PALESTINIAN SUICIDE BOMBERS
(excerpts from USA TODAY -Jack Kelley 6/26/01)
The Hotaris of Jordan are preparing for a party to celebrate the killing of 21 Israelis this month by their son, a suicide bomber. Neighbors hang pictures on their trees of Saeed Hotari holding seven sticks of dynamite. They spray-paint graffiti reading ''21 and counting'' on their stonewalls. They arrange flowers in the shapes of a heart and a bomb to display on their front doors. ''I am very happy and proud of what my son did and, frankly, am a bit jealous,'' says Hassan Hotari, 54, father of the young man who carried out the attack June 1 outside a disco in Tel Aviv. It was Israel's worst suicide bombing in nearly four years. ''I wish I had done (the bombing). My son has fulfilled the Prophet's (Mohammed's) wishes. He has become a hero! Tell me, what more could a father ask?''
Lured by promises of financial stability for their families, eternal martyrdom and unlimited sex in the afterlife, dozens of militant Palestinians like Hotari aspire to blow themselves up, Israeli and Palestinian officials say. Their goal: to kill or injure as many Jews as possible in the hope that Israel will withdraw from Gaza and the West Bank. Israel captured the land in 1967. The bombings, which have spread fear and despair among Israelis, have proved to be the deadliest weapon in the Palestinian arsenal during the current intifada, or uprising.
''Even if we can't reach the goal of an end to occupation, we are inflicting losses on the enemy,'' says Abdel Aziz Rantissi, a spokesman for Hamas. The group has claimed responsibility for most of the suicide bombings. ''Israelis will have no stability and no security until the occupation ends. Suicide bombers are Israel's future.'' Since 1993, nearly 190 people have been killed and thousands injured in 28 suicide bombings in Israel.
VISIONS OF PARADISE - In Hamas-run kindergartens, signs on the walls read: ''The children of the kindergarten are the shaheeds (holy martyrs) of tomorrow.'' The classroom signs at Al-Najah University in the West Bank and at Gaza's Islamic University say, ''Israel has nuclear bombs, we have human bombs.''At an Islamic school in Gaza City run by Hamas, 11-year-old Palestinian student Ahmed's small frame and boyish smile are deceiving. They mask a determination to kill at any cost. ''I will make my body a bomb that will blast the flesh of Zionists, the sons of pigs and monkeys,'' Ahmed says. ''I will tear their bodies into little pieces and cause them more pain than they will ever know.'' Hamas says its look for two qualities in a potential bomber: an intense interest in Islam and a clean criminal record so as not to raise the suspicions of Israel's secret service.
Saeed Hotari, 22, was ''a devout Muslim who used to pray, observed fasting and performed all his religious obligations to the letter and spirit,'' his father says. One of nine children, he left Zarqa, outside the Jordanian capital of Amman, for the West Bank city of Qalqilya in 1999 to seek a better life.
At the Hamas-run classes, recruits are reminded of Israel's ''illegal occupation'' of the West Bank and Gaza, its ''barbaric treatment'' of Palestinians and the Islamic prophet Mohammed's call for Muslims to wage war against infidels. ''kill the idolaters wherever you find them,'' Yosef says. (Israeli officials say they are targeting militant leaders like Yosef for arrest or assassination). In return for ''martyrdom,'' Hamas tells the youths that their families will be financially compensated, their pictures will be posted in schools and mosques, and they will earn a special place in heaven.
HOLY REWARDS FOR SUFFERING - But in the end, says Shaked, the Israeli terrorism expert, most of the bombers don't sign up for martyrdom for the promise of unlimited sex. ''They join because of their absolute devotion to God and their desire to die with Jewish blood on their hands,'' he says. ''It's not a heroic thing, it's a holy thing.''
