Sunday, October 16, 2005

Would-Be Suicide Bomber Arrested

[Found at LGF]
In another raid, the army arrested a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who told his interrogators that militants from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — which has ties to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement — pressured him to carry out a suicide bombing after he quarreled with his father.
What is most interesting is the sequence of events that led to his arrest. First, the boy was recruited:

Militant groups have increasingly turned to youths to carry out attacks in recent years, hoping the army would be less suspicious of them. The boy, identified by militants and his parents as Salah al Jitan, would have been one of the youngest Palestinian suicide bombers.

Salah’s parents, who confirmed their son is 14, said that after they quarreled with him about a month ago, five armed Al-Aqsa militants came to their house to tell them to leave the boy alone. Last week, they came again, this time to take him away for a suicide bombing, said his father, Moussa al Jitan.

But not everything went as the terrorists hoped.
The father said Salah did not want to go, adding that he would not let them take him.
It's not like the "Martyrs" could just kill him.
The teenager did not leave the house until Israeli forces arrested him Monday, a move his parents welcomed. "Good, he will be in jail. That's better than dying," said Sariel al Jitan, his mother.
No kidding. Interesting, as well, to note the threats against him.
The teenager said the militants threatened to kill him and tell everyone he was a collaborator with Israel if he didn't carry out the attack, the army said.
What a dumb threat: "If you don't blow yourself up, we'll kill you." Shockingly, the Al-Aqsa Brigades denied the story, and claimed that they turned down the child's offer to be a bomber.

Jamal Tirawi, an Al-Aqsa commander the army accused of recruiting the boy, said the account was "a lie."

Tirawi said Salah was 17 and approached the group to volunteer to carry out an attack. Al-Aqsa refused because he is the only son in his family, Tirawi said. "The boy is lying, and the Israelis are lying," he said.

Firstly, the parents stated the child was 14. They also backed the Israeli account of the story. Why would they do such a thing, and risk their own lives - unless it were true?! It's also strange that any group would turn down a bomber - at least for the reasons stated.

The real story here, however, is the parents' refusal to allow their child to be a bomber. It will be interesting to see if other parents begin doing the same - which I think is quite likely.

There are 2 possibilities as to what will happen, both with positive long-term results.
1) The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades leave the parents and child (if released) alone. This would result in other Palestinians no longer fearing the arm of Al-Aqsa, and they would now be able to begin refusing the desires of the terrorists.
2) They kill the parents, the child, or both. This would turn many Palestinians against Al-Aqsa: While they may respect the suicide bombers, they're not neccesarily jumping at the chance to send their own children to become ones - and they won't want to be forced into it. It may result in a mini-civil war in which the terrorists are marginalized by the people they claim to represent.
Either way, this story may turn out to be a lot bigger than it seems.

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