Sunday, April 21, 2013

Recruiting Terrorists and Suicide Bombers

How crazy is it to allow yourself to be recruited as a terrorist or suicide bomber?

Well, it's pretty crazy, but perhaps not quite as crazy as you might think.  One of the ways that you can help your parents is to become a suicide bomber.   Jimmy Gurule explains in Unfunding Terror: The Legal Response to the Financing of Global Terrorism (Gurule, 2008).    

"Terrorist recruits are often promised that if they join the Jihad and sacrifice their life in a terrorist attack, their families will receive a monthly stipend to compensate them for their loss.  Those payments may involve a one-time grant...and monthly payments thereafter...payments may represent more than a year's pay for some Muslim families and therefore serve as an important incentive for Palestinian and Islamist terrorists."  

I remember watching an episode of 60 Minutes some time ago, in which the reporters found the family members of suicide bombers.  The other kids in the family seemed happy that their departed sibling was in heaven and richly blessed.  At the same time, the family was provided for, as the father and mother were receiving monthly payments from anonymous sources.  The community looks up to these families.   It is considered an honor to be the parent of a martyr.  

A religious underpinning is probably necessary as well.  In order to cross the line and take another human life, no doubt it is helpful to view the others as subhuman or enemies of God.  This then is the job of a religious sect.  Radical Islam has been very successful at this, although it goes without saying that the vast majority of Muslims are not radicalized, especially in the US.  And in addition other religions have been warped to support acts of terror as well.  

The main need is to convince the prospective bomber that the targets are unholy and that God wants them to be destroyed, and that a rich reward will be given in the afterlife to the bomber, and in the here and now to the bomber's family.    

The easy part is that by sacrificing one's life it will be possible to take care of their families for the rest of their lives.  In the case of the family of the Boston Marathon bombers, perhaps it is not strange to see the parents playing up to their role, crying and screaming that their sweet little angels were set up by the terrible Americans.  Now it is reported that they want to come over to America to complain, and perhaps to be on talk television and radio.   

Well, if it sounds scripted, it probably is. In my view, it's time to quite being amazed or shocked that such people exist.  Our task is simply to minimize our vulnerability to the extent we can, and when terrorists do their thing, we need to recognize it for what it is and defend ourselves.   

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