If this article
doesn't cause you to pause and think, nothing will.
Very revealing and worth the read.
THE PSYCHOLOGY BEHIND SUICIDE BOMBINGS
By - Pierre Rehov, documentary filmmaker
On July 15, MSNBC's
"Connected" program discussed the July 7th London attacks.
One of the guests was Pierre Rehov, a French filmmaker who
has filmed six documentaries on the intifada by going
undercover in the Palestinian areas. Pierre's upcoming film,
"Suicide Killers," is based on interviews that he conducted
with the families of suicide bombers and would-be bombers in
an attempt to find out why they do it. Pierre agreed to a
request for a Q&A interview here about his work on the new
- What inspired you to produce "Suicide Killers," your
A - I started working with victims of suicide
attacks to make a film on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress
Disorder) when I became fascinated with the personalities of
those who had committed those crimes, as they were described
again and again by their victims. Especially, the fact that
suicide bombers are all smiling one second before they blow
- Why is this film especially important?
A - People don't understand the devastating
culture behind this unbelievable phenomenon. My film is not
politically correct because it addresses the real problem,
showing the real face of Islam. It points the finger against
a culture of hatred in which the uneducated are brainwashed
to a level where their only solution in life becomes to kill
themselves and kill others in the name of a God whose word,
as transmitted by other men, has become their only
- What insights did you gain from making this film? What do
you know that other experts do not know?
A - I came to the conclusion that we are
facing a neurosis at the level of an entire civilization.
Most neuroses have in common a dramatic event, generally
linked to an unacceptable sexual behavior. In this case, we
are talking of kids living all their lives in pure
frustration, with no opportunity to experience sex, love,
tenderness or even understanding from the opposite sex. The
separation between men and women in Islam is absolute. So is
contempt toward women, who are totally dominated by men.
This leads to a situation of pure anxiety, in which normal
behavior is not possible. It is no coincidence that suicide
killers are mostly young men dominated subconsciously by an
overwhelming libido that they not only cannot satisfy but
are afraid of, as if it is the work of the devil. Since
Islam describes heaven as a place where everything on Earth
will finally be allowed, and promises 72 virgins to those
frustrated kids, killing others and killing themselves to
reach this redemption becomes their only solution.
- What was it like to interview would-be suicide bombers,
their families and survivors of suicide bombings?
A - It was a fascinating and a terrifying
experience. You are dealing with seemingly normal people
with very nice manners who have their own logic, which to a
certain extent can make sense since they are so convinced
that what they say is true. It is like dealing with pure
craziness, like interviewing people in an asylum, since what
they say, is for them, the absolute truth. I hear a mother
saying "Thank God, my son is dead." Her son had became a
shaheed, a martyr, which for her was a greater source of
pride than if he had became an engineer, a doctor or a
winner of the Nobel Prize. This system of values works
completely backwards since their interpretation of Islam
worships death much more than life. You are facing people
whose only dream, only achievement goal is to fulfill what
they believe to be their destiny, namely to be a shaheed or
the family of a shaheed. They don't see the innocent being
killed, they only see the impure that they have to
- You say suicide bombers experience a moment of absolute
power, beyond punishment. Is death the ultimate power?
A - Not death as an end, but death as a door
opener to the after life. They are seeking the reward that
God has promised them. They work for God, the ultimate
authority, above all human laws. They therefore experience
this single delusional second of absolute power, where
nothing bad can ever happen to them, since they become God's
- Is there a suicide bomber personality profile? Describe
A - Generally kids between 15 and 25 bearing
a lot of complexes, generally inferiority complexes. They
must have been fed with religion. They usually have a lack
of developed personality. Usually they are impressionable
idealists. In the western world they would easily have
become drug addicts, but not criminals. Interestingly, they
are not criminals since they don't see good and evil the
same way that we do. If they had been raised in an
Occidental culture, they would have hated violence. But they
constantly battle against their own death anxiety. The only
solution to this deep-seated pathology is to be willing to
die and be rewarded in the afterlife in Paradise.
- Are suicide bombers principally motivated by religious
A - Yes, it is their only conviction. They
don't act to gain a territory or to find freedom or even
dignity. They only follow Allah, the supreme judge, and what
He tells them to do.
Q - Do all Muslims
interpret jihad and martyrdom in the same way?
A - All Muslim believers believe that,
ultimately, Islam will prevail on earth. They believe this
is the only true religion and there is no room, in their
mind, for interpretation. The main difference between
moderate Muslims and extremists is that moderate Muslims
don't think they will see the absolute victory of Islam
during their lifetime, therefore they respect other beliefs.
