chapter  3
20 Pages

Beyond the bombings: Analyzing female suicide bombers

ByDEBRA ZEDALIS

Looking back, it is hard to pinpoint when the world first noticed the recurring, violent use of female suicide bombers. Female suicide bombing began in 1985 with 16-year-old Khyadali Sana in Lebanon; however, since 1985, the ever-increasing death toll associated with numerous attacks in multiple countries by a variety of organizations has elicited worldwide attention. Although validated data is not available, a conservative estimate of the carnage is approximately 600 dead and 800 wounded in eight countries by 49 female suicide bombers. Of particular concern is the increasing lethality of the attacks, with 485 deaths occurring in 25 bombings since 2002. The Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) states that the “number of casualties is constantly increasing, due to the increase in overall suicide attacks and due to the improvement and sophistication of suicide attacks as the subject gains more attention.”2