Portrait of the Suicide Bomber as a Young Man

US military's profile reveals alienation, anger
By Lucas Laursen,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2008 11:03 AM CDT
In this undated image taken at an unknown location and made available on the website www.sehadetvakti.com (meaning "time for martyrdom" in Turkish), a man identified by the website as Cuneyt Ciftci, is...   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The people carrying out suicide bombings in Iraq are overwhelmingly young men from other countries who grew up in large, poor families, the LA Times reports. After interrogating four dozen men taken into custody over 4 months, the American military has drafted a profile of the typical suicide bomber, who is in his late teens or 20s and in thrall to al-Qaeda in Iraq, according to a report released yesterday.

The men came to Iraq, most often from Saudi Arabia, to distinguish themselves, yet “did not tell their families they were going off to Iraq to fight for al-Qaeda out of fear of disapproval," said a US spokesman. Suicide bombings have accounted for some 10,000 deaths, but "they felt misled," the spokesman said of the recruits. "They had not come here to kill Iraqi civilians."