Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber


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Grenade attack on polling station in Pulwama. Deserter SPOs among 4 militants killed in Pulwama. Being Kashmiri in the time of Pulwama. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service. Choose your reason below and click on the Report button.

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The school dropout One of the three sons of a small vendor, Dar dropped out of Class XII in and started working at a sawmill owned by a neighbour, according to a report. His house was barely 10 kilometres from the site of the attack. On March 19, , a year after joining the sawmill, Dar went missing along with two friends Tauseef and Waseem. But Travis kept his cool and so did his soldiers. It turns out the men were carrying an air rifle to hunt pigeons for food. He also paid them some of his own money for the air rifle so they could buy food, Aijo said.

Over the next weeks and months, the air rifle would provide entertainment as the soldiers would try their best to hit anything with the decidedly subpar weapon. During those months they continued their patrols, spending nearly every hour of the days in the truck together. A few months into the deployment, then-Pfc.

Jared Venable joined the unit. When the unit had deployed, he was still in basic training. Late in the deployment, Valledor was traveling the area, checking on his troops when he came down one of their regularly traveled routes to see Travis standing by a destroyed Humvee. It would be one of two IED blasts Travis survived during the deployment. On June 1, Travis called his mother and father at around a. Before he hung up, he told them he had to go out on patrol. The deployment was supposed to be over in two more months.

Later that day, Travis was sitting in the front passenger side seat of his Humvee.

Militants manipulate vulnerable Palestinian woman to attack Israelis

Aijo was in the turret and the platoon medic was in the back seat. They were listening to radio traffic, waiting on reports from the other Humvees.

All Suicide Bombers Are Not Alike

Travis was calling out targets around the truck for Aijo to plink the air rifle at. Then the radio crackled. They fired up the truck and sped down Route Caprice, steep ditches on each side, reeds as high as 10 feet tall along both sides. Where they pulled up there was a driveway to a mosque on the right and some huts in a small village on the left.

Aijo racked the. Travis and the medic got out of the vehicle to separate the men. Travis can handle himself. Out of the corner of his eye he notices Travis and the man scuffle. Suddenly Travis grips him in an almost bear hug embrace and slams the man to the ground. But in seconds the scene turned strange. Once they hit the ground, Travis was moving his body over the man and to the side, between him and the medic and the truck.

The other man began to rush the Humvee. The medic fired, emptying a magazine. Aijo had switched to his M4 carbine and he too was firing. The driver had started to exit the vehicle as the charging man pulled his grenade pin on his own vest. Back at the unit headquarters, Venable had just returned from leave and was drawing his weapon while checking in.

The radio traffic relayed what had happened. He snatched up his gear as part of the Quick Reaction Force. They rushed to the scene to provide security.

There was nothing to be done for Travis. After the patrol ended, he returned to headquarters. The chaplain came out of the tent and hugged Aijo.

You still have to make it home safe, everybody else has to make it home safe. Back near Bozeman, Jack and Elaine were going about their day. Elaine had come to their home to check on some work being done and then headed back out. The retired nurse had things to do. As she drove out of the rural road they lived on she noticed a car with two uniformed soldiers in it. She saw one of them wore the infantry blue cord on his right soldier. She was puzzled, because a Marine lived on their road but few others.

She watched. She turned around and asked them who they were looking for. Winter and summer are the better seasons for bombing buses in Jerusalem, because the closed windows for heat or air-conditioning intensify the force of the blast, maximizing the bombs' killing potential. As a hail of shrapnel pierces flesh and breaks bones, the shock wave tears lungs and crushes other internal organs. When the bus's fuel tank explodes, a fireball causes burns, and smoke inhalation causes respiratory damage.

All this is a significant return on a relatively modest investment. Two or three kilograms of explosive on a bus can kill as many people as twenty to thirty kilograms left on a street or in a mall or a restaurant. But as security on buses has improved, and passengers have become more alert, the bombers have been forced to seek other targets.

The terrorists are lethally flexible and inventive. A person wearing a bomb is far more dangerous and far more difficult to defend against than a timed device left to explode in a marketplace. This human weapons system can effect last-minute changes based on the ease of approach, the paucity or density of people, and the security measures in evidence. On a Thursday afternoon in March of last year a reportedly smiling, self-satisfied bomber strolled down King George Street, in the heart of Jerusalem, looking for just the right target.

In a fusillade of nails and other bits of metal two victims were killed and fifty-six wounded. Similarly, in April of last year a female suicide bomber tried to enter the Mahane Yehuda open-air market—the fourth woman to make such an attempt in four months—but was deterred by a strong police presence. So she simply walked up to a bus stop packed with shoppers hurrying home before the Sabbath and detonated her explosives, killing six and wounding seventy-three. Suicide bombing initially seemed the desperate act of lone individuals, but it is not undertaken alone.

Invariably, a terrorist organization such as Hamas the Islamic Resistance Movement , the Palestine Islamic Jihad PIJ , or the al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade has recruited the bomber, conducted reconnaissance, prepared the explosive device, and identified a target—explaining that if it turns out to be guarded or protected, any crowded place nearby will do.

A policeman told me, "There was one event where a suicide bomber had been told all he had to do was to carry the bomb and plant explosives in a certain place. But the bomb was remote-control detonated. The organizations behind the Palestinians' suicide terrorism have numerous components.