A would-be bomber is selected for his mission only days, sometimes hours, before it is to occur, Israeli officials say. As part of the preparation, the recruit is taken to a cemetery, where he is told to prepare for death by lying between gravesites for hours. He wears a white, hooded shroud normally used to cover bodies for burial, a former Hamas member says. The recruit is then taken to a safe house. A video is made in which he states his consent to become a suicide bomber and his devotion to Islam. It will be played for the public after his death. A still photograph is taken that will be reproduced and displayed through the West Bank and Gaza to honor him after death. Because secrecy is paramount, Hamas leaders will not allow the recruit to say goodbye to his family or tell them his plans. Once at the target site, the recruit is told to remain calm, blend in as much as possible and, when surrounded by Israelis, press a switch to explode the bomb, Hamas members say. Just as Hotari's friend Mahmoud Marmash did.
On May 18, Israeli security guard Lior Kamisa saw Marmash, 21, standing in line with dozens of Israelis outside a shopping mall in the Israeli seaside city of Netanya.''We locked eyes,'' Kamisa recalls. ''His eyes were frozen. They showed no emotion.'' Realizing that Marmash looked out of place among the Israelis and was wearing an oversized blue sport jacket, Kamisa radioed for help. It was too late. Marmash slowly unbuttoned his jacket, slipped his hand inside and pressed a switch that ignited the dynamite. The explosion killed five Israelis. Kamisa looked for Marmash but couldn't find him. ''He was gone. He had turned to dust.''
On June 1, it was Hotari's turn. Israeli officials, quoting eyewitnesses, say two Hamas operatives drove him to the Dolphin Disco in Tel Aviv, a popular club often packed with Russian immigrant teenagers. They said Hotari slipped unnoticed into line and positioned himself among several girls, including a 14-year-old who had survived Marmash's attack in Netanya.
Then, while flirting with one of the girls, Hotari triggered the explosives. The blast was so intense that it tore limbs from the victims' bodies, scattered their flesh up to six blocks away and vaporized Hotari and the girl next to him .It killed 21 people, in addition to Hotari, and injured nearly 100. Now, nearly 30 days later, his parents are preparing to mark the anniversary of his death, as devout Muslims often do.
''My prayer is that Saeed's brothers, friends and fellow Palestinians will sacrifice their lives, too,'' Hotari's father says. ''There is no better way to show God you love him."
"We are teaching the children that suicide bombs is the only thing that makes the Israeli people very frightful. Furthermore we are teaching them that we have the right to do it. Moreover we are teaching them that the man who does it [suicide bombs] goes to the highest step of Paradise. " Young Palestinian teacher:
An Interview with the Mother of a Suicide Bomber
The London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat published an interview with Umm Nidal, the mother of the shahid [martyr] Muhammad Farhat. During the first Intifada, Umm Nidal had hidden 'Imad 'Aql, the commander of Hamas's military wing "Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades," in the family's home for over a year. The following are excerpts from the interview:
Q: "How did the idea of carrying out a Fidaai [martyrdom] operation develop in [your son] Muhammad's soul?"
Umm Nidal: "Jihad is a [religious] commandment imposed upon us. We must instill this idea in our sons' souls, all the time... What we see every day - massacres, destruction, bombing [of] homes - strengthened, in the souls of my sons, especially Muhammad, the love of Jihad and martyrdom."
Q: "Did you have a role in the planting of this spirit in Muhammad?"
Umm Nidal: "Allah be praised, I am a Muslim and I believe in Jihad. Jihad is one of the elements of the faith and this is what encouraged me to sacrifice Muhammad in Jihad for the sake of Allah. My son was not destroyed, he is not dead; he is living a happier life than I. Had my thoughts been limited to this world, I would not sacrifice Muhammad."
"I am a compassionate mother to my children, and they are compassionate towards me and take care of me. Because I love my son, I encouraged him to die a martyr's death for the sake of Allah... Jihad is a religious obligation incumbent upon us, and we must carry it out. I sacrificed Muhammad as part of my obligation."
