.This two weeks old posting (today is Septemebr 12, 2008) has been in limbo pending an answer as to why did the 15 years old (Iraqi TV channels first reported her as 13 years old) Rania suicide bomber gave herself up? Despite several updates below, however still offering contradictory statements, we are finally completing this posting since a relatively solid report by Jonathan Steele on Rania and on the background to Iraqi women suicide bombers is now published:
..."A 15-year-old girl walks up to an Iraqi police checkpoint on her way to the crowded central market in Baquba, a town some 40 miles north of Baghdad. A constable senses something odd and demands she be searched. The girl promptly announces she is wearing a suicide belt, strapped like a lethal corset round her waist.
In police footage that has gone around the world on YouTube, Rania Ibrahim is handcuffed to metal railings while male officers get her to remove her outer garments, then carefully defuse the device. Never mind the fact that the area is not cordoned off, and other policemen wander close to the girl to gawp. It took not only exceptional bravery but a degree of professionalism that many in Baghdad had not credited the Iraqi police with. The officer who disabled the device was given a 5m dinar (about £2,400) bonus....... Lt Col DA Sims, deputy commanding officer of the Baquba-based US 2nd Stryker Cavalry Regiment, whose staff also interrogated the girl, has an open mind about Ibrahim's intentions - whether someone strapped the bomb to her against her will and she deliberately behaved oddly at the checkpoint so as to be discovered, or whether she did intend to blow herself up but was pre-empted by police and then tried to lie herself out of trouble....Saja Qaduri, a member of the Diyala provincial council (Baquba is Diyala's capital) and the only woman on its security committee, sat in on some of the police interrogation of Ibrahim. She believes the girl was a committed would-be suicide bomber.
Qaduri says that the girl spoke in a slow, drowsy way during the first moments after the suicide belt had been defused and taken off her, and appeared to have been drugged. But this did not mean she was being made to do something against her will. It could have been done to dull her emotions and reduce the chance of her backing off when the moment came to trigger the belt. "I was at the police station when they first brought her in for questioning. As the pills wore off, she spoke in a very confident way. She strongly believed her death would have taken her to heaven. She was detected because some wires were visible. A policeman spotted it," Qaduri adds.
In spite of her faith that suicide and murder would take her to paradise, Ibrahim showed flashes of teenage confusion. "At the end of every sentence, she kept saying 'I want my mum'", Qaduri says.
If Ibrahim was a genuinely willing suicide bomber, wider and more complex issues of motivation need to be probed. It doesn't remove the victim-or-villain issue....In villages and small towns, women are considered little more than chattels who may not go out of the home unless accompanied by their husbands or a male relative. Three wars in a quarter of a century have left Iraq with more than a million young or middle-aged widows. They are not permitted to live alone, nor do most want to. The death of a husband is not just a cause of grief, bereavement and loneliness. It collapses a woman's sense of worth, within her extended family as well as in the wider community. Her protection is gone, plus her source of financial support. Unless the woman remarries - a rarity, given the shortage of men - a nephew or a male cousin will be required to move into the house to provide protection, unless one or more of her sons is already in his late teens.
The result can be corrosive levels of depression that haunt women who have seen fathers, brothers, and husbands killed - so, while Ibrahim is the first female suicide bomber to be thwarted in Diyala, many others have gone out into the street wearing a deadly hidden belt. Throughout Iraq some 43 women have carried out suicide bombings since 2003, mostly in the past two years. In 2007 eight women blew themselves up. This year the number is already 30, of whom 15 were in Diyala. "
Victims or villains?
September 11, 2008 (An appropriate date for this article)
.Two email rebuttals on Jonathan Steele's above take:"Dear Jonathan,
I am being calm and gentle because of your excellent analysis and writing on Iraq.
