Friday, November 13, 2015

How To Recognize A Bomber

In 1989 I went to a course on terrorism. At the time it was not a mandatory class but 3 years later it was mandatory for being deployed. When I asked a friend I know who is in the Air Force serving in very close to the same jobs and involvement that I did in the military, he sent me this handout he received in the same course that I took in 1989. I’m sure the course content has changed a great deal since ‘89.

Perhaps because of this country’s lack of direct experience with suicide bombings, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released a statement claiming there is “no specific profile for those who have engaged in suicide/homicide bombings.”
In contrast, Israel, which has experienced over 300 such bombings since 1993, with 242 of them occurring since 2000, has developed some guidelines and profiles that highlight the general characteristics of a suicide bomber.2,3 These include:
32% have at least a high school education and more than 25% have some college background.
Suicide bombers participate in months of indoctrination training. When ready for the mission, they are in a “hypnotic state” believing that the mission will open heaven’s gates.
A majority of suicide/homicide bombers are unmarried. Some have spouses and children.
Most are male between 17–23 years of age; however, women, children and older men have been recruited for suicide bombing missions.
The first known suicide bombing by a woman (January 2002) was carried out by Wafa Idris, a 27-year-old divorcee who volunteered as a paramedic. More recently, Reem Raiyshi, a 22-year-old mother of two, perpetrated an attack at a border crossing between Israel and the Gaza strip. The media have reported recent attacks by Chechen rebels, whose suicide bombings have mostly been carried out by women. It is generally believed that the Chechen women were not acting on religious fanaticism, but rather avenging the deaths of friends or relatives in the conflict with Russia.
Approximately a quarter of suicide bombers are between 24–48 years old. There are also reports of attacks carried out by children and by older individuals, although exact numbers are uncertain.

General Demeanor
Certain behavioral characteristics of a suicide bomber have been identified. These include:
The appearance of being nervous. They may seem preoccupied or have a blank stare.
Focused intent and vigilance. Such an acute focus may result in no response to verbal or other contact.
An awkward attempt to blend in. Behavior will seem odd or overtly out of place.
Avoidance behaviors toward authority. If security is present, suicide bomber tries to be inconspicuous.
May be praying fervently to him/herself. This gives the appearance of talking or whispering to someone. Keep in mind that many people talk to themselves, thus this behavior in and of itself has little meaning. Further, either of these behaviors could be confused with speaking on a cell phone headset.
Behavior may be consistent with that of a person without any future. For example, giving away things of value, buying a one-way ticket, or being unconcerned about receiving change for a purchase. In addition:
Profuse sweating that is out of synch with weather conditions.
Walking deliberately toward a specific object or target, often pushing their way through a crowd or around barriers. May show a high degree of focus or intent, especially if the target is in sight.
Lack of mobility of the lower torso may cause upper body stiffness. This is due to the bomb device that is strapped to the body. The increased use of backpacks may reduce or eliminate this element.
In order to disguise the appearance, a beard may have been recently shaved or the hair cut short. There is a noticeable difference in the skin color of the recently shaved area.
To smell better when going to paradise, the suicide bomber may use herbal- or floral-scented water.
General Appearance
As the event draws near, the suicide bomber needs to prepare to deliver the device. There are certain clues in appearance, such as clothing, that could foretell of an impending attack. The suspect might be purchasing, wearing or carrying such items as:
Clothing that does not match the weather. For example, wearing a heavy coat on a warm day.
Clothing that is excessively loose, giving the appearance that the head is out of proportion with the body. The loose clothing is used to conceal explosives worn close to the body.
The suicide bomber may carry a backpack, bag, briefcase or luggage.
The detonating switch is often held in a clenched fist. Backup devices might also be used, including a timer, pager, cellular phone or booby-trap switch. An accomplice or supervisor can remotely detonate the bomb if the attacker is detained or killed, or if the attack is otherwise aborted.
The appearance of excessive weight. Many bombs will be packed with shrapnel such as ball bearings, nuts, bolts, screws, nails or other small metal objects that are dispersed into the crowd upon detonation. These comprise the bomber’s primary “kill” mechanism.

I share this for your education. I seem to constantly talk about situational awareness, but it is so important in the world we live in. Be aware. Check6!

Semper Paratus
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