Suicide Terrorism: Are There Important Counterterrorist Lessons to Be Learned?
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The examination of suicide terrorism has taken on more urgency in the past several years. What is decidedly different in the modern, global war on terrorism (GWOT) is that noncombatant civilians have become the most frequent and virtually exclusive target of violence. Increased resort to extremely violent forms of terrorism revived with the September 2000 inauguration of the Second Intifada, resulting in a tragically heightened number of suicide bombings mostly in Jerusalem and the West Bank, and followed 12 months later by the four suicide aircraft hijackings of September 11, 2001. The unprecedented loss of life in these suicide attacks spurred deep concern among governments and societies alike. In May 2002, FBI director Robert Mueller concluded that future suicide attacks on U.S. soil were “inevitable.”1 Similarly, then Homeland Security director Tom Ridge also agreed that domestic suicide bombings “may be inevitable.”2 Continued acknowledgment of likely further attacks and multiple U.S. vulnerabilities has punctuated policy appraisals and press reports virtually without pause since the 9/11 attacks.
KeywordsTerrorist Attack Terrorist Organization Refugee Camp Israeli Defense Force Suicide Attack
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