ISIS, al Qaeda, Taliban and other terror groups use suicide bombers to carry out their dastardly acts of brutal murder because, simply put and to the point, suicide bombs are effective. They are so very effective. And the are very low cost.
The bombing at the Kabul airport, the most recent example of this type of warfare, is proof of exactly how deadly suicide bombers can be.
The suicide bomber is called “the ultimate smart bomb”. An apt description if only because the bomber can find a target anywhere and can adjust to changing environments. Defense against a suicide bomber is very difficult, almost impossible and, with few exceptions, always deadly.
Suicide bombers know that they will never return from their mission. That is, in fact, their raison d’etre. When they confront an obstacle, they detonate prematurely.
It is the rare bomber who gets cold feet and chickens out at the last minute. And from them, we learn a lot.
The bombers themselves are not the masterminds, they are simply tools or mechanisms of delivery. Terrorist recruiters and trainers and leaders carefully select those particular people most likely to be capable of killing themselves and as many others as they can.
There is a debate about nomenclature. The most commonly used term for these murderers is suicide bomber. But homicide bomber is also used.
The term homicide bomber places emphasis on the horrific brutal attack and on the victims. Suicide places the emphasis on the bomber and, honestly, these bombers share almost no commonality with suicide.
I prefer the term homicide bombers.
Today, most homicide bombers are Muslim and most – though not all, are men. They are those who will willingly die for the ultimate title “martyr.”
They totally reject the term suicide bomber. Suicide is against Muslim law. It is a violation of the most fundamental principles of Islam.
In their warped world view, they are not committing suicide. Similarly, they are not committing an act of terror.
To the homicide bomber, to their recruiters, to their trainers and their leaders they are honorable fighters who are prepared to die in a holy battle. They are martyrs. The term in Islam is “Shahid.”
In Islam killing innocent people, like committing suicide, is forbidden. But these terrorists have perverted the fundamental teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.
They transform innocent people – like those waiting to get into the Kabul airport and fly to safety, into enemies who are helping those who are trying to destroy their Muslim lives and Muslim way of life.
While homicide bombers are mostly Muslim, they are not exclusively Muslim. There are nationally motivated bombers, as well. The best example is the Japanese “Kamikaze” fighter pilots who used their planes as guided missiles during WWII.These fighters made 3,000 attacks against ships and successfully sank 50.
The Japanese also used mini submarines, called “Kaiten.” The Kaiten mini subs were manned with only one person. The mission was to ram ships. The plan was to cause an explosion and rip a hole in the hull of the vessel.
At times, Muslim men have dressed as women and some Muslim religious leaders have issued edicts saying that women should not volunteer to assume the role. There are some very noted female homicide bombers like Wafa Idris, an ambulance worker who blew herself up on January 27, 2002 outside a shoe store in central Jerusalem.
Sometimes these terrorists use vehicles loaded with explosives, much like they did in Beirut when they attacked the U.S. marine compound. Or they use a small rubber boat, as they did when they attacked the USS Cole. Or they use planes like they did 20 years ago on 9/11.
The terrorist who struck the Kabul airport wanted to murder as many Americans and as many of those who helped America as possible, even as they were evacuating.
Their blinding hatred of America and everything American (with the exception of American military technology) stems from America’s great successes and the values that shine forth from the USA. It is their hatred of the United States that motivates them.
And, unfortunately they are very highly motivated.
Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern" a weekly TV program and "My Chopp" a daily radio spot. A dynamic speaker, he specializes in analyzing world events and evaluating their relevance and impact. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.
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