old suicide bomber:
Palestinian family's anger at his recruiters
Published: 8 June 2005
Briefing Number 143
|Summary: Palestinian teenager Ahmed Al-Nadi
was caught at an Israeli checkpoint on 22 May 2005 while
attempting to carry out a suicide attack on Israeli soldiers
using two pipe bombs. This Briefing describes the anger
of Al-Nadi’s father, mother and grandmother at the
Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (the armed wing of Fatah) for “brainwashing”
and then recruiting him.
The information in this Briefing is extracted from reports
in the Jerusalem Post dated 22 May and 29 May 2005.
15 year old’s attempted suicide attack
Ahmed al-Nadi is a 15 year old Palestinian schoolboy, who lives
with his family in the West Bank refugee camp of Askar.
On 22 May 2005, al-Nadi was arrested at the Israeli military
checkpoint of Hawara near the West Bank city of Nablus, with
two pipe bombs tied round his waist. An Israeli spokesperson
said that al-Nadi had intended to explode the bombs by igniting
the detonator with a cigarette lighter. He had raised suspicion
by his unusual conduct, and the bombs were discovered when he
was asked by Israeli soldiers to lift up his shirt. The bombs
were defused. Al-Nadi was detained for questioning.
Who was responsible for sending Ahmed al-Nadi?
According to the Jerusalem Post (29 May 2005), the boy’s
family and Palestinian Authority security officials each blame
the Al Aksa Martyrs Brigade in Nablus for recruiting the teenager,
and planning the attack. (The group denied that it was involved,
but commentators do not consider this denial credible).
Indeed the boy himself confirmed that it was Al-Aqsa who recruited
On 29 May the family of Ahmed al-Nadi spoke to the Jerusalem
Post about their son’s deed. Here is some of what they
The boy’s father, Mustafa al-Nadi
“He’s a child. He can’t differentiate
between good and bad. He and others like him were brainwashed….
I didn’t have any idea. He was going to school,
coming back home, doing his homework, and going outside
to play with kids…”
The boy’s mother, Dalal al-Nadi
“They [his recruiters] are criminals. They are
not human beings. This is a crime, they have no feeling,
no religion. They don’t fear God. He’s just
a child. If he was a child from a rich family they would
not have sent him there. But because he is poor and he’s
from a refugee camp they play with his head….”
The boy’s grandmother, Aziza al-Nadi
“They have no fear of God. They let us suffer because
of our children. They don’t respect God; they don’t
have a conscience. I hope that God will punish them because
they are sending children that age…. God knows how
many tears there are on my pillow every night…”
Mrs Al-Nadi’s appeal to the Palestinian leadership
“… I’m addressing Abu Mazen (Abbas)
directly, to save these young children from the hands
of the criminals who are sending them… They are
depriving parents of their children and they are stopping
the peace process and destroying everything…..each
time there is hope they are sending children to destroy
Conclusion and Key Messages
Many supporters of Palestinian rights continue to depict suicide
bombing as a legitimate form of “resistance to occupation”.
The manipulation of Ahmed al-Nadi, and the fury of his family,
should shatter this depiction. The recruitment of al-Nadi was
an act of criminal child abuse, and the words of his family
convey the sense of outrage which supporters of Palestinian
rights should feel.
During April-May 2005, according to Israeli Defence Forces
statistics, nine other attempts were made using Palestinian
teenagers to carry out suicide bombings, or smuggle bombs and
other weapons into Israel. All were foiled.
Peace is going to remain out of reach as long as the culture
of brainwashing and violence remains prevalent in Palestinian
society which results in teenagers being recruited to commit
Other Beyond Images resources
On the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade see:-
Briefing 22 – the Kibbutz Metzer atrocity
Briefing 78 – 10 years of suicide
bombings in Israel