TIME Magazine Exclusive:
“Daddy, I want to be a martyr. Can you get me an explosive belt?”
When Abu Qaqa al-Tamimi’s 9-year-old son asked for his help in becoming a suicide bomber, he was, to say the least, taken aback. “This is not what you expect to hear from a little boy,” says al-Tamimi, an Iraqi man in his late 40s with close-cropped hair and a thin beard lining a round face. “I didn’t know what to say.” The son had even come up with a proposed target. “There was an American checkpoint near his school, and he said, ‘They won’t suspect me because I’m a kid, so I can walk right up to them and explode the belt.'”
Like other Iraqi parents, al-Tamimi frets about the emotional toll on his child caused by the daily onslaught of suicide bombings.
Touching, no? Being a parent in these troubled times is fills one with such heartache.
“Too young”, the wise father responds. A Kodak moment for sure.
For the past 13 months, al-Tamimi has played a crucial, and murderous, role in the Iraqi insurgency: he is one of a small number of operatives who provide would-be suicide bombers with everything from safe houses to target information and explosives. Al-Tamimi says he also acts as a guardian, religious guide and all-around father figure in the final days of a bomber’s life. “Once a volunteer is placed in my care,” he says, “I am responsible for everything in his life until the time comes for him to end it.” Al-Tamimi is often the last person bombers talk to before their deadly mission.
My immediate thought while reading this is summed up by these comments left at Tim Blair:
#12. Would it be too much to hope that the Time writer sic’ed the Coalition troops onto this guy after filing his article?
#13. Yes. Next question.
I noted yesterday that sending their kids to fight US Marines wasn’t going to help the Sunnis establish a larger voting base.
And I thought I had troubles trying to decide what movies to let my kids watch. (via Joanne Jacobs)