Terrorism, over the years, has proven to be almost impossible to tame, a fact that the 10 countries with the most suicide bombers know only too well.
According to the report on global terrorism issued by the Institute for Economics & Peace, the overall Global Terrorism Index of the world worsened by 6% in 2015 as compared to 2014. Global deaths however reduced by 10%. Although that seems like the world is moving towards peace, it really doesn’t make much of a difference as more than 29,000 people still passed away from this world as a direct consequence of terrorist attacks.
Suicide attacks are a very special form of terrorism. Not only does the perpetrator end up killing the people around him, but blows himself up too. The first question that would arise in any sane person’s mind is this: what could possibly be so momentous that it would drive a man to take his own life in the process of murder? Well, in the past, suicide bombing was something that occurred only during wars as a crime of passionate patriotic soldiers, ready to fight to their death. It was a concept too horrible to be contemplated in other circumstances. The assassination of Russian Emperor Tsar Alexander II in 1881 was the first official suicide bombing and opened the doors for suicide bombing to be used as a weapon. Today, however, the concept of suicide attacks is a completely different story. These attacks are instigated by terrorists to spread fear among the people. They are tied mostly to Islamic extremist groups, people who have manipulated the words of the Quran to fit their disgusting motives. But contrary to popular belief, all suicide bombers do not think alike. Some are recruited to take part in the twisted version of “Jihad” that these terrorists have cooked up. They are told that their sacrifice would be welcomed by God, giving them a guaranteed place in heaven. Some are brainwashed into thinking that even with bombs strapped to their body, they will remain unharmed while their enemies will be destroyed. This type of thinking is usually hammered into innocent children who don’t know any better, like this poor Afghan boy who was saved at the last moment. Some perpetrators of suicide attacks, on the other hand, actually do it for entirely personal reasons. For example, the shooters of the infamous Columbine High School Massacre committed suicide right after rampaging the school with guns and shooting everyone they could find. Such attacks are usually for personal vengeance or due to psychological issues and are far from religious.
While all the types of suicide attackers listed above do the deed with their own consent, some terrorists use “proxies” as well. They threaten ordinary people into doing their dirty work in exchange for the victim’s family’s safety. Needless to say, proxies are not exactly thrilled about committing murder and suicide.
Even though there are a wide variety of suicide attacks out there, the ones motivated by religious extremism are still the most common. They are mostly initiated by the 10 Biggest Terrorist Groups in the World. It’s actually ironic that the religion that declares suicide as forbidden is the religion in whose name terrorists have made suicide bombing the norm. Furthermore, the Quran states that killing a man is tantamount to slaying mankind entirely, which proves that murder is a huge sin for Muslims and also that these terrorists are not at all a manifestation of Islam. Islamophobes, I’m sure, would beg to differ, but it is what it is.
Now let’s get back to listing the 10 countries with the most suicide bombers. We referred to the Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST) 2016 Suicide Attack Database, which details the suicide attacks made in each country from 1982 to June 2016. Since it’s safe to assume that the country with the most suicide bombings houses the most bombers, we used the number of attacks as our ranking criterion. However, we filtered the database for attacks between 2010 and 2016 as we wanted to make a list that is representative of recent times. Furthermore, we only considered attacks that used belt bombs, car bombs or other explosive devices as weapons.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 28
Among protests against the government for extending its term twice in violation of the nation’s constitution, as well as the spillover of the Syrian civil war, Lebanon has had its fair share of suicide bombings. The most memorable of these terrorist attacks was perhaps on November 12, 2015, a day before the notorious Paris attacks. Two bombs detonated in the capital of the nation, Beirut, one five minutes after the other, exactly when people had gathered to assist the ones injured in the first explosion. This attack resulted in 44 casualties.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 37
The largest country in the world is far from immune from the terrors of suicide bombing. The 37 suicide bombings that occurred over the course of more than six years have resulted in the deaths of 234 human beings, while the total wounded stand at 945. Most of these bombings have been a direct consequence of the Chechen-Russian conflict that has not been able to resolve itself since decades.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 44