"This is an easy thing. There is no disagreement [among scholars] on such matters. The happiness in this world is an incomplete happiness; eternal happiness is life in the world to come, through martyrdom. Allah be praised, my son has attained this happiness."
Q: "'Imad 'Aql lived with you, and was killed in your home. Did his personality influence Muhammad?"
Umm Nidal: "Muhammad was seven when the martyr 'Imad 'Aql lived with us at home. Muhammad joined the [Izz Al-Din] Al-Qassam Brigades at age seven. Despite his young age, he was [an] assistant to 'Imad 'Aql, the Al-Qassam commander in the Gaza Strip. While his brothers were absent, he would watch the road, and take messages from 'Aql to the mujahideen. The martyr Muhammad was 'Imad's pupil. Muhammad would listen to 'Imad and watch him plan operations."
"'Imad lived with us for 14 months, and he had a room in our house from which he would plan the operations. The mujahideen would come to him and plan and sketch everything out, and little Muhammad would be with them, thinking and planning. This was the source of Muhammad's love of martyrdom."
"This is the atmosphere in which the love of martyrdom developed in Muhammad's soul. I, as a mother, naturally encouraged the love of Jihad in the soul of Muhammad and in the souls of all my sons, all of whom belong to the Al-Qassam Brigades. My eldest son, Nidal (31), is wanted now by the Israelis. My second son set out on a martyrdom operation, but was discovered, arrested, and sentenced to 11 years' imprisonment. I have another son, [Mu'min Farhat] who is the escort of Sheikh Ahmd Yassin."
"The atmosphere to which Muhammad was exposed was full of faith and love of martyrdom. I maintain that a man's faith does not reach perfection unless it attains self-sacrifice..."
Q: "How did Muhammad say goodbye before he carried out the operation?"
Umm Nidal: "Muhammad was willing to carry out any martyrdom operation... He swore to me that the only reason he loved life was Jihad. He would say to me that if his turn for Jihad did not come he would quit the military arm of the movement, take his weapon, and go to the battlefield to fight on his own."
"He tried several times. He would go out to the Al-Muntar road, taking his gun and bombs, but an opportunity did not present itself. He would return with his blood boiling because he hadn't managed to carry out an operation. He would brandish his weapon and tell me: 'Mom, this is my bride.' He loved his gun so much."
"He would tell me, 'I am going out now [to an attack]. I cannot control myself.' I would answer him, 'You will yet have a great opportunity. Be patient, plan well, so that you don't sacrifice yourself in vain. Act with your mind, not your emotions...'"
"On the day of the operation, he came to me and told me: 'Now, mother, I am setting out for my operation.' He prepared for the operation two days in advance, when the video was filmed. He asked me to be photographed with him, and during the filming he brandished his gun. I personally asked to make the film so as to remember."
"He set out to carry out the operation, and when he got to the area he spent the night with his friends there. I was in contact with him and I asked him about his morale. He told me he was very happy. Indeed, I saw his face happier than I had ever seen it."
"He set out for his operation with cold nerves, completely calm and confident, as if convinced that the operation would succeed."
"But I worried and feared greatly that the operation would not succeed, and that he would be arrested. I prayed for him when he left the house and asked Allah to make his operation a success and give him martyrdom. When he entered the settlement, his brothers in the military wing [of Hamas] informed me that he had managed to infiltrate it. Then I began to pray to Allah for him."
"I prayed from the depths of my heart that Allah would cause the success of his operation. I asked Allah to give me 10 [Israelis] for Muhammad, and Allah granted my request and Muhammad made his dream come true, killing 10 Israeli settlers and soldiers. Our God honored him even more, in that there were many Israelis wounded."
"When the operation was over, the media broadcast the news. Then Muhammad's brother came to me and informed me of his martyrdom. I began to cry, 'Allah is the greatest,' and prayed and thanked Allah for the success of the operation. I began to utter cries of joy and we declared that we were happy. The young people began to fire into the air out of joy over the success of the operation, as this is what we had hoped for him."
