-Robert Pape, author of Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism
There was a great story on NPR this morning about the origins of suicide terrorism as a way to send a message to an occupying power:
- In the first century C.E., Jewish Zealots and Sicarii would target a Roman soldier in a square and slit his throat, knowing that his fellow soldiers would immediately kill the assassin.
- In the eleventh and twelfth century, the Ismaili would assassinate a sultan and leave a note stating "there will be further attacks unless you leave our community alone."
- During World War II, the Japanese realized that the island-hopping Americans were rapidly closing in on them in October 1944. Their response was to use kamikaze pilots to send a message. By not saving enough fuel to return to base, the kamikaze increased the number of ships damaged or sunk by four and five-fold.