We are continuing our list of countries with the most suicide bombers with Libya that is not very far ahead of Russia when it comes to suicide attacks, not that it would want to be. This African-Arab country was the victim of a civil war in 2011 and even after it ended with the death of the then Prime Minister, Mummer Gaddafi, the country could not pick itself back up from the ditch it had fallen into. Even with its abundant oil reserves, Libya’s economy has slowly destabilized over the years. Another civil war cropped up in the country in 2014, which is still ongoing.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 92
Another African country in the throes of civil war, Somalia, one of the countries with the most suicide bombers has had 791 of its people go to their death because of these attacks. This means that an average of 8.6 people died with each bombing, a situation that hardly presents a positive picture. It is truly gut-wrenching to think about the fact that the Somali civil war has persisted for the last 26 years and still shows no sign of relieving its hold on the nation. This period of instability has certainly had its toll on the Somali people, making their nation one of the 10 countries with the most suicide bombers.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 127
Yemen’s brutal attacks have left 1,497 dead and 2,147 wounded. What’s worrying is the very small difference between these two figures. Yemen is the poorest country out of all the Arab nations, something that the instability has certainly contributed to. Not only has the country been through a collapse of its health system but is also a victim of food insecurity, with several of its children suffering from malnourishment. Now, let’s see what’s next on our list of countries with the most suicide bombers.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 159
With an average of 13.6 deaths per attack, the total number of deaths in Nigeria as a result of these attacks amounted to 2,157. The main reason for unrest in the country of Nigeria is the Islamic extremist group Boko Haram that originated here and went on to spread destruction. It was even named as the deadliest terrorist group in the world as per the Global Terrorism Index 2015. This prestigious title was stolen from it in the 2016 report as Boko Haram was surpassed by ISIS. Nevertheless, it continues to spread terror in several African countries.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 242
Syria, next in line on our list of countries with the most suicide bombers has been enveloped in a civil war that can only be described as horrible, since 2011, due to which 4.9 million people have fled the country and are now identified as refugees according to UNHCR’s report. These refugees are far from home, scattered all over the world in about 120 countries. The violent environment prevailing in the country has resulted in thousands of deaths, out of which 2,808 were because of the 242 attacks mentioned above.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 263
Most of the attacks in Pakistan have been concentrated in three cities, with 39 in Peshawar, 25 in Quetta and 25 in Karachi. The province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, as well as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan, have borne most of the bombings in the nation, because of the Taliban influence in these areas. A school shooting in Peshawar in December 2014 was one of the deadliest attacks ever to be perpetrated in the country. Although it wasn’t a bombing and therefore not included in the above number, it was an attack that left no doubt in anyone’s mind what these terrorists were capable of. The shooting left 132 students (eight to 18-year-olds) dead while the entire nation mourned for the children.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 611
We are continuing our list of countries with the most suicide bombers with Afghanistan that is where the Taliban originated, an extremely unfortunate fact for the nation that has been left destitute due to the constant wars and attacks resulting from the Taliban invasion and the consequent intervention of the United States government. Suicide bombings have become a norm in the country and the 611 attacks that took place between 2010 and June 2016 have stolen the lives of 3,060 people. In addition, 8,238 people were left wounded. Like Syria, the instability in the country has driven out many citizens, and 2.7 million refugees from Afghanistan currently reside in other countries.
Number of attacks from 2010 to 2016: 884
The total deaths that have occurred due to these attacks is truly a mind-boggling number, highest among all the other countries on our list by a long shot. To think that 8,211 living people were reduced to corpses in the span of six and a half years is a highly disturbing fact. Even after the US-led war in Iraq reached its conclusion, Iraq was not able to stabilize itself. The huge cracks between the major sects of the country, namely Kurds, Shias, and Sunnis, have led to an internal division of Iraq. Furthermore, one of the many deteriorating impacts left by the US invasion was the formation of ISIS, an organization that is globally recognized as a terrorist organization and that currently holds control over huge areas of western Iraq. Therefore, there is no doubt that Iraq is one of the 10 Countries With the Most Suicide Bombers.