Sunday, October 11, 2015

11-Oct-15: Human bomb attack narrowly deflected near Jerusalem: connection to suicide is nil

Aftermath of this morning's human bomb assault
A Palestinian Arab woman, driving a white Subaru sedan slowly and in the bus lane of a busy commuter route during the Sunday morning rush hour, exploded her car and herself at about 7:00 am today (Sunday). Her license plates were yellow, like those of Israeli vehicles though not Palestinian Arab vehicles.

The explosion injured a police officer, and is currently causing a massive tie-up on the eastern approach to Maale Adumim, about 10 kilometers east of Jerusalem, the nation's capital. His (the officer's) injuries are not thought to be life-threatening.

Initial indications are that the vehicle had multiple explosives on board, and that the intention of the driver was to cause some very serious pain. Sappers have found additional unexploded materiel inside.

Meanwhile she herself is en route to Jerusalem's Hadassah hospital in Ein Karem where we assume the very best medical care in the region will be applied to her burns, her other self-inflicted injuries and her recovery (this is not Syria). She is said to be 20 years old, and until now had her whole life and huge potential ahead of her. We can assume that is not how she saw things. That's a tragedy.

Just four days ago, as we reported here, a vehicle-ramming attack was launched on the security personnel manning the A-Zaim checkpoint on Maale Adumim's eastern side. We think, though not sure, that the location is the same as today's.

Is she a suicide bomber?

No, because such things are extremely rare. And (though this is only marginally relevant) she did not die. Until we know differently, it is safe to assume she meant to kill and maim via the lethal materials she carried and ignited, and that her own life and its possible end were of no interest to her. This makes her a human bomb in a long tradition of human bombing attacks closely associated with Islamist (but not only Islamist) thinking. This had nothing whatever to do with suicide. We try to explain this in a past post: "30-Jun-15: We need to be calling them what they are: human bombs".

Calling such people "suicide bombers" is inaccurate and counter-factual and contributes to the deplorable glorification of acts of murder and intended murder that involve persuading a gullible or highly ideological or pathetically religious individual that his or her body is the most effective delivery mechanism for carrying out a cold-blooded murder of unsuspecting victims.

Should we expect more human bomb attacks in the coming days? To a certain extent, that will depend on the impact today's failed attempt has on our side, on the onlooking and aghast world, and - most significantly - on the Palestinian Arabs and their opinions.

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