Suicide bombing – Brutal strategy of terrorist organizations

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Suicide bombers are likened to “smart bombs”, virtually unstoppable once they are determined to drag innocent people to death with them.

The Taliban announced a provisional government made up of hardliners. On the morning of October 3, the force announced the deployment of suicide bomber battalions on the border, raising concerns that Afghanistan risks continuing to become a “fabric” for international terrorism.

Not only in Afghanistan, the frequency of suicide bombings around the world has increased significantly since 2000. Thousands of innocent people have died in these attacks, leaving enormous emotional trauma to the community and causing negative upheaval in the world.

This inhuman attack method is often used by terrorist organizations because it consumes little human and financial resources, can cause great damage to opponents with superior forces, and brings high propaganda effectiveness. .

How did the bombers attack?

Suicide bombers often transport explosives themselves, mix with civilians to reach the target location, and then detonate it to cause the greatest possible damage. It can be said that these attackers are no different from “smart bombs”.

Suicide bombings are particularly shocking because of their indiscriminate nature: the bombers are willing to kill or injure anyone within range, the victims are mostly civilians, the perpetrators are not from any means to implement the plan.

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The damage caused by suicide bombings is both physical and psychological. To deal maximum damage, the bomber relies heavily on the element of surprise, created by turning everyday things into weapons. For example, suicide bombers often hide explosives under clothing, in backpacks, more sophisticatedly, in bicycle frames. For larger attacks, they can drive vehicles laden with explosives. The bomb sizes used in the attacks ranged from less than 100 grams (as was typical of the bomber hiding in his underwear who tried to bring down an airliner in the US in 2009), to more than a ton (the case of the crash). car bombing that killed more than 200 people in Bali, Indonesia, in 2002).

Why do terrorist organizations prefer suicide bombings?

1983 opened a series of suicide bombings that shocked many countries, starting with the attack on the US embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people. Then there was the simultaneous bombing of American and French military barracks, also in Beirut, killing 299 more people. These attacks, organized by the Shia Muslim group Hezbollah, are believed to have forced the withdrawal of Western military forces from Lebanon.

In those years, the number of attacks using this method increased, from 1 in 1981 to more than 500 in 2007. There are three main reasons for this increase.

Firstly, it is almost impossible to completely prevent suicide bombings because the perpetrators often travel individually or in small groups and pose as civilians, making it difficult for security forces to defend themselves. .

Second, suicide bombing creates a large publicity effect. Media attention is like oxygen to terrorists, and suicide bombings always get a lot of attention because bombers don’t just use their lives to inflict damage on their targets. but also willing to kill bystanders. For example, in the 1991 assassination of Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, carried out by a woman from the Tamil Tigers, 16 innocent people died.

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Third, conducting a suicide bombing requires little expertise and few resources. Terrorist organizations only need one bomb and one blind member to spread terror in the community, some groups even make their own primitive bombs from readily available materials on explosives online. This operation is also much more cost-effective than other attack tactics such as hostage taking.

Strategic weapons against more powerful enemies

The suicide bombing strategy allows small organizations to achieve their goals against larger, more formidable opponents.

On the morning of October 23, 1983, a truck driven by Iranian driver Ismail Ascari entered Beirut International Airport, going straight to the US Marines barracks. The vehicle easily approached the US military position without being checked by the guards who believed it was a water tanker. In fact, the truck was loaded with Islamic State explosives.

After entering the parking lot, the driver suddenly increased the gas and crashed straight through the wall separating the American barracks. Ascari detonated explosives as powerful as 9.5 tons of TNT, killing 241 American soldiers. This is considered one of the bloodiest days for the US military in the 1990s.

Just 10 minutes later, a car bomb also crashed into the French barracks a few kilometers away. The driver was shot down and the car was stopped, but it still exploded and completely destroyed a nearby nine-story building. The attack killed 58 French paratroopers, making it the heaviest loss for France since the 1962 Algerian war.