Skip to comments.Hezbollah's Employment of Suicide Bombing During 1980s: Theological, Political & Operational Devlpmt
Posted on 11/03/2006 5:27:23 PM PST by SandRat
The post-9/11 Western world seems to regard suicide bombing as a traditional Islamic phenomenon in which repressed, underprivileged Muslims act out their frustrations by exploding themselves in the midst of civilians. This is, however, a misperception. The shahada are not merely frustrated human bombs embracing a time-honored tradition. Use of the tactic by Hamas and other Palestinian groups, by Jemmah Islamiyah in the Philippines, and most recently by members of the Fedayeen Saddam, might seem to suggest that suicide bombing is somehow embedded in Arab and Islamic culture, but it isn't. When Hezbollah adopted the tactic in 1983, it was the uniqueness of the method that in many ways directed the world's attention toward the newly formed group.3
Hezbollah's initial suicide bombings had little precedent in Arab, Islamic, and even world history. In 1983, an attack in which the attacker killed himself while killing others was simply extraordinary. According to Jeffrey Goldberg, "the organization [Hezbollah] virtually invented the multipronged terror attack when, early on the morning of 23 October 1983, it synchronized the suicide bombing, in Beirut, of the United States Marine barracks and an apartment building housing a contingent of French peacekeepers. Those attacks occurred just 20 seconds apart."4 three hundred --- snip ---
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