Monday, June 20, 2005
Driving under the influence
Manufacturing martyrs - Al Qaeda-style:
Suicide bombers aren't necessarily hell-bent to destroy themselves - at least one survived an attack that Col. Jim West said would have killed about 15 U.S. Marines and Iraqis and wounded 20 more.We can probably expect more drugged foreigners handcuffed to steering wheels, now that Al Zarqawi has really taken to hitting such hard military targets like pensioners queuing up at the bank for their fortnightly cheques.
It turned out that the suicide bomber in that case could have been more a homicide bomber. Although he could have pressed a button that would have set off the explosive-laden vehicle, guards discovered that the bomb could have been fired by remote control by a terrorist safely removed from the blast - and detection.
"We have found that most of the suicide car bombers are from outside of Iraq," West wrote to his family in May. Most are Palestinians, Syrians and Saudi Arabians, he said in a telephone interview with The Daily Sentinel.
"They are young, easily influenced young people. It is so sad to see these young men manipulated by the evil few that want to see this country brought to its knees," West wrote.
A "harsh example," he said was an incident a week previous, when the bomber was captured.
"He was trying to drive into a busy checkpoint and the Marine guards wounded him and disabled his car before he could reach the intersection and activate the bomb," West wrote. "When they opened the door to remove him, they found him chained to the seat with his hands taped to the steering wheel. He had an activation switch on his body that he could use but they also found a remote-control activation device under the front seat. It was hidden in the floor of the car so he probably didn't know it was there... He was going to die whether he wanted to or not."
A guard activated a radio-jamming device immediately so the bomb couldn't be detonated, West wrote.
The driver was "yelling and very agitated and had a glazed look," West said in a telephone interview. It turned out he also was heavily drugged, West said.
The driver, a Palestinian, was treated for gunshot wounds to the legs suffered when the guards fired to stop his car. West said he didn't know what happened to him afterwards.
He did, however, follow some as they recovered in the hospital from wounds suffered in battle.
"Some of them are very sullen," but one he remembered, was completely different.
"He was just so happy to be alive" while he was being treated for bullet wounds to the stomach and shoulder.
"He couldn't believe our people were doing that."