 onslaughts, with Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan countries of particularly rapid escalation.

Key Features

Hoffman ( 2003 ) argues that two cardinal features of suicide terrorist act explicate its turning popularity with terrorists groups around the universe: “ suicide bombardments are cheap and effectual ” ( p. 2 ) . While co-ordinated multi-target onslaughts such as the 9-11 onslaughts and the London bombardments may necessitate extended planning and considerable investing, even these types of suicide terrorist onslaughts are less expensive than many conventional terrorist onslaughts and decidedly less expensive than forming an ground forces. The huge bulk of self-destruction onslaughts are carried out by persons, therefore minimising the sum of investing and administrative operating expense. The trust on “ human bombs ” provides terrorists with “ the ultimate smart bomb ” ( Hoffman, 2003, p. 2 ) . Such smart bombs can be highly efficient and effectual. One of the cardinal features of suicide terrorist act is its lethality. As of 2003, suicide terrorist act accounted for merely three per centum of all world-wide terrorist Acts of the Apostless, but for 50 % of all terrorism-related deceases ( Clayton, 2003, p. 18 ) . This is another factor lending to its effectivity. The high-kill rates of suicide terrorist act aid to increase the sum of panic such onslaughts inspire in mark populations.

Probes into the personalities and psychological sciences of suicide terrorists and manque self-destruction terrorists have failed to show that self-destruction terrorists are mentally sick or somehow genetically or psychologically driven to suicide ( Merari, 2004 ; Hoffman, 2003 ; Hafez, 2006 ; Pastor, 2004 ) . Retrospective surveies of self-destruction bombers have repeatedly demonstrated that self-destruction terrorists have rates of mental unwellness and emotional perturbation equivalent to that of the general population ( Bond, 2004 ; Bond, 2005 ; Pastor, 2004 ; Atran, 2006 ; Pape, 2005 ; Silke, 2004 ; Begley, 2003 ; Wintrobe, 2003 ) . Furthermore, there is, as Pastor ( 2004 ) notes, “ no individual, identified ‘terrorist personality ‘ ” ( p. 702 ) .

The common stereotype of suicide terrorists as hapless and uneducated is besides non borne out by research ( Merari, 2004 ; Pape, 2005 ; Hoffman, 2003 ; Smith, 2004 ; Krueger & A ; Maleckova, 2002 ; Begley, 2003 ; Bloom, 2005 ) . Indeed, suicide terrorists are, as a group, better educated and better off economically than their non-suicide terrorist opposite numbers ( Krueger & A ; Maleckova, 2002 ; Berko & A ; Erez, 2005 ; Atran, 2006 ) .

In both pre-modern and early modern times, immature single males have dominated the ranks of self-destruction terrorists ( Hoffman, 2003, p. 3 ; Patkin, 2004 ; Zedalis, 2004 ) . However, as Hoffman ( 2003 ) notes of self-destruction terrorists in Israel and the Palestinian districts, “ today… self-destruction bombers are middle-aged and immature, married and single, and some of them have kids. Some of them, excessively, are adult females, and word has it that even kids are being trained for martyrdom ” ( p. 3 ) . The Tamal Tigers ( it was a adult female suicide terrorist who assassinated Rajiv Gandhi ) and the Chechen self-destruction terrorists ( the adult females are known as “ Black Widows ” ) have long used adult females and kids as self-destruction bombers ( Bowers, Derrick, & A ; Olimov, 2004, p. 267 ; Zedalis, 2004, p. 2 ) . Patkin ( 2004 ) estimates that adult females have carried out every bit much as 66 % of the suicide bombardments completed by the PKK in Turkey ( p. 81 ) . Historically, adult females have been more associated with nationalist/secular self-destruction terrorist act than with sacredly motivated suicide terrorist activity ( Patkin, 2004 ) . There has historically been considerable opposition among Islamic Middle Eastern terrorist groups to utilize adult females as suicide terrorists. Zedalis ( 2004 ) studies that one of the first known Middle Eastern self-destruction onslaughts affecting a female bomber occurred in 1985 when a 16-year old miss, Khyadali Sana, drove a truck into an Israeli Defense Force convoy, killing two Israeli soldiers ( p. 2 ) . During the 1990s and 2000s, Hamas, the Islamic Jihad and other Middle East-based terrorist groups ( Al Qaeda was the last hold-out ) overcame their opposition to utilizing adult females suicide bombers, concluding that it was wholly right to utilize adult females suicide bombers when there was no longer a ready supply of male bombers. Many of these organisations shortly found that the motive to utilize more female self-destruction terrorists was really strong ( Patkin, 2004 ) . Female suicide bombers carry a figure of advantages over male suicide bombers because they provide as Zedalis ( 2004 ) notes:

