Path to Paradise

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-04-02
  • Publisher: Univ of Nebraska Pr
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Suicide bombers are often compared to smart bombs. From their dispatchers' point of view, they are highly effective, inexpensive weapons, and there is no need to invest in their technological development. Suicide bombers are in fact smarter than smart bombs because they can choose their own targets and can react to circumstances on the ground, changing their target or their timing in an instant to ensure the maximum damage, destruction, and death. Of course, unlike smart bombs, suicide bombers think and feel. They have histories, stories, beliefs, and desires. In short, they have an inner world. Exploring the inner world of suicide bombers has been the focus of Anat Berko's research for years. What are their thought processes? Do male bombers really believe that death will transport them to a paradise inhabited by virgins? What are female bombers promised in the hereafter? Berko also explores the world of those who "drop the smart bomb"- the dispatchers. Who are the people who persuade others to go calmly to their horrific deaths? To learn about the inner world of suicide bombers and their dispatchers, Berko entered Israel's most heavily secured prison cells and conducted intensive and extensive interviews with male and female suicide bombers who had failed their missions, as well as with their dispatchers-including former Hamas spiritual and operative leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin (later assassinated by Israeli Defense Forces). With a foreword by Moshe Addad.

Author Biography

Anat Berko holds a Ph.D. in criminology and served as lieutenant colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces. She is a research fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism and also conducts research for the National Security Council. From 2008 to 2009 she served as visiting professor at George Washington University.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. xiii
Dispatcher of Palestinian Suicide Bombers: "Find Me Sad Guys"p. 1
The Role of the Dispatcher: "Everybody Has His Job: I Dispatch the Suicide Bomber and He Explodes"p. 14
Organization: "The Dispatchers Don't Send Their Own Sons to Blow Themselves Up"p. 25
Dispatchers Are Held in High Esteem: "I'm Considered Someone Who Does Something Good"p. 36
Dispatcher Macho: "My Father Taught It What It Means to Be a Man and Didn't Allow US to Be Cowards"p. 44
Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, Hamas Founder: "The Shaheed Doesn't Die, He Lives with Allah"p. 50
Women in Prison: "She Poured Boiling Margarine on My Face"p. 69
As Machiavelli Said, "The End Justifies the Means"p. 80
The Book of Mug Shots: "Huda Can't Talk to You Now, She's Having Her Face Done"p. 90
The Value of Women: "I'll Never Do Anyone Any Good, Anyway"p. 96
The Terrorist's Dream: "I've Wanted to Be a Shaheeda Ever Since I Was a Little Girl"p. 113
Double Standard: "Sure, I'd Attack a Kindergarten! I Am Able to Look at Your Children-and Explode!"p. 125
Is the "Other" a Human Being? "Do Israeli Mothers Feel Pain Like We Do?"p. 137
A Teenage Shaheed: "My Classmate Enlisted Me as a Shaheed. He Was Paid and Gave Me 100 Shekels"p. 147
Paradise: "All That Is Forbidden in This World Is Allowed in Paradise"p. 159
The Last Wordp. 171
Notesp. 177
Glossaryp. 179
Selected Bibliographyp. 181
Indexp. 185
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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