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Aug 12th, 2008

With today’s unsettled weather, I’ve returned to home base to take care of administrative matters, correspondence, and other details in the campaign office. I will resume the walking tour Wednesday morning where I left off Monday afternoon, in Salida (just north of Big Lake where County Route 11 to Santiago and Monticello intersects Highway 10), from where I will walk to Anoka.

In the wake of the current Russian military action in Georgia, which has urgent security implications for the United States and the potential to disrupt oil supplies, I want to take a moment today to focus on my signature issue in this primary campaign, U.S. national security.

The week before the start of my campaign on July 15, 2008, I traveled to Europe for military consulting work with NATO allies and to attend the annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology (ISPP) in Paris.

(In a happy coincidence, I had the opportunity to meet up in Paris with my sister and her daughter, who happened to be traveling in Europe at the same time.)

Aubrey Immelman with his sister and niece near the Louvre Museum in Paris, July 2008.

One of the most informative panels I attended at the ISPP meeting featured my colleagues Jerrold M. Post, M.D., and terrorism expert Farhana Ali.

Dr. Post founded and led the CIA’s Center for the Analysis of Personality and Political Behavior for 21 years, during which he developed the psychological profiles of Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin that played an instrumental role in successfully negotiating the 1978 Camp David Accords, which established a comprehensive framework for peace between Israel and Egypt that has lasted 30 years. At the ISPP meeting, Dr. Post spoke about Iran’s nuclear ambitions, the personality profile of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and Muslim radicalization.

Farhana Ali, an associate international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation (a nonprofit institution that aims to improve policy- and decision-making through research and analysis), has studied women in al-Qaida for nearly a decade.

Farhana Ali and Jerrold Post, ISPP meeting, Sciences Po, Paris, July 12, 2008.
Farhana Ali (RAND Corporation) and Jerrold M. Post, M.D. (George Washington University) at a counterterrorism panel at the International Society of Political Psychology meeting at Sciences Po, Paris, July 12, 2008.

Iraq — An Emerging Threat

One of the emerging threats in Iraq is the mujahidaat — female suicide bombers motivated by revenge for family members killed by U.S. and Iraqi forces. As a result of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, the 1991 Gulf War, and the 2003 U.S. invasion and subsequent sectarian war, Iraq today has an estimated one million widows — not counting the thousands of women who have lost sons, brothers, fathers, and other family members in the current conflict. Some of the most lethal suicide attacks in Iraq this summer have been carried out by female bombers.

Here’s an excerpt from an article Farhana Ali wrote for the July 30 issue of Newsweek:

Dressed to Kill

Why the number of female suicide bombers is rising in Iraq

Muslim female suicide bombers are on the rise. Even before women attackers claimed dozens of lives in Monday’s coordinated attacks on Shiite pilgrims in Baghdad and political protesters in Kirkuk, women had carried out more than 20 missions in Iraq this year — the most violent one yet for the women of Al Qaeda. But for those of us who have studied the phenomenon, the assaults should not come as a surprise. … If conditions of Iraqi women fail to improve in the coming months … the bomber behind the veil will be nearly impossible to defeat. … Full story.


Related story

Iraq’s female bombers rise as Qaeda’s men fall
(Reuters, Aug. 5, 2008)


8/25/2008 Update

Iraqis Show Video of Teen Girl in Suicide Vest

Number of female suicide bombers has more than tripled since 2007

Iraqi police remove a suicide vest from an Iraqi girl in Baquba in this handout photo from the Iraqi police taken on Sunday. (Photo credit: Reuters)

August 25, 2008

BAGHDAD — In video footage released by Iraqi police, a teenage girl with an explosives vest tightly strapped to her body is seen handcuffed to a metal grid, her head repeatedly falling forward as several policemen huddle around her. …

The arrest of the girl, who gave her first name as Rania, heightened concern about a rise in suicide bombings by women in Iraq. The number of female bombers has more than tripled, from eight in 2007 to 29 this year, according to U.S. military officials. That compares with a total of four in 2005 and 2006, according to the military. …

Full story

10 Responses to “On the Campaign Trail: Day 29”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » On the Campaign Trail: Day 31 Says:

    […] See my blog entry for Aug. 12 (Day 29) on “an emerging threat” in Iraq, the mujahidaat — female suicide bombers […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraqi Mujahidaat Becoming Norm Says:

    […] Iraq — An Emerging Threat […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq: Female Bomber Strikes Again Says:

    […] Iraq — An Emerging Threat: Female Suicide Bombers […]

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    […] On the Campaign Trail: Day 29 […]

  5. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Quarter Million Dead, Wounded Says:

    […] I reported on the increasing incidence of attacks by female suicide bombers — the mujahidaat — in Iraq and examined some of the factors behind this emerging threat. […]

  6. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Three Bombs in Baghdad — 20 Dead Says:

    […] Iraq — An Emerging Threat […]

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    […] Iraq — An Emerging Threat […]

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    […] On the Campaign Trail: Day 29 […]

  9. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Iraq Mass Casualty Bombing Says:

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    […] Campaign Against Michele Bachmann: Day 29 […]

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