– Tactical advantage: stealthier onslaught, component of surprise, hesitance to seek adult females, female stereotype ( e.g. , nonviolent ) .

– Increased figure of battlers ;

– Increased promotion ( greater promotion = larger figure of recruits

– Psychological consequence ( p. 7 ) .

All of these advantages can be magnified by utilizing younger adult females ( or really old adult females ) and even pregnant adult females.

Theories & A ; Explanations

Early accounts of suicide terrorist act focused on two chief countries. First, it was argued that the suicide terrorist was irrational and/or mentally sick ( Brym & A ; Araj, 2006 ; Pastor, 2004 ; Wintrobe, 2003 ) . A 2nd early account focused on the “ want hypothesis ” – the theory that suicide terrorists were educationally, economically or otherwise deprived compared to their equals ( Brym & A ; Araj, 2006 ; Krueger & A ; Maleckova, 2002 ) . The Bush Administration has in recent old ages advanced both of these theories in some of its anti-terrorist rhetoric. President Bush has repeatedly spoken out against the evil and irrational terrorists who commit these actions. In add-on, the Bush Administration has argued that poorness decrease plans in terrorism-prone parts will cut down the incidence of suicide terrorist act ( Pastor, 2004 ; Pape, 2005 ) .

Numerous surveies have found little or no support for these two theories of suicide terrorist act. Furthermore, recent surveies have provided grounds which straight refutes these theories. Krueger & A ; Maleckova ‘s ( 2002 ) survey on the economic sciences and instruction of suicide bombers ( analyzing Palestinian self-destruction bombers in peculiar ) straight refutes the want hypothesis of suicide terrorist act. Krueger & A ; Maleckova ( 2002 ) concluded that,

The grounds that we have assembled and reviewed suggests that there is small direct connexion between poorness, instruction, and engagement in or support for terrorist act. Indeed, the available grounds indicates that compared with the relevant population, participants… were at least every bit likely to come from economically advantaged households and to hold a comparatively high degree of instruction as they were to come from destitute households without educational chances ( p. 9 ) .

As noted in the old subdivision, legion surveies have demonstrated that overall, suicide terrorists do non endure from personality upsets or mental unwellnesss which would explicate their engagement in suicide terrorist act ( Berko & A ; Erez, 2005 ; Pastor, 2004 ; Smith, 2004 ) . Furthermore, as Wintrobe ( 2003 ) has argued, it is possible to explicate suicide terrorist Acts of the Apostless “ in rational pick footings, and that, while such Acts of the Apostless are so utmost, they are simply an utmost illustration of a general category of behaviour in which all of us prosecute ” ( p. 2 ) . In other words, the suicide terrorist is non needfully irrational.

A 3rd traditional account or theory of suicide terrorist act focuses on the influence of civilization, particularly spiritual civilization, on suicide terrorists ( Brym & A ; Araj, 2006 ) . These accounts have frequently been used to explicate suicide terrorist act among Shia Muslims, based on the tradition of the “ cult of forfeit ” ( Hafez, 2006 ; Bloom, 2005 ; Smith, 2004 ) . This theory fails to explicate the being of suicide terrorist act among civilizations and faiths with no established “ cult of forfeit ” and it can non adequately explicate suicide terrorist act among secular, nationalist groups ( Pape, 2005 ; Hoffman, 2003 ; Smith, 2004 ) . Furthermore, as Brym & A ; Araj ( 2006 ) warn,

While such cultural resources likely increase the chance that some groups will prosecute in self-destruction onslaughts, one must be careful non to overstate their significance. One trouble with the ‘clash of civilisations ‘ statement is that public sentiment polls show that Arabs in the Middle East keep strongly favourable attitudes toward American scientific discipline and engineering, freedom and democracy, instruction, films and telecasting, and mostly favourable attitudes toward the American people. They hold strongly negative attitudes merely toward American Middle East policy. This is less apparent of a clang of civilisations than a deep political dissension ( p. 1973 ) .

