Logistics: Suicidal Terrorists For Sale

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September 22, 2007: Al Qaeda was originally described as a group of well organized terrorists, who were quick to use the latest technology and paid attention to logistics and financial matters (fund raising, and staying on top of corruption). That's all generally true, but another area of al Qaeda success is, well, human resources. Take, for example, the business of recruiting suicide bombers. Al Qaeda recognizes that this is a "push/pull" situation. Thus the "pull" (making suicide bombers heroic and attractive figures) is done via emphasizing the martyr angle, and all the religious connotations. This plays well in Islamic countries. Cash payments to the families also adds to the allure. Still, most young men are not dumb enough to fall for the offer to blow themselves up for the Love of God. And those that can be tempted, often need some effort, by someone who is good at persuading people to kill themselves. Further incentives are needed. Not for the suicide bomber, but for the guy who recruits him. Thus it is common to pay finders fees for those who bring in a suicide bomber recruit. In Algeria, the bounty averages about $500 these days. Its less in countries where there are more desperate, unemployed young men. It's more in countries where the economy is booming. But the recruiter has an incentive, and the incentive works.

 


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