The extremists believe that the fulfillment of the Prophecy
of Islam and ruling the entire world as described in the
Koran, is for today. Each victory of Bin Laden convinces 20
million moderate Muslims to become extremists.
[COMMENT: This is an interesting insight
on the difference between the radicals and the moderates,
and explains why the moderates will not get serious with the
radicals. There is no difference between them in principle,
only in degree. The end results are expected to be the
same. E. Fox]
Describe the culture that manufactures suicide bombers.
A - Oppression, lack of freedom, brain
washing, organized poverty, placing God in charge of daily
life, total separation between men and women, forbidding
sex, giving women no power whatsoever, and placing men in
charge of family honor, which is mainly connected to their
- What socio-economic forces support the perpetuation of
A - Muslim charity is usually a cover for
supporting terrorist organizations. But one has also to look
at countries like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran , which
are also supporting the same organizations through different
networks. The ironic thing in the case of Palestinian
suicide bombers is that most of the money comes through
financial support from the Occidental world, donated to a
culture that utterly hates and rejects the West (mainly
symbolized by Israel).
- Is there a financial support network for the families of
the suicide bombers? If so, who is paying them and how does
that affect the decision?
A - There used to be a financial incentive in
the days of Saddam Hussein ($25,000 per family) and Yasser
Arafat (smaller amounts), but these days are gone. It is a
mistake to believe that these families would sacrifice their
children for money. Although the children themselves, who
are very attached to their families, might find in this
financial support another reason to become suicide bombers.
It is like buying a life insurance policy and then
- Why are so many suicide bombers young men?
A - As discussed above, libido is paramount.
Also ego, because this is a sure way to become a hero. The
shaheeds are the cowboys or the firemen of Islam. Shaheed is
a positively reinforced value in this culture. And what kid
has never dreamed of becoming a cowboy or a fireman?
- What role does the U.N. play in the terrorist equation?
A - The U.N. is in the hands of Arab
countries and third world or ex-communist countries. Their
hands are tied. The U.N. has condemned Israel more than any
other country in the world, including the regime of Castro,
Idi Amin or Kaddahfi. By behaving this way, the U.N. leaves
a door open by not openly condemning terrorist
organizations. In addition, through UNRWA, the U.N. is
directly tied to terror organizations such as Hamas,
representing 65 percent of their apparatus in the so-called
Palestinian refugee camps. As a support to Arab countries,
the U.N. has maintained Palestinians in camps with the hope
to "return" into Israel for more than 50 years, therefore
making it impossible to settle those populations, which
still live in deplorable conditions. Four hundred million
dollars are spent every year, mainly financed by U.S. taxes,
to support 23,000 employees of UNRWA, many of whom belong to
terrorist organizations (see Congressman Eric Cantor on this
subject, and in my film "Hostages of Hatred"). Now you might
understand why I call the UN the United Notions. They never
intended to act in favor of much of the Free World.
- You say that a suicide bomber is a 'stupid bomb and a
smart bomb' simultaneously. Explain what you mean.
A - Unlike an electronic device, a suicide
killer has until the last second the capacity to change his
mind. In reality, he is nothing but a platform representing
interests which are not his, but he doesn't know it.
- How can we put an end to the madness of suicide bombings
and terrorism in general?
A - Stop being politically correct and stop
believing that this culture is a victim of ours. Radical
Islamism today is nothing but a new form of Nazism. Nobody
was trying to justify or excuse Hitler in the 1930s. We had
to defeat him in order to make peace one day with the German
- Are these men traveling outside their native areas in
large numbers? Based on your research, would you predict
that we are beginning to see a new wave of suicide bombings
outside the Middle East?
A - Every successful terror attack is
considered a victory by the radical Islamists. Everywhere
Islam expands there is regional conflict. Right now, there
are thousands of candidates for martyrdom lining up in
training camps in Bosnia, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Inside
Europe, hundreds of illegal mosques are preparing the next
step of brain washing to lost young men who cannot find a
satisfying identity in the Occidental world. Israel is much
more prepared for this than the rest of the world will ever
be. Yes, there will be more suicide killings in Europe and
the U.S. Sadly, this is only the beginning.
[Comment: This is a spiritual war,
not primarily military or psychological. Or, the real
psychologist is God. Either we catch onto how to raise
the 2-edged Sword of the Spirit, the word of truth spoken in
love, or we will lose this war. See
Strategy with Islam. E. Fox]