Counter-Terrorism: Stopping Suicide Bombings In Afghanistan


February 6, 2009: The police have managed to reduce suicide bombing attacks in Afghanistan, by going after the few crews that organize and carry out these attacks. Recently, for example, arrested 17 of 20 members of a gang that had carried out six bombings in the capital during the last two years. These attacks killed twenty civilians, and this played a large role in  identifying the gang members. Most Afghan civilians are hostile to suicide attacks (it's seen as an Arab perversion), and that led to enough tips to finding who was behind the bombings. The three who escaped, probably to Pakistan, where this form of Afghan terrorism came from. Meanwhile, the number of suicide bombings declined from 2007 to 2008.

Al Qaeda began using suicide bombers in Pakistan six years ago, and the terrorist organization was promptly taken apart by an enraged Pakistani government, with much public support. This, despite many Islamic conservatives in the government. Al Qaeda was largely driven out of most of Pakistan, and confined to the tribal areas along the Afghan border. Here, the Taliban had a lot of influence, and al Qaeda convinced the Taliban to support a suicide bomber campaign in Afghanistan. By late 2006 and early 2007, there were a dozen suicide bombing attacks a month in Afghanistan, over fifty percent more than in the previous six months. This campaign was even less successful than previous ones. The Afghan Taliban do not have the experienced support personnel (bomb makers and bomber handlers) to make most of the attacks successful by any measure. Meanwhile, most of the victims are Afghan civilians. Naturally, Afghans see these foreigners (Afghans are difficult to recruit as suicide bombers) as murderers who do not have Afghan interests at heart. In 2008, some of the suicide bombing experts (bomb makers, trainers for the bombers) moved back to Pakistan, where the Taliban was under increasing pressure by a Pakistani army that had invaded the tribal territories.

 Suicide bombing is described as a weapon of the weak. What it cannot be described as is a weapon of the victorious. In the last few decades, whoever used suicide bombers not only failed to gain anything, but saw their cause harmed in the process. You can draw your own conclusions, as have most Afghans.



Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close