Sep 12, 2005
The psychology behind suicide bombings
By Pierre Rehov, documentary filmmaker

On July 15, MSNBC's "Connected" program discussed the 7/7 London attacks
(you can see video of the segment on the linked page). One of the guests was
Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who has filmed six documentaries on the
intifada by going undercover in the Palestinian areas.

Pierre's upcoming film, "Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he
conducted with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an
attempt to find out why they do it. Pierre agreed to a request for a Q&A
interview here about his work on the new film. Many thanks to Dean Draznin
and Arlyn Riskind for helping to arrange this special interview.

What inspired you to produce "Suicide Killers," your seventh film?

I started working with victims of suicide attacks to make a film on PTSD
(Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) when I became fascinated with the
personalities of those who had committed those crimes, as they were
described again and again by their victims. Especially the fact that suicide
bombers are all smiling one second before they blow themselves up.

Why is this film especially important?

People don't understand the devastating culture behind this unbelievable
phenomenon. My film is not politically correct because it addresses the real
problem-showing the real face of Islam. It points the finger against a
culture of hatred in which the uneducated are brainwashed to a level where
their only solution in life becomes to kill themselves and kill others in
the name of a God whose word, as transmitted by other men, has became their
only certitude.

What insights did you gain from making this film? What do you know that
other experts do not know?

I came to the conclusion that we are facing a neurosis at the level of an
entire civilization. Most neuroses have in common a dramatic event,
generally linked to an unacceptable sexual behavior. In this case, we are
talking of kids living all their lives in pure frustration, with no
opportunity to experience sex, love, tenderness or even understanding from
the opposite sex. The separation between men and women in Islam is absolute.
So is contempt toward women, who are totally dominated by men. This leads to
a situation of pure anxiety, in which normal behavior is not possible. It is
no coincidence that suicide killers are mostly young men dominated
subconsciously by an overwhelming libido that they not only cannot satisfy
but are afraid of, as if it is the work of the devil. Since Islam describes
heaven as a place where everything on earth will finally be allowed, and
promises 72 virgins to those frustrated kids, killing others and killing
themselves to reach this redemption becomes their only solution.

What was it like to interview would-be suicide bombers, their families and
survivors of suicide bombings?

It was a fascinating and a terrifying experience. You are dealing with
seemingly normal people with very nice manners who have their own logic,
which to a certain extent can make sense since they are so convinced that
what they say is true. It is like dealing with pure craziness, like
interviewing people in an asylum, since what they say, is for them, the
absolute truth. I hear a mother saying "Thank God, my son is dead." Her son
had became a shaheed, a martyr, which for her was a greater source of pride
than if he had became an engineer, a doctor or a winner of the Nobel Prize.
This system of values works completely backwards since their interpretation
of Islam worships death much more than life. You are facing people whose
only dream, only achievement is to fulfill what they believe to be their
destiny, namely to be a shaheed or the family of a shaheed. They don't see
the innocent being killed, they only see the impure that they have to

You say suicide bombers experience a moment of absolute power, beyond
punishment. Is death the ultimate power?

Not death as an end, but death as a door open to the after life. They are
seeking the reward that God has promised them. They work for God, the
ultimate authority, above all human laws. They therefore experience this
single delusional second of absolute power, where nothing bad can ever
happen to them, since they become God's sword.

Is there a suicide bomber personality profile? Describe the psychopathology.

Generally kids between 15 and 25 bearing a lot of complexes, generally
inferiority complexes. They must have been fed with religion. They usually
have a lack of developed personality. Usually they are impressionable
idealists. In the western world they would easily have become drug addicts,
but not criminals. Interestingly, they are not criminals since they don't
see good and evil the same way that we do. If they had been raised in an
Occidental culture, they would have hated violence. But they constantly
battle against their own death anxiety. The only solution to this
deep-seated pathology is to be willing to die and be rewarded in the after
life in Paradise.

Are suicide bombers principally motivated by religious conviction?

Yes, it is their only conviction. They don't act to gain a territory or to
find freedom or even dignity. They only follow Allah, the supreme judge, and
what He tells them to do.

Do all Muslims interpret jihad and martyrdom in the same way?

All Muslim believers believe that, ultimately, Islam will prevail on earth.
They believe this is the only true religion and there is no room, in their
mind, for interpretation. The main difference between moderate Muslims and
extremists is that moderate Muslims don't think they will see the absolute
victory of Islam during their life time, therefore they respect other
beliefs. The extremists believe that the fulfillment of the Prophecy of
Islam and ruling the entire world as described in the Koran, is for today.
Each victory of Bin Laden convinces 20 million moderate Muslims to become

Describe the culture that manufactures suicide bombers.

