Suicide bombers call for better working conditions
7 Aug 2003

A group claiming to speak on behalf of suicide bombers worldwide has
called for its members to have better working conditions. According to
Suicide Bombers International, which worryingly claims to have over
10,000 active members, many suicide bombers are treated badly by the
terrorist organisations they work for.

"A lot of these suicide bombers are being exploited," said the
organisation's press officer, Douglas Ramsbottom, a former suicide
bomber who left the job on health grounds. "Once they join a terrorist
group there's no going back. There are no unions, no health and safety
inspectors, nothing. The conditions are often terrible."

Despite pressure from the group, terrorist organisations appear
reluctant to offer better conditions. "There is very little we can do
to improve conditions for our suicide bombers," said a senior al Qaeda
figure. "There is always a risk in that job of death or serious
injury. It's like sending children down mines. It's dangerous, but it
has to be done."

Suicide Bombers International says it will carry on campaigning
regardless. "We have very little choice," said Mr Ramsbottom. "If we
didn't, then all the suicide bombers out there will continue to wear
ill-fitting explosives causing back injuries, or be forced to work in
squalid underground hide-outs. Who knows, maybe some of them will even
die because of the poor conditions they are working in. We simply
cannot stand by and let that happen."

The group also faces an unsympathetic media. "We've tried to get the
media on our side, but to no avail," he continued. "All we ever get
from the press is criticism and abuse. We also tried writing to MPs,
Congressmen and the like, but it seems that nobody is interested in
the plight of the suicide bomber."

However, there may be hope in sight. The European Union is said to be
considering a new employment directive that would force all terrorist
groups operating within its borders to have annual inspections of all
premises by health and safety personnel. "This would be a fantastic
step forward," commented Mr Ramsbottom. "But I think there will be
some resistance to it. A lot of the groups think that self-regulation
is the best option. Hopefully we will be able to reach a compromise." 

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