Martyrs and Mental Illness
The London Sunday Times reports that the British Intelligence Service, MI5, is afraid that terrorists are recruiting mentally disturbed people as suicide bombers. Here's the lead graph:
Islamic terrorists may be targeting mentally disturbed or disabled people in Britain in a bid to form a new “brigade” of home-grown suicide bombers, security officials fear.
Which prompts a couple of thoughts. The first is that blowing yourself up, usually to kill innocents, is not exactly a sign of mental stability. In that sense, all of those targeted by the jihadis (that oft-banned word actually appears in the headline, by the way) are mentally disturbed or disabled.
But the more serious concern is the implication that MI5 didn't already know that mentally disturbed people have long been recruited as suicide bombers. If you talk to Iraq war veterans, you will hear no end of such stories. If we had better reporters in the field, we'd have learned long since that American troops have refrained from shooting people who approached them, when it looked like they were seriously disabled.
The exploitation of such people by the terrorists is one of the most disgusting and cynical aspects of the war, and says a lot about the kind of evil we are combating. I hope that our own domestic security people are paying attention.