Oppression, lack of freedom, brain washing, organized poverty, placing God
in charge of daily life, total separation between men and women, forbidding
sex, giving women no power whatsoever, and placing men in charge of family
honor, which is mainly connected to their women's behavior.

What socio-economic forces support the perpetuation of suicide bombings?

Muslim charity is usually a cover for supporting terrorist organizations.
But one has also to look at countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran,
which are also supporting the same organizations through different networks.
The ironic thing in the case of Palestinian suicide bombers is that most of
the money comes through financial support from the Occidental world, donated
to a culture that utterly hates and rejects the West (mainly symbolized by

Is there a financial support network for the families of the suicide
bombers? If so, who is paying them and how does that affect the decision?

There used to be a financial incentive in the days of Saddam Hussein
($25,000 per family) and Yasser Arafat (smaller amounts), but these days are
gone. It is a mistake to believe that these families would sacrifice their
children for money. Although, the children themselves who are very attached
to their families, might find in this financial support another reason to
become suicide bombers. It is like buying a life insurance policy and then
committing suicide.

Why are so many suicide bombers young men?

As discussed above, libido is paramount. Also ego, because this is a sure
way to become a hero. The shaheeds are the cowboys or the firemen of Islam.
Shaheed is a positively reinforced value in this culture. And what kid has
never dreamed of becoming a cowboy or a fireman?

What role does the U.N. play in the terrorist equation?

The UN is in the hands of Arab countries and third world or ex-communists
countries. Their hands are tied. The UN has condemned Israel more than any
other country in the world, including the regime of Castro, Idi Amin or

By behaving this way, the UN leaves a door open by not openly condemning
terrorist organizations. In addition, through UNRWA, the UN is directly tied
to terror organizations such as Hamas, representing 65 percent of their
apparatus in the so-called Palestinian refugee camps. As a support to Arab
countries, the UN has maintained Palestinians in camps with the hope to
"return" into Israel for more than 50 years, therefore making it impossible
to settle those populations, which still live in deplorable conditions.
Four-hundred million dollars are spent every year, mainly financed by U.S.
taxes, to support 23,000 employees of UNRWA, many of whom belong to
terrorist organizations (see Congressman Eric Cantor on this subject, and in
my film "Hostages of Hatred").

You say that a suicide bomber is a 'stupid bomb and a smart bomb'
simultaneously. Explain what you mean.

Unlike an electronic device, a suicide killer has until the last second the
capacity to change his mind. In reality, he is nothing but a platform
representing interests which are not his, but he doesn't know it.

How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism in

Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a
victim of ours. Radical Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Nazism.
Nobody was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had to defeat
him in order to make peace one day with the German people.

Are these men traveling outside their native areas in large numbers? Based
on your research, would you predict that we are beginning to see a new wave
of suicide bombings outside the Middle East?

Every successful terror attack is considered a victory by the radical
Islamists. Everywhere Islam is expands there is regional conflict. Right
now, their are thousands of candidates for martyrdom lining up in training
camps in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Pakistan. Inside Europe, hundreds of illegal
mosques are preparing the next step of brain washing to lost young men who
cannot find a satisfying identity in the Occidental world. Israel is much
more prepared for this than the rest of the world will ever be. Yes, there
will be more suicide killings in Europe and the U.S. Sadly, this is only the

[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

------------------------ Yahoo! Groups Sponsor --------------------~--> 
Get fast access to your favorite Yahoo! Groups. Make Yahoo! your home page

Want to discuss this topic?  Head on over to our discussion list, [EMAIL 
Brooks Isoldi, editor

  Post message:
  Subscribe:    [EMAIL PROTECTED]
  Unsubscribe:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]

*** FAIR USE NOTICE. This message contains copyrighted material whose use has 
not been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. OSINT, as a part of 
The Intelligence Network, is making it available without profit to OSINT 
YahooGroups members who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the 
included information in their efforts to advance the understanding of 
intelligence and law enforcement organizations, their activities, methods, 
techniques, human rights, civil liberties, social justice and other 
intelligence related issues, for non-profit research and educational purposes 
only. We believe that this constitutes a 'fair use' of the copyrighted material 
as provided for in section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Law. If you wish to use 
this copyrighted material for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use,' 
you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
For more information go to: 
Yahoo! Groups Links

<*> To visit your group on the web, go to:

<*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:

<*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to:

Reply via email to