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Global Rise of Suicide Terrorism: An Overview

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Suicide attacks are the targeted use of self-destructing humans against a perceived enemy for political ends. After reviewing terrorism and suicide terrorism trends between 1980 and 2003 the paper shows that suicide attacks have increased dramatically between 2004 and 2005 and have become a global phenomenon. Three main sites of suicide terrorism namely, Iraq, Israel and Sri Lanka are examined in some detail including information about the main terrorist groups responsible for sponsoring suicide attacks and some profiles of individuals involved. The paper then examines the main sociological explanations of suicide attacks, including a description of the strategic logic behind these atrocities, and the notion of life being a weapon. It concludes with an overview of the recommendations emerging from studies that seek to prevent suicide terrorism.

Affiliations: 1: Flinders University


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