It is not strange when we hear that a woman blew herself up among civilians or targeted an Iraqi policeman. Even though leaders and Islamic scholars have forbidden the use of human bodies to kill people, Al-Qaeda violates these precepts, as it violates Islamic values. It is constantly looking for means to kill more children, women and the defenseless. Among the means it employs is the use of women, mentally disabled people, and even children in suicide missions.
On Sunday, June 22nd, a woman wearing an explosives belt near the local administration building in the center of Baquba (east of the capital) killed 13 civilians, including Captain Riyadh Al-Karkhi from the Baquba police, and injured 30 others. This suicide bombing confirms the thoughtless nature of this organization, which aims to block the improvements that have taken place in security conditions and aims to keep displaced persons from returning to their homes and those abroad from returning to their homeland.
There have been 15 female suicide bombers in Diyala province in the past six months. Before Sunday’s bombing, the most recent of these saw a woman wearing an explosives belt target people celebrating the Iraqi national team’s victory over China on June 14th, in the sub-district of Qara Tappah. The attack killed two civilians and injured 37 others.
The Head of the Diyala Provincial Council, Ibrahim Bajlan, told Mawtani, “The information we have confirms the return of Al-Qaeda to the province, via the Hamrin Mountains. There may be more than 25 women that have been prepared to carry out suicide attacks in Diyala or other parts of Iraq.”
Discussions among security officials and by academics specialized in development and the transition Iraq is undergoing say that there are personal motivations and influences, resulting from the political and social environment these women are surrounded by, which force them to resort to violence to express their desire to kill others.
In this regard, Major General Abdul Karim Khalaf, the Spokesperson for the Ministry of the Interior, said, “These female bombers are a product of family violence, or they feel wronged by security forces killing their husband, brother, or relative who participated in terrorist attacks, which leads them to carry out these attacks as a form of revenge.” He added, “Al-Qaeda’s use of women in suicide attacks is an expression of their human and moral bankruptcy.”
Psychologist Doctor Nuha Al-Darwish said, “This phenomenon explains the victory of the idea of social and psychological defeat felt by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, especially after the success of military operations in different parts of Baghdad and the provinces, which has led to the dissolution of this organization’s cells and the destruction of their former safe havens.”
The first female suicide attack took place in 2004, amidst a group of youths volunteering for the Iraqi army in Al-Qaim, on the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Suicide attacks in different parts of the country followed, including the bombing in the Al-Ghazal Market in Baghdad last February 1st, in which two mentally-disabled women were blown up remotely, one after the other. Another woman blew herself up at one of Baghdad Al-Jadida’s popular markets on the same day. The two attacks claimed around 100 civilian victims.
It is strange that history would record Sajda Al-Rishawi’s determination to complete her mission to blow up one of Amman’s hotels in 2005, even though she failed to complete the operation. This led her husband to take her place, which indicates the power of this organization to play with and exploit the minds of its victims.
It is worth noting that the government has worked to allow women to enlist in the security services, with the aim of being able to justify searching women, which is a sensitive matter in Iraqi society when done by men. The first result of this program was the graduation of 92 policewomen in Karbala province, as well as others in Basra province.