There was Muneira, who planned to blow herself up at a hospital near Tel Aviv. There was Jemilla, who escorted a young boy to his suicide bombing at a market; he was excited he soon would be meeting girls in Paradise. And there was Sabiha, who prepared explosives and trained other women to do the same.
With courage and compassion, Anat Berko, a criminologist and member of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee of Israel’s Knesset, interviewed them all.
Their stories, and the insights they provide into the motives and lives of female suicide bombers, fill the pages of The Smarter Bomb: Women and Children as Suicide Bombers, newly released in paperback. Though first published in 2012, the release of a new edition underscores the difficult, ongoing challenges suicide bombers pose, and the continued efforts to understand the relatively new phenomenon of women suicide bombers and the role of women in violent jihad.
To read more about Anat Berko’s research, click here for an interview with her recently conducted by Abigail R. Esman.