Female suicide bombers in Iraq - a new strategy?

By Jay Gory, thecheers.org    2008-03-24 07:18:26    

Baghdad, Mar 18, (VOI) On Monday, March 17, 2008, a female suicide bomber blew herself up among a group of civilians in Al-Mokhayem neighborhood, 300 meters from the Shrine of Imam Al-Hussein, in the Shiite holy city of Karbalaa. 47 civilians were killed in the incident, while 75 others were wounded.
Baghdad, Mar 18, (VOI) On Monday, March 17, 2008, a female suicide bomber blew herself up among a group of civilians in Al-Mokhayem neighborhood, 300 meters from the Shrine of Imam Al-Hussein, in the Shiite holy city of Karbalaa.
47 civilians were killed in the incident, while 75 others were wounded.

During the last three months, six suicide attacks were carried out by women, and yesterday's incident increased the total number of suicide attacks conducted by female bombers in Iraq since April 2003 to 19, according to statistics from the U.S. army.

Faris Al-Obaidi, a sociologist, explained "Iraqi society is conservative regarding women's participation in public life."

He added, "As women are not subjected to search and checking operations, using them to conduct suicide attacks is more successful than men."

Al-Obaidi stressed "it is important to study the reasons that engender this phenomenon, because the majority of female suicide bombers come from the two provinces of Anbar and Diala."

The sociologist proceeded, "Qaeda is active in those two provinces, and military operations that kill this organization's elements are also active there. The majority of female bombers' motivations are getting revenge for a deceased husband or family member, or due to religious extremism."

Seba Khalid, a women rights activist, clarified, "Women have the same rights in death, but they do not have the same rights in life."

She added, "Qaeda is unfair with women; especially a woman that works or pursues her studies, and Qaeda approves a woman's marriages at a young age."
Khalid proceeded "this is why human rights activists consider Fatwas (religious statements) that allow women to conduct suicide attacks moot, because Qaeda, for the first time, equates between men and women, but in this negative issue only."

The activist perceives, "Women should be seriously involved in carriers related to jails and criminal investigations."

Mohammed Al-Askari, counselor of Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MOD), attributed the phenomenon of female suicide bombers to "the reduction in Qaeda's influence in Iraq."

He considered using women in this respect an attempt to make men feel shamed, "as women fight, but men do not."

But men recruit and train women; Major General Qassim Atta explained that Iraqi forces arrested a number of men responsible for training female suicide bombers. "Interrogations revealed that most of these women are relatives of Qaeda elements," Atta said.

He clarified, "Preliminary investigations indicate that some women may not know that they will be used as suicide bombers."

Atta mentioned two examples of the two suicide attacks in Baghdad early this year, in Soog Al-Ghazel and Baghdad Al-Jadidah neighborhoods, "Since the two female bombers were mentally disturbed."

Despite that, Atta asserted "the majority of female suicide bombers know what they are doing, and they consider it Jihad (holy war), or a method of getting revenge for losing a husband or family member."

Since 2005, 15 out of 677 suicide attacks were conducted by female bombers. "All these operations were carried out by Qaeda elements," Atta asserted.
MH/SR
Jay Gory, The Cheers News


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