June 30, 2015:
Islam has long glamorized suicidal warriors. Thus to Moslems a suicide bomb is not a weapon of hopeless desperation but a way for an unskilled and poorly armed warrior to win a glorious victory against a foe who, on paper, is superior. Thus suicide bombing tactics are considered a rational approach to defending Islam against seemingly hopeless odds. While many parents of these Holy Warriors don’t agree it is not considered good manners to openly disparage such sacrifice.
Western intelligence analysts had a hard time accepting this aspect of many Moslem cultures. Some Westerners believed that Islamic terrorist leaders somehow were able to delude and deceive young Moslem men (and some women) to become suicide bombers. But over time the Westerners had to agree with their Moslem allies that many of the suicide bombers were not mentally incompetent or otherwise deceived into becoming suicide bombers. Thus when intelligence analysts recently detected Internet chatter about ISIL volunteers complaining of corruption in the selection of suicide bombers, the more experienced analysts knew that this scandal was real and not some grim hoax.
Islamic terror groups dealing with internal corruption is an old problem and many captured Islamic terrorists and documents have detailed how even Holy Warriors have problems with theft and bribery. This latest aspect of Islamic terrorist corruption also revealed that the use of suicide car and truck bomb attacks had become very popular among dedicated young Islamic warriors because it enabled an otherwise unskilled warrior to kill many of the enemy. While this often included women and children, if the young religious fanatic saw the victims as heretics (Shia for Sunni terrorists and vice versa or non-Moslems for most any flavor of Islamic terrorist) the fact that the dead were unarmed and often young children was irrelevant. Killing as many enemies of Islam is always a good thing and the larger bombs carried in vehicles gave otherwise unskilled and ineffective volunteers the opportunity to even defeat better armed and trained soldiers. If their targets are also non-Moslem soldiers, even better. Thus it was really no surprise that these charges of corruption (favoritism in the selection of men to use relatively scarce vehicle bombs) made sense.
Recognizing the true nature of how Islamic terrorists in general and their leaders in particular regarded vehicle based suicide bombs was not new. Even before September 11, 2001 Western commanders knew that suicide bombers in explosive laden automobiles or trucks were more dangerous and tactics and techniques to deal with these weapons had been developed. Thus as popular as these tactics were they were remarkably ineffective after September 11, 2001. Many of the new “anti-truck bomb” techniques and tactics had been developed in the 1980s in response to the use of truck bombs against Americans in Lebanon.