Female suicide bomber
Though the majority of suicide bombers
Suicide attack
A suicide attack is a type of attack in which the attacker expects or intends to die in the process.- Historical :...

 have been male, female suicide bombers have carried out a number of attacks.


Female suicide bombers
Suicide Bombers
Suicide Bombers is the name of a 2005 EP by Leæther Strip. For the Australian hardcore band see Suicide Bombers -Track listing:# Suicide Bombers# Suicide Bombers # The Shame Of A Nation # This Is Where I Wanna Be...

 have been employed in several conflicts, by a variety of organizations, against both military and civilian targets.
  • In Lebanon
    Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

     on April 9, 1985, Sana'a Mehaidli
    Sana'a Mehaidli
    Sana'a Mehaidli was a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party who, at the age of 17, blew herself and a Peugeot filled with explosives up next to an Israeli convoy in Jezzin, South Lebanon, during the Lebanese Civil War...

    , a member of the Syrian Social Nationalist Party
    Syrian Social Nationalist Party
    The Syrian Social Nationalist Party , is a secular nationalist political party in Lebanon and Syria. It advocates the establishment of a Syrian nation state spanning the Fertile Crescent, including present day Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, the Palestinian Territories, Israel, Cyprus, Kuwait,...

     (SSNP), detonated an explosive-laden vehicle, which killed two Israel
    The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

    i soldiers and injured two more. During the Lebanese Civil War
    Lebanese Civil War
    The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

    , female SSNP members bombed Israeli troops and the Israeli proxy militia the South Lebanon Army
    South Lebanon Army
    The South Lebanon Army , also "South Lebanese Army," was a Lebanese militia during the Lebanese Civil War. After 1979, the militia operated in southern Lebanon under the authority of Saad Haddad's Government of Free Lebanon...

  • Women of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
    Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam
    The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam was a separatist militant organization formerly based in northern Sri Lanka. Founded in May 1976 by Vellupillai Prabhakaran, it waged a violent secessionist and nationalist campaign to create an independent state in the north and east of Sri Lanka for Tamil...

     (LTTE), or Tamil Tigers, carried out 30–40% of the organization's suicide bombings, which number more than 200.
  • Former Indian Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi
    Rajiv Gandhi
    Rajiv Ratna Gandhi was the sixth Prime Minister of India . He took office after his mother's assassination on 31 October 1984; he himself was assassinated on 21 May 1991. He became the youngest Prime Minister of India when he took office at the age of 40.Rajiv Gandhi was the elder son of Indira...

     was assassinated on 21 May 1991, last public meeting was at Sriperumbudur,a village approximately 30 miles from Chennai
    Chennai , formerly known as Madras or Madarasapatinam , is the capital city of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, located on the Coromandel Coast off the Bay of Bengal. Chennai is the fourth most populous metropolitan area and the sixth most populous city in India...

    , Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu
    Tamil Nadu is one of the 28 states of India. Its capital and largest city is Chennai. Tamil Nadu lies in the southernmost part of the Indian Peninsula and is bordered by the union territory of Pondicherry, and the states of Kerala, Karnataka, and Andhra Pradesh...

    .He was assassinated while campaigning for the Sriperumbudur
    Sriperumbudur is an industrial city in Kanchipuram district in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located in proximity to Chennai. It is famous for being the birth place of Sri Ramanuja, one of the most prominent Hindu Vaishnava saints as well as the town where former Indian Prime Minister...

     Lok Sabha Congress candidate.The assassination was carried out by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) female suicide bomber Thenmozhi Rajaratnam also known as Gayatri and Dhanu.
  • The Chechen
    Chechen people
    Chechens constitute the largest native ethnic group originating in the North Caucasus region. They refer to themselves as Noxçi . Also known as Sadiks , Gargareans, Malkhs...

    Shahidka |shahid]]), sometimes called "Black Widow", is a term for Islamist Chechen female suicide bombers, who made themselves known at the Moscow theater hostage crisis of October 2002...

    s have attacked Russian troops in Chechnya
    The Chechen Republic , commonly referred to as Chechnya , also spelled Chechnia or Chechenia, sometimes referred to as Ichkeria , is a federal subject of Russia . It is located in the southeastern part of Europe in the Northern Caucasus mountains. The capital of the republic is the city of Grozny...

     and Russian civilians elsewhere, e.g. in the Moscow theater hostage crisis
    Moscow theater hostage crisis
    The Moscow theater hostage crisis, also known as the 2002 Nord-Ost siege, was the seizure of the crowded Dubrovka Theater on 23 October 2002 by some 40 to 50 armed Chechens who claimed allegiance to the Islamist militant separatist movement in Chechnya. They took 850 hostages and demanded the...

  • In the Al-Aqsa Intifada
    Al-Aqsa Intifada
    The Second Intifada, also known as the Al-Aqsa Intifada and the Oslo War, was the second Palestinian uprising, a period of intensified Palestinian-Israeli violence, which began in late September 2000...

    , women of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
    Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
    The al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades is a coalition of Palestinian nationalist militias in the West Bank. The group's name refers to the al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem...

    , Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Hamas
    Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

     have bombed Israeli civilians and soldiers.
  • Female members of the Iraqi insurgency
    Iraqi insurgency
    The Iraqi Resistance is composed of a diverse mix of militias, foreign fighters, all-Iraqi units or mixtures opposing the United States-led multinational force in Iraq and the post-2003 Iraqi government...

     have set off suicide bombs.
  • Women of the Kurdistan Workers Party
    Kurdistan Workers Party
    The Kurdistan Workers' Party , commonly known as PKK, also known as KGK and formerly known as KADEK or KONGRA-GEL , is a Kurdish organization which has since 1984 been fighting an armed struggle against the Turkish state for an autonomous Kurdistan and greater cultural and political rights...