Quartermasters obtain the explosives and the other materials nuts, bolts, nails, and the like that are combined to make a bomb. Now that bomb-making methods have been so widely disseminated throughout the West Bank and Gaza, a merely competent technician, rather than the skilled engineer once required, can build a bomb. Explosive material is packed into pockets sewn into a canvas or denim belt or vest and hooked up to a detonator—usually involving a simple hand-operated plunger. Before the operation is to be launched, "minders" sequester the bomber in a safe house, isolating him or her from family and friends—from all contact with the outside world—during the final preparations for martyrdom.

A film crew makes a martyrdom video, as much to help ensure that the bomber can't back out as for propaganda and recruitment purposes. Reconnaissance teams have already either scouted the target or received detailed information about it, which they pass on to the bomber's handlers. The job of the handlers, who are highly skilled at avoiding Israeli army checkpoints or police patrols, is to deliver the bomber as close to the target as possible.

I talked to a senior police-operations commander in his office at the Russian Compound, the nerve center of law enforcement for Jerusalem since the time when first the Turks and then the British ruled this part of the world. It was easy to imagine, amid the graceful arches and the traditional Jerusalem stone, an era when Jerusalem's law-enforcement officers wore tarbooshes and pressed blue tunics with Sam Browne belts rather than the bland polyester uniforms and blue baseball-style caps of today.

Although policing this multi-faith, historically beleaguered city has doubtless always involved difficult challenges, none can compare with the current situation. There were still three weeks to go before the end of the year. Nineteen of these events had been suicide bombings. In the calculus of terrorism, it doesn't get much better. Once there were only "bags on buses, not vests or belts" to contend with, the policeman said.

The purpose is to prove that the police can do whatever they want but it won't help. The terrorists appear to be deliberately homing in on the few remaining places where Israelis thought they could socialize in peace. An unprecedented string of attacks in the first four months of last year illustrated this careful strategy, beginning at bus stops and malls and moving into more private realms, such as corner supermarkets and local coffee bars. In March, for example, no one paid much attention to a young man dressed like an ultra-Orthodox Jew who was standing near some parked cars as guests left a bar mitzvah celebration at a social hall in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Beit Yisrael.

Then he blew himself up, killing nine people, eight of them children, and wounding fifty-nine. The tight-knit religious community had felt that it was protected by God, pointing to the miraculous lack of injury a year before when a booby-trapped car blew up in front of the same hall. Using a strategy al Qaeda has made familiar, the terrorists revisited the site. This, of course, is the age-old strategy of terrorists everywhere—to undermine public confidence in the ability of the authorities to protect and defend citizens, thereby creating a climate of fear and intimidation amenable to terrorist exploitation.

In Jerusalem, and in Israel as a whole, this strategy has not succeeded. But it has fundamentally changed daily behavior patterns—the first step toward crushing morale and breaking the will to resist. Less than a month after the Beit Yisrael attack the suicide bombers and their leaders drove home the point that Israelis cannot feel safe anywhere by going to the one large Israeli city that had felt immune from the suspicion and antipathy prevalent elsewhere—Haifa, with its successful mixture of Jews, Christian and Muslim Arabs, and followers of the Bahai faith.

The University of Haifa has long had the highest proportion of Arab students of any Israeli university. The nearby Matza restaurant, owned by Jews but run by an Israeli Arab family from Galilee, seemed to embody the unusually cordial relations that exist among the city's diverse communities. Matza was popular with Jews and Arabs alike, and the presence of its Arab staff and patrons provided a feeling of safety from attack.

That feeling was shattered at two-thirty on a quiet Sunday afternoon, when a suicide bomber killed fifteen people and wounded nearly fifty. As we had tea late one afternoon in the regal though almost preternaturally quiet surroundings of Jerusalem's King David Hotel, Benny Morris, a professor of history at Ben Gurion University, explained, "The Palestinians say they have found a strategic weapon, and suicide bombing is it.

This hotel is empty.

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The streets are empty. They have effectively terrorized Israeli society. My wife won't use a bus anymore, only a taxi. Even the police have been affected. I don't come to Jerusalem with my children anymore. I'd give back the settlements. I'd give over my bank account to live in peace. By any measure was an astonishing year for Israel in terms of suicide bombings.

An average of five attacks a month were made, nearly double the number during the first fifteen months of the second intifada—and that number was itself more than ten times the monthly average since Indeed, according to a database maintained by the National Security Studies Center, at Haifa University, there were nearly as many suicide attacks in Israel last year fifty-nine as there had been in the previous eight years combined sixty-two.

In Jerusalem alone there were nine suicide attacks during the first four months of , killing thirty-three and injuring No one went out to restaurants.

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We went as a group of people to one another's houses only. Again, terrorism is meant to produce psychological effects that reach far beyond the immediate victims of the attack. As the French philosopher Gaston Bouthoul argued three decades ago in a theoretical treatise on the subject, the "anonymous, unidentifiable threat creates huge anxiety, and the terrorist tries to spread fear by contagion, to immobilise and subjugate those living under this threat.

Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber
Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber
Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber
Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber
Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber
Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber
Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber Saving Love: The Soldier Who Married a Suicide Bomber

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