"After the martyrdom [operation], my heart was peaceful about Muhammad. I encouraged all my sons to die a martyr's death, and I wish this even for myself. After all this, I prepared myself to receive the body of my son, the pure shahid, in order to look upon him one last time and accept the well-wishers who [came] to us in large numbers and participated in our joy over Muhammad's martyrdom..."
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), June 5, 2002
"Not even animals would send their children into battle," Hanan Ashrawi (Jerusalem Report, Nov. 20, 2000)
“The most blatantly racist slur is the Israeli theft of our humanity as parents. In an attempt to rob us of our most basic feelings for our children, we are accused of ‘sending [our] children out to die’ for the sake of ‘scoring media points.’ The horror is further compounded by the total and unquestioning equanimity with which such a grand national slur is repeated by Israelis of all parties, with no critical distance or even awareness of the enormity of such a racist charge.” Hanan Ashrawi, Jordan Times, October 29, 2000
A Palestinian Poem on Martyrdom
Because I am a Palestinian
Because I am enamored of fate
And my fate is to have my blood turned into songs
That sketch out the roads to freedom
My fate is to become a human bomb
Because I am a Palestinian.
Oh lovers of cruelty, we Inform you in the name of our hopes
Either I will meet Allah by means of perfume and musk
Or I will live on my land in freedom and honor.
Much to your distress, we will not forget Haifa and Acre
To your distress, all of Palestine is ours
Because I am a Palestinian.
We have nothing for you but death.
Plant as many Gharqad trees as you like;
Build as many shelters and hiding places as you desire
And, if you want, artificially create your false peace.
Your history is black and covered
Your ancestry is a tree whose branches are corrupt
Because I am a Palestinian
And the Arab rulers in this homeland lie in a perpetual sleep
Eating from the fruit of your tree
And drinking of your humiliation
As if they were not Muslims.
Because I am a Palestinian
Because I bear the flag
And long for the memory of Hittin
I will place the parts of my body as bombs
In your hatred, in your origin
In your accursed fruit
And in spite of you, they will germinate
the most beautiful of flowers
They will germinate the most
Because I am a Palestinian.
Ayman Al-Skafi -The "Palestinian Islamic Jihad" weekly, Al-Istiqlal,
"The blood of martyrs gushes hot down the defiant slopes of Lebanon, not allowing history to be witness to the defeat of a nation. [This nation is at risk of defeat because] some of its sons have lost their resolve, entangling themselves in analogies, sophistries, protocols, and frameworks, while bulldozers raze [Arab] olive and orange groves and Arab homes in East Jerusalem, so as to change the features of history, homeland, and identity.
"The blood of martyrs gushes forth, in defense of and in revenge for [Arab] dignity, pride, right, and homeland, while others sit [to negotiate] and agree to remove [their] neckties as a sign of culture and confidence, while neglecting the culture of their own nation and neglecting equally the confidence placed in them by their peoples.
"The blood of martyrs issues a cry in the ears of every compatriot, man and woman, from the [Atlantic] ocean to the [Persian] Gulf: 'There is no more effective payment than blood [to redeem the homeland], and no way other than (armed) resistance.
"The blood of martyrs inscribes a scroll that can be read only by those with faith in their peoples and in the future of the [Arab] nation, who are convinced that however great their [personal] accomplishments, they are but a single link in the life of the homelands and the peoples. Therefore, they are ready for giving, the utmost of all kinds of giving, so that the scattered drops [of blood] join together to form a stream, then a river, then a gushing torrent.
"The blood of martyrs brings to memory all the blood sacrificed from the dawn of history to today; and it gushes forth in purity, so that those who died will not think their blood was cheap, or their sacrifice blew away in the wind.
"The blood of martyrs faces death and looks it in the eye, telling it: 'I shall never fear you. My believing [Muslim] mother raised me to give me to you, so that the homelands remain free and noble.'