One more recent widely cited theory of suicide terrorist act has been offered by Robert Pape ( 2003, 2005 ) . Based on his analysis of suicide terrorist act from 1980 through 2004, Pape ( 2005 ) presented a three-part theoretical account depicting the causal logic of suicide terrorist act. Pape ‘s ( 2005 ) theory de-emphasizes the function of faith ( including Islamic fundamentalism ) and focuses on the function of terrorist organisation scheme and secular/nationalist aims. Pape ( 2005 ) argues that suicide terrorist act follows a strategic logic aimed at political coercion ( p. 21 ) . Suicide terrorist act, Pape ( 2005 ) argues, is portion of an organisation ‘s broader run to accomplish political aims, normally in response to a foreign business. Pape ( 2005 ) goes on to reason that suicide terrorist act besides follows a societal logic since terrorist organisations “ frequently command wide societal support within the national communities from which they recruit ” ( p. 22 ) . In footings of the 3rd ( and least of import ) degree of motive – the single degree – Pape ( 2005 ) stresses the function of selfless motivations ( p. 22 ) .

A figure of analysts, including Bruce Hoffman ( 1998, 2003 ) have advanced accounts of self-destruction terrorist act which propose rationale-choice theoretical accounts stressing the function of organisational ( terrorist organisation ) factors that would back up Pape ‘s theory. At the same clip, rather a few theoreticians have charged that Pape ‘s theory is excessively simplistic ( Atran, 2006 ; Bloom, 2005 ; Brym & A ; Araj, 2006 ) . Brym & A ; Araj ( 2006 ) argue that “ strategic thought is merely one component that may unite with others in the creative activity of a suicide bomber ” ( p. 1972 ) . Atran ( 2006 ) has late challenged Pape ‘s ( 2005 ) theory on a figure of points, including Pape ‘s ( 2005 ) trying methods which wholly discount the detonation of suicide terrorist act in Iraq ( p. 130 ) . Atran ( 2006 ) besides calls into inquiry Pape ‘s ( 2005 ) dismissal of the function of political orientation and spiritual fundamentalism every bit good as his appraisals of the effectivity of suicide terrorist act ( Atran, 2006, p. 132 ) . Other late emerging theories of suicide terrorist act include Pedahzur & A ; Perlinger ‘s ( 2006 ) societal web position ( which explains suicide terrorist act in footings of societal motives ) and Bloom ‘s ( 2005 ) multi-factor theoretical account of suicide terrorist act. Overall, there is a tendency towards more complex theoretical accounts of self-destruction terrorist act which take into history the function of single, societal, cultural, strategic, ideological, and organisational motives and factors in suicide terrorist act ( Smith, 2004 ) .

Decision: Decelerating the Expansion of Suicide Terrorism

Suicide terrorist act has ancient roots and can be found, in assorted signifiers, throughout history. In the early 1980s, modern self-destruction terrorist act emerged as an stray, infrequent job in some parts of the universe. Energized by Hizbollah ‘s success in Lebanon, suicide terrorist organisations expanded their operations significantly during the 1990s. By the 2000s, and particularly after 9/11 and subsequently the U.S. invasion of Iraq, suicide terrorist act increased dramatically. States with no or little old history of suicide terrorist act began seeing regular onslaughts. Despite advancement in researching suicide terrorist act and the grounds behind its rapid growing in recent old ages, there are still many enigmas and terra incognitas related to this job. In order to decelerate the enlargement of suicide terrorist act and/or halt its advancement wholly, it will foremost be necessary to understand the motivations of suicide terrorists and their organisations. Dismissing suicide terrorists as loony, irrational, and/or immorality will non cut down the job of suicide terrorist act. Rather than a “ war on panic ” , some analysts have argued that incidents of suicide terrorist act can outdo be reduced through the usage of “ soft power ” such as the dispensing of foreign assistance and human-centered aid ( Pedahzur, 2005 ; Bloom ; Atran, 2006 ) .


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