Palastinians bribe 15 year old to be suicide bomber - another one...

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Palastinians bribe 15 year old to be suicide bomber - another one...

After the kid who gave himself up, you would think they would learn, but nope...

Militants Recruit 15-Year-Old as Suicide Bomber, Promising Clothes, Cell Phones, His Family Says

By Ali Daraghmeh Associated Press Writer Published: Mar 30, 2004 NABLUS, West Bank (AP) -

Islamic militants tried to recruit a 15-year- old as a suicide bomber, at one point locking him in a dark room, but also luring him with clothes, a cell phone and promises of paradise, his family said Tuesday.

The story of ninth-grader Tamer Khweirah, who was rescued by an alert older brother, underscores the growing use of children by militant groups and has stoked debate over what is permissible in the fight against Israel.

Tamer is one of four teens arrested by the Israeli military in Nablus in the past week on suspicion they were recruited by militants. One of them, Hussam Abdo, 16, was caught at an Israeli checkpoint with 18 pounds of explosives strapped to his body.

The youths - who all remain in custody - knew each other, relatives told The Associated Press. Tamer, Hussam and a third youngster attended the same high school.

The Israeli military said Palestinian militants are increasingly targeting youngsters, in part because they arouse less suspicion at Israeli checkpoints.

The use of youngsters has drawn criticism from some Palestinian intellectuals and educators, who said the militants are harming the Palestinian cause.

The Al Ayyam daily, which often reflects the views of the Palestinian Authority, ran a story Tuesday on Tamer, including his parents' demand that the recruiters be prosecuted. Palestinian security officials said their forces have become so ineffective, largely due to Israeli restrictions, that they cannot rein in the militants.

Tamer was approached by the Islamic Jihad group at a Nablus mosque last week, after Israel assassinated Hamas founder Sheik Ahmed Yassin, said the boy's 26- year-old brother, Raed Khweirah.

In the mosque, Tamer and other worshippers were expressing their anger over the assassination, and a 19-year-old Islamic Jihad activist asked the youth whether he wanted to meet a religious leader, or sheik, from the group, Raed Khweirah said his brother told him.

Tamer was taken to a home in Nablus' old city, where he met the sheik, who introduced himself only as Ibrahim, Khweirah said. In the first session, the sheik spoke to Tamer about the need to avenge Yassin, whose group Israel blames for suicide bombings that have killed hundreds of Israelis.

In a second encounter, the sheik tried to persuade Tamer to carry out a suicide bombing. He locked Tamer in a dark room for a while, then took him to a well-lit room, saying this illustrated the difference between eternal damnation and paradise.

Paradise and 72 virgins are assured for any bomber, the sheik told Tamer, who is from a well-to-do family and, according to his relatives, had a sheltered upbringing.

When the youngster expressed concern that his family home would be demolished - standard Israeli reprisal - the sheik said Islamic Jihad would pay $35,000 to make up for the loss.

When the boy protested that he'd like to be around for the weddings of his two sisters, the sheik told him, "you will go to paradise and meet them there," according to the older brother.

Islamic Jihad members gave Tamer about $45, a cell phone, new jeans and a new shirt, his brother said.

Khweirah said he became concerned about his brother when he skipped school twice last week and was seen loitering downtown, smoking and talking on a cell phone.

Khweirah said he sought help from the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an armed group with ties to Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

Al Aqsa itself has carried out suicide bombings, and its militants say they have no qualms about recruiting teens, provided they understand their missions. Still, Khweirah hoped they would agree his brother was not an appropriate candidate.

Later that day, a tearful Tamer returned home and confessed to his family, his brother said.

Hashem Abu Hamdan, an Al Aqsa leader in Nablus wanted by Israel, said he was involved in getting Tamer home but gave no further details.

Abu Hamdan said Hussam Abdo, last week's would-be suicide bomber, and his friends acted on their initiative and were not dispatched by Al Aqsa. "They were looking for an explosives vest, and they could find it easily in Nablus," Abu Hamdan said.

But the Israeli military said the militants are increasingly preying on the young.

"We've seen the accelerated efforts of this consortium of terror from Nablus to dispatch young children and turn them into human bombs," said Maj. Sharon Feingold.

Tamer was arrested by Israeli soldiers at his home on Friday. Feingold said Hussam, Tamer and the other two youngsters are still being questioned by the Shin Bet security service, which turned down requests by The Associated Press to interview Tamer.

Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi said there have been only isolated attempts to recruit youngsters. She said Palestinian society, which has largely supported suicide bombings, would have to do some soul-searching, but the causes of despair - Israel's occupation and military strikes - must not be overlooked.

"It's horrifying, because we are paying the price as a nation," she said.
By netchicken: posted on 31-3-2004

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