ANALYSIS: Suicide bombings

Evolution of the suicide attacker

The war in Iraq has enabled insurgent groups to develop the relatively modern innovation of suicide bombs into a strategic weapon.

Suicide operations, the signature weapon of the Iraqi insurgency, have evolved into a tactical method of warfare used by insurgents around the world. These “moving and thinking bombs” are more effective, numerous, adaptable and sophisticated — able to carry out both mass killings and targeted political assassinations — and are harder to counter since women and children are being used to carry them.

A study by the Gulf Research Center, a Middle East think tank, analyzes these operations from a technical perspective. The report, “Security and Terrorism: Suicide Bombing Operations,” published in Arabic and English, focuses on suicide operations in Iraq, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Israel.

Although the study does not provide evidence of direct relations between insurgent groups operating in different countries, their similar tactics strongly suggest that they are learning from each other. The Iraq war has served as a suicide operations school for insurgent groups around the world, Dr. Mustafa Alani, director of Security and Terrorism Studies at the Gulf Research Center, told the Dubai-based Al Arabiya television network. [complete article]

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