Suicide bombings were first used by the Shiite Muslim group Hezbollah
in Lebanon in 1982 and have been used widely throughout the Middle
East and Asia, the New York Times reported.
In the last decade, Palestinians have carried out more than 200
suicide attacks in Israel and the occupied territories. There
have been more than 500 suicide bombings in Iraq since the U.S.
invasion of 2003.
And while those who attacked the United States on Sept. 11, 2001
died, they used a sophisticated plan involving hijackers and jetliners.
the recent London attack is the first suicide bombing in the West.
Even the terrorist attacks in Madrid in March 2004, which killed
191 people, were done remotely.
And many believe that preventing suicide attacks will be very
"A suicide attacker could be anyone," terrorist expert
Daniel Benjamin told the New York Times. "He doesn't have
to be trained, just indoctrinated. There's no profile; that's
what makes it so hard to defend against."
British Prime Minister Tony Blair has said since the bombings
that he plans to explore new anti-terrorism laws.
"We will look urgently at how we strengthen the procedures
to exclude people from entering the UK who may incite hatred or
act contrary to the public good, and at how we deport such people,
if they come here, more easily," Blair said.
Compiled by Annie Schleicher for NewsHour Extra