Motivations of Suicide Bombers and the Resulting Social Impact
ENG122: English Composition II (AXE1315E)
Instructor: Raphael Posey
Introduction Suicide bombers are both lethal and mysterious. Recently, there has been a rise in suicide bomber attacks, generating a surge fear throughout the world. With a blatant disregard for the natural human instinct of survival, these terrorists kill without warning or explanation. Suicide bombers are a product of their environments through brainwashing, poverty, and religion. When suicide bombers strike, society pays the price.
Research Methods The research for this report was conducted online through the Ashford University’s resources. All of the information found is scholarly and academically concrete. The most useful books were; Suicide Bombers : The Psychological, Religious and Other Imperatives by M. Sharpe, Tangled Roots : Social and Psychological Factors in the Genesis of Terrorism by J. Victoroff, and On Suicide Bombing by Talal Asad. Also used in this report are many articles written for The New York Times and The Daily Mail on suicide bombers. The purpose of this research is to help understand the motivations of suicide bombers and the social impact that follows these terroristic acts.
At an Early Age Brainwashing is an effective tool that many terrorist groups use to persuade recruits to commit terroristic acts of mass murder by suicide. The brainwashing of suicide bomber recruits can begin as early as preschool. “Nursery-age children should be monitored for signs of brainwashing by Islamist extremists”, according to a leaked police memo obtained by The Times (Ralph & O’Neill, 2009). However, an older potential recruit can be subject to “a wiping of the slate” type of brainwashing, where their previous beliefs will be erased and replaced with suitable beliefs that will justify their own death for “the cause at hand” (Taylor, 2006). While some children are brainwashed from childhood, it is possible to brainwash at virtually any age. The age at which most suicide bomber recruits are groomed with the “wiping of the slate” process is between fourteen and twenty-two. These recruits have two requirements; no children and no criminal background (Timmerman, 1994). In an effort to keep these “future suicide bombers” under the radar, criminal history could raise red flags with authorities, spoiling any plans for future attacks. Having children of their own may interfere with the brainwashing process, reminding them that they may have something worth living for. After recruit selection has been made, the brainwashing process begins with isolation.
Terrorists generally choose recruits from places that are already cut off socially from the rest of the world. “The new terrorism tends to be either physically or socially focused in areas that are difficult to access. The most obvious example is physical inaccessibility, which may result when, despite modern transport, the geography of terrorist locations reduces and limits access (through geographical isolation as in Afghanistan for example, or through the inaccessibility in the vast unplanned urban areas that characterize the major cities of many developing countries). Social inaccessibility, in parallel with geographical inaccessibility, refers to the social “grey areas” and the growing underclass of modern urban areas, where social and political poverty and exclusion as much as economic poverty and exclusion create a fertile environment for dissent (Sharp 2008)”. People living in these social “grey areas” where poverty and unhappiness thrive, already harbor feelings of rebellion and hatred, which can easily be manipulated and used in brainwashing. Plucking these people from their already remote location and separating them from friends and family creates an even more isolated environment.
Propaganda These recruits are cut off