Characteristics of a potential suicide bomber
There is no specific profile for anyone who engages himself in suicide bombing. A suicide bomber can come from nearly every cultural background, religion, race, creed or gender. However, the following are common characteristics of a potential suicide bomber.
Through his behavior:
1. He behaves in a way similar to someone with no future.
2. His mental state could present clues – his eyes are secretive, he makes obvious attempt to avoid eye contact with the people he perceived to be his enemies and always looking at every possible exit.
3. Mumbling prayers – may be fervently praying to himself, showing the impression of whispering to someone else.
4. He shows no response to any authoritative voice, command or instruction.
Through his appearance:
1. He wears clothes that are unsuitable for the present-day weather. For instance, wearing of sweater or rain-coat during hot weather.
2. He wears slack or puffy clothes. This gives the impression that his body is excessively larger than his head or feet.
3. Sweating – resulting from tension and stress or wearing of unsuitable clothes. For instance, wearing a heavy coat during high weather temperature.
4. He appears to be focused and more vigilant on his target.
5. He will usually have his hands placed in the pocket, around the button of the detonator and ready to set off the bomb at the slightest opportunity.
6. He carries big bags or backpacks tightly with wires piercing out of the bag.
7. He may most likely have a clean shave or low hair-cut especially when he is ready to carry out the task. This may be done to disguise his real appearance.
8. He displays signs of drug use. For instance, his pupils become enlarged with fixed staring.
9. His breathings are heavy and rapid.
10. Mostly male who falls between the age range of 16 to 30 years of age.
11. He looks aggressive, restless, irritable and nervous.
Through his movements:
1. He walks awkwardly or clumsily in an unusual and odd manner. This is usually due to the unsuitable attire he is wearing and sometimes due to the weight of the explosive devices tied around his body.
2. He tries to be evasive in movement. This unusual gait is adopted to evade security agents and some other persons who may foil his plans.
3. Often times, he may not know the route to his target destination very well, hence he may occasionally ask for directions. One of the suicide bombers that struck at a church in Kaduna in late 2013 had to ask commercial motorcyclists for direction to the church he eventually struck.
2. He demonstrates forceful actions in order to reach his desired target by pushing the crowd so as to find his way into a restricted area or showing desperation to reach a crowded point or particular target.
3. He will usually have an unusual herbal smell. This is as a result of incense used in the final rituals performed on him as he takes off for the suicide mission.
We need to be alert to the security of our life and property. Suicide bombers are a big threat to our life, hence we need to be watchful, vigilant to notable signs that are peculiar to bombers.
Edited By: Zahid Ali