Thursday, January 31, 2002

WAFA IDRIS: Did she mean to blow herself up? I am directed to this Salon piece via

It is still unclear whether Wafa intended to blow herself up or whether she was carrying the bomb for somebody else. An unofficial statement by Fatah's militant Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades only says that she was "martyred" in the operation. The Israeli police do not classify her as a suicide bomber, just a "bomber." It is possible that Wafa was acting as a courier and that the intended bomber was actually nearby when the device exploded prematurely. The man rumored to be her contact is said to have been lightly wounded and is receiving treatment at an Israeli hospital.

Rafe offers these comments:

The chilling thing about the profile is that there's nothing to suggest that this woman was an extremist of any kind -- she didn't wear a head scarf, and spent her time volunteering as a paramedic for the Red Crescent Society. Were I an Israeli, I think the question that would be haunting me is whether some of the suicide bombings are committed by people who are driven to suicidal depression by their day-to-day lives immersed in violence and poverty rather than by delusional Islamists on a hurry to get a one way ticket to paradise.

Catallaxy Files echoes those comments with his comments on Idris:

She was with the nationalist Fatah rather than the nutso jihaddists. Nonetheless ... Try as I might, I really can't understand the mentality and culture of death underlying all this, it is something that I just can't tap into or enter into. Am I too materialistic? Too individualistic? I don't know.

Those Ralph Peters comments about a freakish equilibrium we can't understand are seeming pretty much right on, the more I hear about Israel vs. Palestine.

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