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The Business of Suicide Bombers

by J.J. Green

WTOP Radio


WASHINGTON -- The suicide bombings taking place in Iraq, and Afghanistan are not the work of seasoned terrorists looking for a quick ticket to paradise.

Afghanistan Ambassador to the United States Said Jawad says it's a big business rooted in the exploitation of children.

"Just recently, President Karzai provided amnesty to a 12-year-old boy who came to Afghanistan from Pakistan to kill the Governor of Kunar," Jawad says.

The boy, who is poor, was just another expendable resource to the Taliban, Jawad says. They felt they could pay his family a few pennies for his life, but he was caught before he arrived at his target.

"He was a young boy, he was completely brain-washed and the President gave him another chance and turned him back to his family," Jawad says.

But often they slip through security forces.

In Kandahar on Thursday, a suicide bomber killed a regional governor and three of his young children. Witnesses say the bomber was a young man.

Not only are they young. They're often handicapped and destitute.

"We have seen a significant number of suicide bombers who are victims of landmines. People who are missing a limb, a hand, or a leg," Jawad says.

Thinking they have no better option, Jawad says many of them buy into the Taliban's message and submit their bodies to be strapped with explosives.

"[They have] two detonators on their suicide belt. One for them to pull but another one for the remote control," Jawad says.

In most cases, once the bombing is over, officials discover the children "were paid to carry out this mission," Jawad says.

A few pennies for the families they leave behind.

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