"Much did women utter cries of joy in the month of Teshreen and dress in white, not black, because their children gained the honor of martyrdom - and there is no honor greater than this. Glorifying martyrs of their day is not limited to perpetuating the memory of those who died for Allah and the [Arab] homelands, but should include the glorification of every [man taking a] noble stand, defying humiliation, sanctifying dignity and going forth towards death in order to restore life to others.
"On Martyrs Day, every Arab compatriot should ask himself: 'Is it life that is the goal, no matter what the criteria and circumstances, or is it noble, free life that we all desire?' Martyrdom means no honor without the honor of the homeland, and no dignity without the homeland's head held proudly high.
"The blood of martyrs gushes forth from Lebanon, hot and abundant, over the maps of fragmentation and disunity, timidity and doubt, and all-engulfing selfishness, announcing that it is Arab blood that throbs in the heart of every Arab and that history will never be written by [spending] fortunes or [making] concessions, nor by inflating the dimensions of swollen egos; rather, it shall be written with the [shining] lights of these [martyrs]. Their stands will forever remain [inviolable] lines that others will be forced to recognize and honor.
"While this [Arab] nation is undeniably suffering from a misstep, all should remember that those who defended their causes with unyielding tenacity ultimately won the wager. Twenty-seven years in Robin Island prison did not bring Nelson Mandela to ask himself, 'How long will I break rocks?' Rather, he turned the breaking of rocks into a symbol signifying that his will and the will of those engaged in the struggle is stronger than rock and harder than steel and more deeply rooted than time itself.
"In this dark Arab tunnel and in this [state] of disunity that has weakened the capabilities of this nation and made it lose its status and honor among the [other] nations, the blood of the martyrs lights a candle of hope, so that others can discover what the martyr discovered - namely, that the other life is better than the first, and that those killed for Allah 'live near their Lord sustained,' and that seeking martyrdom [Istishad] for the sake of the homeland is the only way to liberate the land and the will and to restore the rights. The Syrian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Dr. Buthayna Sha'ban
"...with every blow struck by the Al-Aqsa Intifada, my conviction grows stronger that I, and all those who are of the same mind, have been right all along and am still right in my belief that the despised racist Jewish entity will be annihilated. Contrary to others, however, I am not ashamed to speak about driving them into the sea, to hell, or to the trash heap they deserve."
"I maintain, and Allah is my witness, that the annihilation and defeat of the Israelis, after which they will not have resurrection, does not require all these things. All that it requires is to concentrate on acts of martyrdom, or what is known as 'the strategy of the balance of fear.'"
"Let us do some mathematical calculations: 250 Palestinians have signed up for martyrdom operations, and it is not impossible to raise this number to 1,000 throughout the Arab world, i.e., one fedayi (martyr) out of every 250,000 Arabs. The average harvest of each act of martyrdom is 10 dead and 50 wounded. Thus, 1000 acts of martyrdom would leave the Zionists with at least 10,000 dead and 50,000 wounded. This is double the number of Israeli casualties in all their wars with the Arab since 1948. They cannot bear this. There is also the added advantage, not noted by many, of negative Jewish emigration, which, as a consequence of the 1,000 martyrdom operations will come to at least 1,000,000 Jews, followed by the return of every Jew to the place from whence he came..."
"I am signing myself up as the first martyr from Egypt and declare that I am ready to commit an act of martyrdom at any moment. I will place myself under the command of Mr. Hassan Nasrallah, 'Hamas', the Islamic Jihad, or any other jihad movement."
"Never in my life have I asked Allah for money, honor or power. All that I have asked, all that I ask, all that I will ask, is that Allah allow me to become a shaheed and grant me the honor of reaping as great a harvest as possible of Israeli lives..."
