Explaining Suicide Terrorism: A Review Essay

  • Citation: Crenshaw, Martha. "Explaining Suicide Terrorism: A review essay." Security Studies 16.1 (2007): 133-162.
    • Topics:
    • Conflict and Security
    • Keywords:
    • suicide terrorism
    • coercion

The current trend toward suicide bombings began in Lebanon in the early 1980s. The practice soon spread to civil conflicts in Sri Lanka, the Kurdish areas of Turkey, and Chechnya. Palestinian attacks on Israeli civilians in the 1990s and during the Al Aqsa intifada further highlighted the threat. Al Qaeda’s adoption of the tactic brought a transnational dimension. Interest in the phenomenon then surged after the shock of the 2001 attacks, which involved an unprecedented number of both perpetrators and casualties. Since then, suicide bombings have expanded in number and geographical range, reaching extraordinary levels in the Iraq War and spreading around the world to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Tunisia, Kenya, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Afghanistan, Egypt, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Britain

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