Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber

2003, Crime  -  48 min Leave a Comment
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What motivates suicide bombers, how do they view the world, and how do civilized societies combat the hateful ideologies that inspire them? Authorities are hesitant to allow outside media an opportunity to interview imprisoned terrorists; they believe it provides these criminals with a persuasive forum from which they can promote their hate. The makers of Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber clearly believe that sunlight is the most effective disinfectant. The film takes us inside an Israeli prison and features intimate conversations with three captured terrorists who failed in their attempts at martyrdom.

In one profile, a 17-year old Palestinian boy confesses to the futility and hopelessness of his life. He longed for an escape from his problematic daily existence, and coveted the lavish lifestyles afforded to the wealthiest Israelis. Gripped by these festering insecurities, he was willing to destroy himself and others as long as it earned him a place in paradise where seventy virgins awaited his arrival. Luckily, humanity prevailed and the boy was unable to enact his horrifying suicide mission.

Terrorist organizations target and build upon these feelings of inadequacy, hatred and vengeance in potential recruits. They know which vulnerabilities to exploit, and how to bend the young and impressionable to do their bidding. In the confessions of these thwarted martyrs, we learn how these organizations operate, their detailed instructions on how to carry out a successful mission, and their methods for radicalizing new prospects.

The filmmakers also speak with imprisoned figures who work to recruit, train and equip suicide bombers. Each of them speaks openly and unapologetically about their missions. When they're handed photos of their bloodied and lifeless victims, they respond with cold indifference.

We also witness forensic crews as they sift through the rubble of a bus bombing. They take great pains to collect and preserve the tiniest pieces of evidence, and gather every scattered body part for proper burial.

Incredibly frank and harrowing, Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber exposes an increasingly distressing phenomenon on the stage of global terror. The film demystifies the sly tactics and false promises that give birth to this horrific form of terrorism.

Directed by: Tom Roberts