Amru Nasif, a columnist for the Egyptian opposition weekly Al-Usbu'
"...the UN itself distinguished between terror and legitimate struggle, in September 1972, the Black September Organization, that belongs to the Fatah movement, attacked the Israeli delegation to Munich and killed some of its athletes. The UN General Assembly convened to discuss the issue... under the title "arrangements needed in order to prevent terrorism and various forms of violence that endanger the lives of innocent people, or endanger their basic rights." However, the Arab and third world states did not like this title because it ignored the reasons and motives behind the terror. Hence, these states supported the Arab proposal [to make an addition to the existing title]: "...and examining the reasons behind the form of terrorism and violent acts that result from suffering, disappointment, and a sense of distress and despair that lead some to sacrifice human lives, including their own”... And, indeed, this proposal was accepted...” Dr. Ibrahim Abrash, a lecturer on politics at the Rabat University in Morocco
"Only when Israeli blood is spilled, we have seen, do Israeli officials change their minds. Only when Israeli soldiers and Israeli settlers have sustained heavy casualties will the Israeli government decide it cannot, after all, afford the price of continuing the oppression of the Palestinian people.
Our struggle may not be a short one; it may not end tomorrow. It will continue until, as our president predicted, one Palestinian child raises the Palestinian flag over the mosques and churches of Blessed Jerusalem. Revolution until victory!" Official Fatah Website www.fateh.net/e_editor/00/151100.htm
A HAMAS REPRESENTATIVE
Faraj Shalhoub: "I want to talk about recruiting, before I talk about the selection. The level of faith among a wide sector of the young believers instills in them the concept of Jihad, true Jihad in defense of the message, the homeland, the people, and the nation. They are committed even before they reach the fighting stage. They are committed to their cause and draw their belief in it from the mosque.
"The other issue is, as you mentioned, the occupation and its crimes. If you want the truth regarding the selection, I can quote the martyr, Chief Commander of Al-Qassam Brigades, Salah Shehada, who spoke of the dimension of faith of the volunteers for martyrdom. He said that this is one of the central criteria for their selection.
"They volunteer for martyrdom and self-sacrifice for the cause, and the first to be selected are the most believing, whose conviction is the deepest, because they have the greatest chance of persevering to the very last minute.
"The second point is that [the volunteer] must be physically and, in general, capable of carrying out the mission skillfully. A third issue is the human factor and I want to mention this in a nutshell. [The volunteer] cannot be a child of a single parent who provides for the family. This is why most volunteers for martyrdom operations are not married.
"There is also another group of criteria on which we have no time to elaborate, but those mentioned are the main ones."
Moderator: "Let's talk about the physical issue you already mentioned. Doesn't the martyrdom bomber only push a button on the explosive belt and explode? Is there more to it than that? Does he need physical and military preparation for his martyrdom?"
Faraj Shalhoub: "Absolutely. The mental preparation and morale building are on [a] high level, even though most of those volunteering to commit martyrdom operations have already come a long way in mental and morale preparation. As for the physical aspect, some Palestinian factions active in the field of martyrdom have special committees for training and special committees for selection.
"During the first stage of training, there is an emphasis on physical training, as written in special booklets of their military wings. There is a need for physical training because a martyrdom operation, whether the storming of a settlement or an explosion, requires physical strength so the Mujaheed can reach the final stages of the operation."
Moderator: "And special military training..."
Faraj Shalhoub: "It also requires morale preparation and so, he spends some time in religious ritual and intensive spiritual preparation until he reaches a certain level of conviction that pushes him commit martyrdom, regardless of the fact that his mental readiness was high to begin with."
Moderator: "Meaning, in the last stages before committing the martyrdom operation?"
Faraj Shalhoub: "This comes following his decision to commit martyrdom. The volunteers are those who initiate and accept upon themselves to commit a martyrdom operation. There is a widespread misconception, propagated by the Zionist enemy, that there are recruiters among the Palestinian fighters who look for martyrdom bombers. The opposite is true - the martyrdom bombers are the ones looking for the resistance factions in order to commit martyrdom operations.
"We are talking about hundreds of martyrdom bombers waiting in line to commit martyrdom operations. The factions' inability to supply enough operations for all of them is the only obstacle preventing them all from committing martyrdom operations."