     (PKK) have carried out suicide bombings primarily against Turkish Armed Forces
    Turkish Armed Forces
    The Turkish Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Turkey. They consist of the Army, the Navy , and the Air Force...

    , in some cases strapping explosives to their abdomen
    In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

     in order to simulate pregnancy
    Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

  • On March 29, 2010 two female Chechen terrorists bombed two Moscow subway stations
    2010 Moscow Metro bombings
    The 2010 Moscow Metro bombings were suicide bombings carried out by two womenduring the morning rush hour of March 29, 2010, at two stations of the Moscow Metro , with roughly 40 minutes interval between...

     killing at least 38 people and injuring over 60.
  • The Taliban has used at least one female suicide bomber in Afghanistan.
  • On December 25th, 2010, the first female suicide bomber in Pakistan detonated her explosives-laden vest, killing at least 43 people at an aid distribution center in northwestern Pakistan.

Palestinian bombers

Some militant organizations have used women to carry out suicide bombings because they draw less suspicion than men and go through less rigorous security
Security is the degree of protection against danger, damage, loss, and crime. Security as a form of protection are structures and processes that provide or improve security as a condition. The Institute for Security and Open Methodologies in the OSSTMM 3 defines security as "a form of protection...

 checks. For example: while a man can be checked to see if he is carrying an explosive belt
Explosive belt
An explosive belt is an improvised explosive device, a belt or a vest packed with explosives and armed with a detonator, worn by suicide bombers...

 by simply lifting his shirt, ordering a woman is much less acceptable, particularly in the Islamic world. Israeli security procedures stipulate that a suspected woman is to be checked by a female soldier in a screened off area.

On the same day Darine Abu Aisha committed a suicide bombing, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the religious leader of Islamist militant group Hamas
Hamas is the Palestinian Sunni Islamic or Islamist political party that governs the Gaza Strip. Hamas also has a military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades...

, issued a fatwa, or religious rule, that gave permission to women to participate in suicide attacks as well as listing the rewards in "Paradise" that these female martyrs would receive upon their deaths. He also promised Hamas will send many female suicide bombers in order to strike Israelis.

Reactions to this in the Islamic world were mixed. While many hailed the female suicide bomber and urged full involvement of all in Jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

, some criticized the cruelty of tearing mothers from their children and sending them to explode themselves.

Notable female Palestinian suicide bombers include
  • Wafa Idris
    Wafa Idris
    Wafa Idris was the first female suicide bomber in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At the time of her death, Idris was a 28 year old, divorced Red Crescent paramedic. She lived in the Am'ari Refugee Camp in Ramallah.-Early life:...

     - first suicide bomber (bombing date: January 27, 2002)
  • Ayat al-Akhras
    Ayat al-Akhras
    Ayat al-Akhras was the third and youngest Palestinian female suicide bomber who, at age 18 , killed herself and two Israeli civilians on March 29, 2002 by detonating explosives belted to her body...

     - third suicide bomber (bombing date: March 29, 2002
    Kiryat HaYovel supermarket bombing
    The Kiryat HaYovel supermarket bombing was a suicide bombing which occurred on March 29, 2002 in which Ayat al-Akhras, an 18-year-old Palestinian female suicide bomber, blew herself up at the entrance of Kiryat HaYovel's main supermarket, killing two people and injuring 28...

  • Andalib Suleiman
    Andalib Suleiman
    Andalib Suleiman Takatka was the fourth Palestinian female suicide bomber. She killed six people, seven including herself, and injured over forty at a bus stop on Jaffa Road outside of the open-air Mahane Yehuda market in Jerusalem on April 12, 2002...

     - fourth suicide bomber (bombing date: April 12, 2002)
  • Hanadi Jaradat
    Hanadi Jaradat
    Hanadi Tayseer Abdul Malek Jaradat , a Palestinian suicide bomber from Jenin, blew herself up on Saturday, October 4, 2003 in an attack on Maxim's restaurant in the northern Israeli city of Haifa. Twenty-one people were killed and 51 injured. Among the dead were four Israeli children and three...

     - sixth suicide bomber (bombing date: October 4, 2003)

Tactical gain

Women are less likely to be searched for suicide vests than men, whether due to perceived indecency, fear of accusations of sexual harassment, or fear of breaking laws that require women to remain clothed in public.

See also

  • Child suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    Child suicide bombers in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
    In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian militant groups have recruited minors to attack Israeli targets, both military and civilian, especially during the Second Intifada. In some cases these attacks have been suicidal in nature...

  • The Battle of Algiers

External links

Further reading

  • Rosemarie Skaine, Female Suicide Bombers. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2006.
  • Barbara Victor, Army of Roses: Inside the World of Palestinian Women Suicide Bombers. Rodale, 2003.
  • Zedalis, Debra, Female Suicide Bombers, U.S. Army War College Strategic Studies Institute (Free Download)
  • Yoram Schweitzer (Ed.): Female Suicide Bombers: Dying for Equality?, The Jaffee Center for Strategic Studies (JCSS), Tel Aviv University, August 2006
  • Jan Goodwin, When the Suicide Bomber is a Woman 2007.
  • Lennon, Amanda, http://mediaresearchhub.ssrc.org/fourth-generation-valkyries-a-strategic-analysis-of-female-suicide-attacks-in-unconventional-warfare/attachment
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