The Smarter Bomb by Anat Berko
Women and Children as Suicide Bombers

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This compelling book offers a unique glimpse into the motivations of suicide bombers, especially women and children, and those who recruit and dispatch them. As a woman and a mother, Anat Berko was able to win the trust of imprisoned bombers and speak with them intimately. Entering Israel’s most heavily secured cells, she met with female and adolescent would-be suicide bombers and their dispatchers, lawyers, and interrogators. The personal stories are greatly enriched by the inclusion of the sketches and letters many prisoners gave to the author.

She explores vital questions: What leads individuals to place explosives on their bodies, kill and injure scores of civilians, and take their own lives? Do men really believe that death will transport them to paradise, where Allah, virgins, and wine await them? Are women victims of unbearable pressure to commit this act of terror? Can a woman be “good” according to the criteria of Arab/Palestinian society and a terrorist at the same time? Is involvement in terrorism a sign of the liberation of Palestinian women or another way of preserving their social inferiority, thus explaining their low status and the inferior rewards the families of female suicide bombers receive? Who are the dispatchers, and how do they manipulate and convince women and youngsters to go calmly to their death?

The answers to these questions offer a rare and candid portrayal that will be essential reading for all those wanting to understand the interior world of suicide bombers and how to communicate with terrorists.


About Anat Berko

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Anat Berko holds a Ph.D. in criminology and served as lieutenant colonel in the Israeli Defense Forces. She is a research fellow at the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya and also conducts research for the National Security Council. She is currently a visiting professor at George Washington University.
Published October 16, 2012 by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 213 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Self Help, Education & Reference, Children's Books, Crime. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Smarter Bomb

Publishers Weekly

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Berko, an authority on terrorism and researcher for the National Security Council, explores primarily why and how Palestinian terrorist groups use women. Based on years of interviews with Palestinian

Sep 10 2012 | Read Full Review of The Smarter Bomb: Women and C...

The Washington Times

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On Nov. 20, toward the conclusion of the Hamas-Israel war, an Israeli Arab reportedly placed a bomb under a seat in a bus in Tel Aviv that was detonated by a remote-control cellphone. His West Bank cell had set off the bomb after he had gotten off the bus and escaped to his Arab village.

Nov 29 2012 | Read Full Review of The Smarter Bomb: Women and C...

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