Women suicide bombers in Pakistan: a deadly phenomenon

Women suicide bombers in Pakistan: a deadly phenomenon

In one such incident, a Belgian Muslim convert, who was later identified as Muriel Degauque, carried out a suicide attack against a US Army convoy in Iraq in 2005. Abdul Zahoor Khan Marwat– thenews.com.pk  

Female Suicide Bombers
A 17-year-old girl recently blew herself up at a police cordon near the Lahori Gate in Peshawar, killing two people. It was perhaps the first such incident in which a woman suicide bomber was used to attack Pakistani security forces and innocent people. The reverberations of the modus operandi of the attack were far and wide. It showed that terrorists, notably al-Qaeda and TTP, could go to any length to destabilise the country. It also proved beyond doubt that terrorists had little regard for the Islamic laws or Pakhtun traditions. Islam has given a special place to women in household and society. Breaching the sanctity and dignity provided by Islam to women by using them as suicide bombers is most reprehensible. Women suicide bombers first appeared in Iraq in 2007, attacking allied forces and their own countrymen. One woman who ran a cell of women suicide bombers in Iraq was held in 2008 and thoroughly interrogated. Information gleaned from her revealed that she remained on the lookout for women who had lost their near and dear ones, were suffering from depression and had confused views about religion and the Iraqi society. Also these women had mainly rural background and were not highly educated. Moreover, it was easy to brainwash them because of their limited intelligence and worldviews. Most of them came from poor backgrounds. All these factors, or perhaps some of them, made the work of slowly converting them into suicide bombers easier for the recruiter to employ them and use them as a deadly weapon. But there were more sinister grounds as well. Many young women were violated and then advised to die in the name of religion so as to remove the stigma that is normally unacceptable in Muslim societies. According to Iraqi officials, the terrorist mastermind, who was identified as Samira Jassim, had been able to recruit some 80 women suicide bombers. Of these bombers, 28 had successfully carried out their missions, blowing themselves not only among the American troops but also innocent Iraqis. In 2007, American forces were hit by only eight women suicide bombers but the number drastically increased to 32 such attacks in 2008. In one such incident, a Belgian Muslim convert, who was later identified as Muriel Degauque, carried out a suicide attack against a US Army convoy in Iraq in 2005. Meanwhile, there is another possibility that women may be asked to carry explosives in large purses or bags and then blown up through remote control near the targets without realisation that they are to be sacrificed, thereby completing the sinister mission to kill people. It has been reported that one such incident took place at an office in Karachi during the Nineties. In that case, a woman was given explosives in a bag and she walked into the office without knowing that she was carrying a bomb. However, in that incident, luckily there were few casualties. The use of women suicide bombers poses a special challenge to Pakistani security forces, who give respect to women they encounter. Women are not checked and therefore it is difficult to detect bomb-rigged vests suicide bombers may be wearing. It is essential that Pakistani security forces take special measures to counter this dangerous trend while the society should strongly condemn such tactics in the name of so-called Jihad that bring into disrepute the religion and local customs.

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