What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Suicide bombers and their story

Two recently written of cases of suicide bombings (one failed, but in a tragic way, from 2007; the other successful, from 2006). Both involving recruits who either were or came from Pakistan's tribal areas, after receiving training for their mission there. For the "two nanosecond contribution," as David Kilcullen aptly put it the other day. These articles/news reports come just as I'm about to get down to finally read a recent UN report (pdf) on suicide bombings in Afghanistan (the first instance of which in history, in Afghanistan I mean, was most likely the one against Ahmed Shah Massoud on September 9, 2001).
The first one, from Uruzgan, the case of a would-be suicide bomber, son of a local family (excerpt from an AFP report via the Uruzgan Weblog):
" A would-be suicide bomber killed himself and five members of his family as his mother tried to stop him from carrying out a Taliban-inspired attack in Afghanistan, police said Monday.
The 22-year-old man's bomb-filled vest blew up as his mother made desperate attempts to stop him carrying out his deadly mission in the southern province of Uruzgan on Sunday."
His mother grabbed his vest and said, 'Take this off, we don't want you to do this,'" Uruzgan police chief Juma Gul Himat told AFP, citing the bomber's father who was wounded in the blast.
"This was when the explosives went off. Two of his brothers, two of his sisters, his mother and the Abdul Samad (the bomber) -- they all died."
Another child and Samad's father were wounded in the explosion and were being treated in hospital in the Uruzgan capital, Tirin Kot, the police chief said.
The interior ministry said in a statement earlier that the explosion killed the bomber, his mother, a sister and an 11-year-old brother in their home.
The ministry said the militant had been trained in a Pakistani Islamic school and was tasked to carry out a suicide attack on security forces in Afghanistan.
The police chief said the young man had arrived from Pakistan and given his family 250,000 afghani (5,000 dollars), telling them, "This is money for my funeral after my martyrdom."
"He said, 'I am going to carry out jihad against the foreigners and go to paradise,'" Himat said.
His horrified mother tried to take the suicide vest off him, saying "We don't need your money, we don't want you to go to Paradise this way," Himat said. "
The second one (excerpt of a Jason Burke article via Watandost):
" In Peshawar, The Observer found evidence that one bomber who killed himself in Kandahar last autumn was recruited in the small town of Charsadda north east of the Pakistani frontier city by a Pakistani group. The bomber, who had no previous involvement with radical Islam, had travelled nearly 500 miles, from one side of the border to the other, to attack western troops. "

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