Weapons: Amateur Hour For Suicide Bombers

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April 6, 2006: Although the number of suicide attacks in Afghanistan has gone from a handful in 2005 to about six per month so far this year, the casualty rate has not increased significantly. Most Taliban suicide bombings appear to kill only the attacker. The problem is the lack of adequate support staff. As the Israelis discovered over the last six years, the only way to shut down a terrorist suicide bomber campaign is to go after the support teams.

The suicide bombers themselves are relatively easy to recruit. But assembling the team of technicians and support staff needed to select, train, equip and deliver a suicide attacker effectively, is much more difficult. The Taliban apparently got all the technical instructions, on how to run suicide bombing operations, from the Internet and data CDs al Qaeda was passing around. There were rumors of "Iraqi experts" coming to Afghanistan, or Afghans going to Iraq for training, but neither of these appear to be true. It's basically amateur hour in Afghanistan, with the Taliban sending suicide bombers to a lonely death, as the support teams try to learn to be as efficient at killing people as their Arab brothers in Iraq are, or were. Iraqi suicide bomb support teams have taken a major beating over the past two years, and many Iraqi operations are as ineffective as those in Afghanistan.

 


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