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Suicide Bombers Span World, Classes of Potential Terrorists

Suicide bombers make the news almost daily in Iraq, but the tactic has long been employed elsewhere around the world. NewsHour analysts explain how recruitment for suicide bombers has become easier and why people would kill themselves for a cause.

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  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    As the Iraqi parliament met today, a moment of silence for their colleague, a Sunni lawmaker who was killed yesterday when a suicide bomber attacked the parliament lunchroom. Twenty-two others were injured by the bombing in the heart of what was supposed to be Iraq's most secure place, the Green Zone.

    It wasn't the only suicide attack of the day in Iraq; this bridge over the Tigris River was destroyed by a truck bomb. In fact, attacks elsewhere this week showed that the phenomenon of suicide bombings is not at all limited to Iraq. From Afghanistan, where seven NATO troops were injured in Kandahar yesterday, to Algeria, where on Wednesday the capital city of Algiers shook with the deadliest attack there in 10 years. Thirty-three people were killed and more than 200 injured in two bombings, one aimed at the office of the prime minister. He survived.

    Islamic Maghreb, one of North Africa's most active terrorist groups and a wing of the al-Qaida organization, said it planned and carried out the attacks. These images of the bombers were proudly displayed on an Islamic Web site, which hailed them as martyrs.

    Women have also taken lives in suicidal attacks. Just this week, a female bomber approached a line of police recruits outside of Baghdad and killed more than 15 of them. Suicide bombings became a regular occurrence in Israel during the second Palestinian Intifada at the turn of the decade. They were often the work of a single bomber at a bus stop or cafe…

  • JOURNALIST:

    We are just absolutely stunned…

  • JEFFREY BROWN:

    … but they've also been carried out on a more spectacular scale outside the Middle East, including, of course, 9/11 in the United States and the multiple attacks on London subways and buses two years ago. Those attacks killed 52 rush-hour commuters and injured more than 700 others.