It is so regrettable that you should entertain 'half baked truths' by the Iraqi police and by the 'so called woman' called Saja Qadouri? Maybe someone can translate for you her statement on the link below dated 16th may 2008, she is a member of the security committee of Diala council, she thinks that human rights should not apply to the prisoners held by the Iraqi authorities! You really should not have taken this woman's claims at face value.
http://diyalatimes.com/taq/9.htmhttp://www.alnajafnews.net/najafnews/news.php?action=fullnews&id=69382On the subject of Raniya Ibrahim,
1) The report published by the Guardian on the 26th August is the worst in the British media, worse than the free newspaper Metro, where at least the journalist treated the story that (has changed versions so many times since it broke) with more scepticism than the Guardian. Most decent media outlets mentioned the conflicting accounts of this story from the begining.
http://www.metro.co.uk/news/world/article.html?in_article_id=278856&in_page_id=64&in_a_source=Iraqi police disarm girl sent on suicide missionThe Guardian - Owen Bowcott
2) A video was posted on YouTube, taken by a member of the Iraqi police (Yasser Al Waza) , shows Raniya being interrogated by at least 2 policemen at the same time inside a police car without protection or legal representation. Instead threats of violence and sexual suggestions. Their language is pornographic. The media's behaviour is like adding insult to injury. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rp5OPDuf_KII am going to write to my MP to find out if Yasser Al Waza (from Missan province) was trained by the British forces.
3) A video clip of the interrogation of 13 year old Raniya right after her public ordeal at the back of a police car without any protection or legal representation has surfaced on Youtube. Saja Qaduri was certainly not present and as you can see Raniya is not drowsy at all. She is shown being subjected to threats of violence and sexual suggestions.The transcript of this video can be read in Arabic and in English.
http://solidarityiraq.blogspot.com/2008/09/doubts-over-women-suicide-bombers.htmlThere is something fishy about this story, I personally believe it is a publicity stunt by the Iraqi police and poor Raniya has been duped. I am inclined to think that had the police found a real suicide bomber they would have shot him/her in the head straight away. Have a look and see how the police are disgusted and shocked when they find out she is a Shia not a Sunni. By the way the claim published by the Guardian about her father is without foundation, her father together with her elder brother Ashraf were kidnapped from their car repair shop in 2006 and were not seen again.
The Baquba police are hated by both communities because of their harassments of Al Sadr supporters.Tahrir"."Imad,For your friend who is confused, I would inform her/him that there are no suicide bombers in Iraq. It is all an evil propaganda. I do not know if you have noticed that every (I repeat) every explosion in Iraq is attributed by the Iraqi police (not the Americans) to suicide bombers even before any investigation has taken place. The "directives" lately seemed to be first insane and retarded women, recently teenagers and children. You can also see that whenever the Iraqi puppet police comes up with such fairy tales, the US army keeps its distance, but when pressed, a spokesman would deny or contradict the story. What does this tell us?
Of course there should be resisting women in Iraq, but suicide bombers are not phenomena as the occupiers wish us to believe.
1- Why should a resistant man/woman kill oneself , when they can preserve themselves for further operations? Iraq is not like Palestine where battle ground, people and weapons are scarce.
2- what is the point of exploding a shopping place or a crowd of innocent people when you have American soldiers everywhere? Such places are usually crowded with mixed people, not only one sect. Who benefits from such deeds?
3- Please read Petraeus's Counterinsurgency Manual. October 29, 2007, which explains how "insurgency" should be denied public sympathy, then you will understand what is really happening in Iraq.Buthaina"
ـ"وكان اللواء عبد الكريم خلف الناطق باسم وزارة الداخلية العراقية اعلن في 25 أغسطس الماضي اعتقال انتحارية رانيا، وهي ترتدي حزاما ناسفا فيما كانت على وشك تفجير نفسها ضد قوات الشرطة وسط بعقوبة. واوضح ان الانتحارية فشلت في تفجير نفسها بسبب تشويش على اشارة اجهزة التحكم من بعد التي كانت من المفروض ان تفجرها عبرها."ـ
ـ24 أيلول 2008
"Rania’s story is compelling, yet it is denied vehemently by her husband and his supposed cousin, a frail woman named by police as Um Fatima, who were arrested in connection with the alleged attempted attack. Asked whether she had wanted to kill herself, Rania told The Times: “No.” She added: “I did not think that I was going to be blown up.”
