September 29, 2006 Tasked with pinpointing motivation, analysts find
terrorists ‘rational actors’ following ‘holy book’With suicide bombings spreading from Iraq to Afghanistan, the Pentagon has tasked intelligence analysts to pinpoint what’s driving Muslim after Muslim to do the unthinkable.Their preliminary finding is politically explosive: it’s their “holy book” the Quran after all, according to intelligence briefings obtained by WND.
In public, the U.S. government has made an effort to avoid linking the terrorist threat to Islam and the Quran while dismissing suicide terrorists as crazed heretics who pervert Islamic teachings.
“The terrorists distort the idea of jihad into a call for violence and murder,” the White House maintains in its recently released “National Strategy for Combating Terrorism” report.
But internal Pentagon briefings show intelligence analysts have reached a wholly different conclusion after studying Islamic scripture and the backgrounds of suicide terrorists. They’ve found that most Muslim suicide bombers are in fact students of the Quran who are motivated by its violent commands – making them, as strange as it sounds to the West, “rational actors” on the Islamic stage.
Palestinian child pretends he’s a suicide bomber
In Islam, it is not how one lives one’s life that guarantees spiritual salvation, but how one dies, according to the briefings. There are great advantages to becoming a martyr. Dying while fighting the infidels in the cause of Allah reserves a special place and honor in Paradise. And it earns special favor with Allah.
“Suicide in defense of Islam is permitted, and the Islamic suicide bomber is, in the main, a rational actor,” concludes a recent Pentagon briefing paper titled, “Motivations of Muslim Suicide Bombers.”
Suicide for Allah a ‘win-win’
“His actions provide a win-win scenario for himself, his family, his faith and his God,” the document explains. “The bomber secures salvation and the pleasures of Paradise. He earns a degree of financial security and a place for his family in Paradise. He defends his faith and takes his place in a long line of martyrs to be memorialized as a valorous fighter.
“And finally, because of the manner of his death, he is assured that he will find favor with Allah,” the briefing adds. “Against these considerations, the selfless sacrifice by the individual Muslim to destroy Islam’s enemies becomes a suitable, feasible and acceptable course of action.”
The briefing – produced by a little-known Pentagon intelligence unit called the Counterintelligence Field Activity, or CIFA – cites a number of passages from the Quran dealing with jihad, or “holy” warfare, martyrdom and Paradise, where “beautiful mansions” and “maidens” await martyr heroes. In preparation for attacks, suicide terrorists typically recite passages from six surahs, or chapters, of the Quran: Baqura (Surah 2), Al Imran (3), Anfal (8), Tawba (9), Rahman (55) and Asr (103).
CIFA staffs hundreds of investigators and analysts to help coordinate Pentagon security efforts at U.S. military installations at home and abroad.
The Pentagon unit is especially concerned about a new wave of suicide bombings hitting Afghanistan.
Suicide bombings have killed more than 200 people in Afghanistan this year, up from single digits two years ago. On Tuesday, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive vest and killed 18 outside an Afghan government compound. Last week, a suicide bomber riding a bike killed at least four NATO soldiers. And earlier this month, a suicide car bomber rammed into a U.S. military convoy near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, killing 16 people, including two American soldiers.
500 suicide bombers in reserve
The U.S. command in Afghanistan now warns that a suicide bombing cell is operating inside the Afghan capital. Meanwhile, the Taliban’s top military commander told ABC News he has 500 suicide bombers at his disposal.
“We have so many of them that it is difficult to accommodate and arm and equip them,” Mullah Dadullah Akhund said. “Some of them have been waiting for a year or more for their turn to be sent to the battlefield.”
The emergence of a suicide cell in Kabul troubles military analysts because suicide attacks are the most effective weapon Muslim terrorists can use against the West. The Rand Corp. predicts they’ll pose a serious and constant threat to the U.S. for years to come.
The U.S. intelligence community is growing increasingly worried, as well.
“Most jihadist groups will use suicide attacks focused primarily on soft targets to implement asymmetric warfare strategy,” warns the just-declassified executive summary of the National Intelligence Estimate on the global terror threat. “Fighters with experience in Iraq are a potential source of leadership for jihadists pursuing these tactics.”
Many scholars and media pundits, however, insist Muslim suicide bombers are not driven by religion.
“Beneath the religious rhetoric with which [such terror] is perpetrated, it occurs largely in the service of secular aims,” claims Professor Robert A. Pape of the University of Chicago. “Suicide terrorism is mainly a response to foreign occupation rather than a product of Islamic fundamentalism.”
He says U.S. foreign policy is more a factor than faith.
“Though it speaks of Americans as infidels, al-Qaida is less concerned with converting us to Islam than removing us from Arab and Muslim lands,” Pape said.
But what about the recent video by Adam Gadahn, the American al-Qaida, warning fellow Americans to convert to Islam before al-Qaida attacks again?
“He never mentions virgins or the benefits Islamic martyrs receive in Heaven,” Pape asserted.
In fact, Gadahn notes 36 minutes into his speech that Allah reserves the highest rewards – “honors and delights” – for martyrs in Paradise.
“[He] promised the martyr in his path the reward over and above the reward of the believer,” Gadahn said. “He has promised them honors and delights too numerous to go into here.”
The 9/11 hijackers and the London bombers made martyrdom videos. In their last testaments, they recite the Quran while talking of their “love of death” and “sacrificing life for Allah.” Seven martyrdom videotapes also were recovered by British authorities in the foiled transatlantic sky terror plot.
Before the 9/11 attacks, the hijackers shaved and doused themselves with flower water in preparation for their weddings with the beautiful virgins in Paradise. “Know that the women of Paradise are waiting, calling out ‘Come hither, friend of Allah,'” according to a four-page letter circulated among them titled “THE LAST NIGHT.” “They have dressed in their most beautiful clothing.”
But are the virgins scriptural or apocryphal? French documentarian Pierre Rehov, who interviewed the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in an attempt to find out why they do it, says it’s not a myth or fantasy of heretics.
He says there’s no doubt the Quran “promises virgins” to Muslim men who die while fighting infidels in jihad, and it’s a key motivating factor behind suicide terrorism.
“It’s obviously connected to religion,” said Rehov, who features his interviews with Muslims in a recently released film, “Suicide Killers.” “They really believe they are going to get the virgins.”
He says would-be Muslim suicide bombers he’s interviewed have shown him passages in the Quran “in which it’s absolutely written that they’re going to get the girls in the afterlife.”
Muslim clerics do not disavow the virgins-for-martyrs reward as a perverted interpretation of the Quran.
And even Muslim leaders in the West condone suicide bombings. British scholar Azzam Tamimi recently told 8,000 Muslims in Manchester, England, that dying while fighting “George Bush and Tony Blair” is “just” and “the greatest act of martyrdom.” Earlier, he said it’s “the straight way to pleasing Allah.”
And the founder of an allegedly mainstream Muslim group in Washington – the Council on American-Islamic Relations – also has given his blessing to suicide bombings.
Addressing a youth session at the 1999 Islamic Association for Palestine’s annual convention in Chicago, CAIR founder Omar Ahmad praised suicide bombers who “kill themselves for Islam,” according to a transcript provided by terror expert Steve Emerson’s Investigative Project.
“Fighting for freedom, fighting for Islam, that is not suicide,” Ahmad asserted. “They kill themselves for Islam.”
Osama bin Laden has encouraged “Muslims brothers” to defeat the U.S. and U.K. with suicide attacks.
“I tell you to act upon the orders of Allah,” he said in 2003, “be united against Bush and Blair and defeat them through suicide attacks so that you may be successful before Allah.”