Suicide attacks count among the most brutal means of modern warfare. In his brilliantly written book, Joseph Croitoru explains the history, motives and organisation of suicide bombings.
Until September 11, 2001 the West thought itself safe from suicide attacks. Now this ultimate form of violence has gripped the entire world, and the seemingly archaic act of self-sacrifice determines the nature of modern warfare. Joseph Croitoru, an expert on Middle East politics, reveals the historical and cultural background of suicide bombings. Its roots are in Japan where the cult of the Samurai, Buddhism and the Shinto creed provided justification for Kamikaze attacks during World War II. Before the ideal of the armed martyr was exported to the Middle East in the 1970s and later to Asia, the Japanese fighting spirit found passionate admirers in Nazi Germany.
In suicide attacks, the cult of martyrdom and the belief in a life after death are combined with psychological calculation and the mastery of modern weapons and communication technology. Joseph Croitoru explains how terror organisations inspire fanaticism in their adherents and turn them into living bombs. His book replaces myth and speculation with historical facts.
The Armed Martyr
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