The teenager, who enjoys watching cartoons on television, particularly Tom and Jerry, left school aged 12. At about the same time, her father and an older brother were kidnapped, tortured and killed by Shia militants, leaving the family without any source of income.
Her mother, Bassad Selman Mohana, was encouraged to let her daughters marry. Mrs Mohana, 46, is accused of grooming Rania to become a bomber in return for money. She said that this was a lie.
The husband of Rania stood blindfolded and barefooted in a separate interrogation room. Speaking in a quiet voice, Mr Sameet, who worked on a farm, claimed that he had not seen Rania since February. “I swear to God I did not know where she had gone. Her mother took her,” he said.
He and Rania, who married in November, were living with his family in a village. Mr Sameet said that she did not get on with his sisters, which prompted her to leave. Rania said that they stayed together.
Mr Sameet said that the next time he heard about his wife was after her arrest, adding: “I love Rania despite what happened with her accusing me.”
In a third room a shrivelled woman named by police as Um Fatima denied being the wanted person, insisting that her name was Ibtisam Hamid and that she did not know Rania. Rania identified the woman as Um Fatima, whose identity card was found in the house where Rania said that she was given the explosives. General Khalaf is convinced that Um Fatima, Mr Sameet and the mother of Rania are lying. He said, however, that it was up to the judge to decide.'
Start of the old posting:
هل لدى أحد خبر موثوق منه عن لماذا سلّمت نفسها؟
وما علاقة "رانيا" بمدينة العمارة؟
هذه تمثيلية من التمثيليات الركيكة، واعتقد حسب قول الفتاة ان اشخاصا من نفس العملاء مثـّلوا دور (ارهابيين) وطلبوا من الفتاة ان تلبس الحزام وتخلعه في بيت امها . ثم وهي في طريقها جاء الاخرون (الشرطة) والقوا القبض عليها، ومن هنا كانت اجاباتها عبيطة وساذجة، فهي ربما لم تكن طرفا في التمثيلية وانما وقعت في فخ منصوب.ـ
ارجو قراءة تعليق "دورية العراق" قبل ان يعرض الفيلم على يوتيوب.ـ
"A video clip of the interrogation of 13 year old Raniya right after her public ordeal at the back of a police car without any protection or legal representation. She is shown being subjected to threats of violence and sexual suggestions has surfaced on Youtube.The transcript of this video can be read in Arabic and in English."
A Reuter's version of the story, already contradicting what she said in the video that she was going home to take off the vest, or that she was dazed from drugs for days when she was "captured" or "surrendered" the same day and did not appear dazed in the video.
This is the closest as to why she "surrendered": "I never intended to blow myself up. When stopped at the checkpoint, I wanted to turn myself in, but I was afraid," she says. "Nobody told me how to use this vest. I don't know if they meant to blow me up by remote control. I just don't know."
ـ"وتقول في هذا الصدد "اخذني زوجي الى منزل ابنة عمته وهي امرأة التقيتها للمرة الاولى في حياتي وطلبت مني ارتداء الحزام الناسف". وتضيف "وضعت الحزام واستقللنا باصا متوجها الى السوق الرئيسية. وكانت اعطتني قبل الخروج عصير الخوخ فشعرت بالغثيان وبدأت ارى خيالات مزدوجة". وتتابع "عرفت انها كانت قنبلة لانني رايت اسلاكا لكنهم اكدوا انها لن تنفجر. وصلنا الى السوق وتركوني هناك وقالوا انهم سيقومون بشراء بعض الحاجيات قبل ان يعودوا الى المكان". عندما عثرت الشرطة على رانيا كانت تحاول العبور وسط السوق بعد مقتل ثلاثة رجال شرطة في الوقت والمكان نفسه. تقول الشرطة ان رانيا كانت تتحرك بصورة مثيرة للريبة فطلبوا منها التوقف لكنها رفضت الاذعان لهم فتمكنوا بعد ذلك من امساك يديها ودفعها الى جدار."ـ
ـ2 أيلول 2008
. We are posing (in Arabic) some questions about this supposedly 13 years old 'suicide bomber' who gave herself up recently in Baqouba, and waiting for verification before commenting.