Bible Study Tools / Conflicts And War

Suicide Bombers: the Modern Terror

by Charles Desgrosseilliers

Many were appalled by the events of 9/11 in which airliners were purposely flown into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, as well as the Pentagon in Washington. Terrorists prepared for their own suicide, flew hijacked “flying bombs” into densely populated buildings with catastrophic damage to life and property.

Is suicidal fanaticism new to our world? Yoram Schweitzer, states that as of the middle of 2001 there had been well over 300 suicide attacks carried out in 14 countries worldwide by 17 terror organizations (a researcher at the International Policy Institute for Counter- Terrorism, Suicide Bombings– The Ultimate Weapon? August 7, 2001).

Though actual casualties are relatively low in such events, the fear of suicide attacks strike terror into the hearts and minds of populations. Explosive belts (or vests) were first used by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka in 1991 (the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi was carried out by a female Tamil bomber who blew herself up in his presence). Fifteen years later such devices are used extensively by Palestinian militant organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and are finding increasing popularity among such groups as Chechyn rebels and anti-Coalition forces in Iraq.

These diabolical creations, packed with explosives and armed with a detonator are worn by a single person to ultimately wreak death and suffering.

When a person armed with an explosive belt or vest detonates “himself” the main killing power does not come from the relatively small shock wave, but the fragments loaded in the device, which are launched in all directions by the explosion. The most widely used and most dangerous shrapnel packed into these belts are ball-bearings about three to seven millimeters in diameter. In an explosion, the balls are launched with the force of bullets. In addition to these balls, many belts assembled in the Middle East include nails, screws, nuts and washers, often soaked in some form of rat poison to inflict maximum suffering on the victims of suicide attacks.

Medical doctors in the state of Israel who were interviewed by Dr. Michael L. Messing (a radiologist at Cook County Hospital in Chicago), described the nightmare faced by these Israeli doctors: “X-rays of suicide bombing victims often show hundreds of metallic fragments, ranging in size from millimeters to whole nails embedded in the victims’ bodies – literally from head to foot… Many are embedded only to the depth of their entrance sites.

Others burrow their way in more deeply and lodge under the skin where an examining physician can actually feel their alien presence. Others must be removed after hours of meticulous exploration. Still others enter the body deeper, perforating and lacerating vital organs at random. The ‘lucky’ patient who survives the initial explosive blast may often require extensive surgery to repair damaged organs. Although some of the victims recover physically and return to normal life, many more require a lifetime of ongoing rehabilitation. Some are impaired permanently.

And all suffer serious psychological effects that need to be treated. Post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety affect not only the victims of the attack, but all of Israeli society.” (Washington Times, September 8, 2004 with Louis Rene Beres, professor of political science at Purdue University).

Large scale suicide bombings like those carried out on September 11, 2001 may still happen in our western nations in days ahead, but imagine the terror on our populations if individual “human bombs” begin to explode themselves where people live, work or worship.

Dr. Messing and Professor Beres gave this ominous warning: “Here in the United States we should also be attentive. As we already know, we, too, are not immune to suicide attacks.”

What enormous meaning Trumpets has for God’s Church—an END to all this tragedy—forever!

© 1995-2024 United Church of God-Canada

Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited. All correspondence and questions should be sent to info@ucg.ca. Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to webmaster@ucg.ca.

To Page Top
  • Vision & Mission Statements
  • Fundamental Beliefs
  • Donations
  • National Office
  • National Council
  • Local Congregations
  • Home Office
  • Privacy Policy
  • Literature
  • Bible Study Lessons
  • Booklets
  • Français
  • Beyond Today Magazine
  • United News Canada
  • Resources
  • Bible Study Tools
  • Daily Bible Reading Schedule
  • Change of Address
  • Festival Information
  •   >> Festival Calendar
  •   >> Festival Locations
  • Local Congregations
  • Bible Scripture Flash Cards
  • Online Bible
  • Updates
  • Congregations