Sami Abu Zuhri: "There are hundreds of female martyrdom bombers, who stream en masse and insist on participating in martyrdom operations. This is a unique phenomenon, reflecting the live spirit of Jihad among this people.
"This is our way of emphasizing... These are living examples of this people's adherence to Jihad and resistance. We want to reassure our Arab and Islamic nation that there is no longer any danger for the path of resistance.
"We see this stream of young men and of women seeking martyrdom. This people emphasizes its adherence to the option of martyrdom, especially, in light of the models of female martyrdom bombers.
"The Palestinian resistance, at times, purposely uses women in some operations that men cannot carry out, especially in high security areas, which male Palestinian Mujaheedin cannot easily reach. This is why the Palestinian woman has an important role in the Palestinian resistance, and at times she may even have roles that the young male Palestinian Mujaheed cannot fulfill."
Al-Majd TV, a United Arab Emirates religious channel, hosted Hamas spokesman in Gaza, Sami Abu Zuhri, and Faraj Shalhoub, an expert on Palestinian affairs, to discuss the recruitment and training of Palestinian suicide bombers. The following are excerpts from the program, which can be viewed at www.memritv.org : Al-Majd TV (UAE), June 13, 2004. This is clip #117 and can be found at
A Testimony on Suicide Bombers' Recruitment to Ansar Al-Islam
Recruitment Tactics of Ansar Al-Islam
"Kaywan Qader, 18-years old, grew up in Al-Suleimaniya. He was one of 10 brothers and sisters of a moderately religious family. His mother did not wear a veil and he prayed [only] once a day in the mosque where he met someone named Sawara Ahmad Ali, who later became his recruiter to Ansar Al-Islam. Qader says that Sawara Ali discussed religion with him and told him that it was his duty to carry out Jihad operations against the KDP and that prayer alone was not sufficient. He stressed to him the necessity to join Jihad in order to become a good Muslim. Qader says that he greatly fears Allah and that Ali exploited that.
"It was the year 2001, Ansar Al-Islam had not been established as of yet, and Ali was a member of one of the offshoots of the Islamist Movement in Kurdistan. The group was established in December of that year, and in 2003 the American and Kurdish forces in northern Iraq attacked its bases, its members fled to Iran where they regrouped and then infiltrated back into Iraq to join the fight against the American-led occupation. Later, Ali was able to convince Qader that Jihad would offer him paradise and save him from hell. Qader agreed to join Ali in one of the villages to prepare himself for Jihad, and all of his father's efforts to dissuade him from that failed. Qader told his father that Allah's wish supercedes the family's wish. He joined a camp where about 400 members of the group were training, but his father persuaded him to return [home] promising him a possible job ... but he continued his training with the rest of the members.
"Qader says that the Kurdish and American forces carried out an intensive attack on the group's position on the eve of the war against Iraq, which forced the survivors to infiltrate into Iran where he was arrested and returned to the border. But he was able to enter Iran again, where he stayed for a month."
'Suicide Mission is the Highest Level of Jihad'
"In the camp, Qader was paid $22 per month. He agreed to carry out a suicide mission because he was told that it is 'the highest level of Jihad.' Ali sent his name to the group's command in Biyara, their stronghold in the mountainous area adjacent to Iran.
72 Virgins in Paradise
"Another detainee who spent time in Ansar Al-Islam's camp says that they listened to lectures where they were told that [each of] the Shuhadaa [martyrs] will find 72 virgins [waiting for him] in paradise. He added that the group has what is known as 'TNT camps' where the suicide bombers wear protective jackets and are trained on how to blow themselves at the right location.
"Umar Fattah, the KDP's head of security, says that Ansar Al-Islam uses C4 explosives which are more powerful than TNT. He added that Ansar Al-Islam creates groups of 3-8 youngsters between the ages of 15 and 25, who participate in one month of lectures, brainwashing, and intensive military training.
Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), March 18, 2004
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