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Suicide

This occurred to me when checking out the $12,000 bill the Pakistani Taliban paid Faisal Shazad:

[T]he U.S. can now say that for $12,000 and the pricelessness of sustained ridicule, Shahzad’s life is over at 30. Two of the ten counts in his indictment carry charges of life in prison. It’s notable that so far, al-Qaeda and its allies have yet to find an American Muslim who’s been willing to commit an act of suicide terrorism. Perhaps Shahzad’s indictment can have some prophylactic effect: You wanna be that guy?

Am I forgetting anyone? I suppose an exception could be Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan: you would presume he didn’t intend to get out of the Fort Hood shootings alive, but I guess that’s going to have to be determined at trial. On the other hand, you can also reasonably object that the sample size is too small to draw a conclusion about domestic recruitment and suicide bombings. But given al-Qaeda’s focus on suicide bombings for its most dramatic attacks, the absence of the tactic during this current rising tide of U.S.-homeland focus looks noteworthy.

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Spencer Ackerman

Spencer Ackerman

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