Photo: AP
Maxim restaurant bomber Hanadi Jaradat
Photo: AP

Study: Female suicide bombers seek atonement

Main motivation for women to carry out suicide attacks is to repent for past sins, new study reveals; women bombers are beneficial to terror groups - they receive greater media coverage, cause more deaths

Women carry out suicide bombings with the aim of “cleansing” themselves and erasing their past, a study published Tuesday by Haifa University reveals.


Research conducted by Professor Mia Bloom of the University of Cincinnati, found that female terrorists throughout the world have chosen to do so in order to atone for sins or wrongdoings by one of their families members.


Bloom presented her findings at a Haifa convention in conjunction with the center for national security, where she said there is a connection between all incidents where a woman is involved in a suicide attack.


One was caught after committing adultery, while another's father has involved. By carrying out suicide attacks, their pasts are forgotten and the women become saints, she explained.


'Suicide increases her worth'


The study is based on interviews with women caught while attempting to execute a terror attack, as well as those who sent the bombers and their family members.


The female suicide bomber reinvents herself through the suicide, Bloom said, adding that she becomes more valuable with her death, something which also serves her family.


One of the few exceptions is suicide bomber Hanadi Jaradat, who carried out the terror attack at the Maxim restaurant in Haifa in October 2004, killing 21 people.


She is the only one who did not have to repent for her past, Bloom said. A short while after the bombing her family members praised her actions and said she had chosen to die to avenge the death of her brother and fiancé, who was killed by IDF forces in Jenin.


During the convention, the professor also said that suicide bombings carried out by women are more effective for terror organizations – more people are killed and the incident receives more media coverage.


Bloom added that the attack on New York's Twin Towers on September 11 was not taken into consideration when researching the phenomenon.


The media exposure terror organizations receive is important to the continuation of their activities, she said. Every suicide attack leads to 12 more volunteers ready to give up their lives, she concluded. 


פרסום ראשון: 01.10.06, 23:11
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