One says he wanted to kill himself anyway. Another says he was duped. Both were captured in failed suicide bombings in Afghanistan, where such attacks were unheard of until the last 2 years, denounced by village elders as cowardly and un-Islamic. Now, these bombings are at all-time highs as the Taliban recruits poor, uneducated men and boys in Pakistani religious schools. The Wall Street Journal looks at how the trend is helping turn the tide against NATO forces.
Since 2006, more than 100 bombings have been reported every year, and 2008 looms as the bloodiest yet. Poor training leads to many failures, however. One of the failed bombers was recruited when he confided plans for suicide to a friend. The other says he went to the religious school, or madrassa, because he was promised higher-paying employment. “I am an uneducated man,” he says. “I can only say that I made a bad mistake.”