The 'missing bombs': the voices of the survivors

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Creato Lunedì, 22 Luglio 2019 10:12
Ultima modifica il Domenica, 29 Marzo 2020 09:46
Pubblicato Lunedì, 22 Luglio 2019 10:12
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«And so at the last minute I lacked the courage and madness, if you want», says the Chechen Zerema Muzhikovskaia. «I mean, I realized I'd never be able to blow myself up. So I did everything to draw attention to that July 9, 2003 in the center of Moscow. Well, I did not complete the attack and unfortunately, a few hours later, the bomb exploded in the hands of the security services responsible for defusing the device and ended up in the hands of the Creator. I was arrested and then sentenced to 20 years' imprisonment at the Maximum Security Prison in Lefortovo. I could have really pressed the button and detonated the bomb. But I didn't. I had robbed my aunt, disgraced my family, tried to kidnap my daughter and tried to run away from home. I'd become the shame of the house. So, to honor the whole thing, I had to wash the shame. So I convinced myself of the idea of martyrdom to repay the relatives who would have received a thousand dollars in reward if I had been blown up in a kamikaze attack. On July 1, 2003, I was told it was time. When I get near the chosen target, I go on tilt. Even today I do not know if I felt dazed or rather frightened by that kind of horrible fate that I had chosen. And without even realizing it, I sterted wandering the streets of Tverskaya. It's 10:00 p. m. and I'm sitting at the table at Mon Café. I press the detonator bomb, but the bomb doesn't go off. Then I go out of the club. I try to re-adjust that button. I go back in. I push again. But the device is shaky again».
Touraya Hamour, a 25-year-old Palestinian, is recruited by the military wing of al Fatah  to carry out a murderous-suicide attack on the evening of 20 May 2002 in a restaurant in the southern part of Jerusalem. But Touraya had second thoughts. It's not enough. Israeli soldiers hunt her down at her uncle's house the same day she missed the attack. Sentenced to six years' imprisonment for threatening state security. She claims to be religious but without excesses. «I was engaged for a couple of weeks but then it all ended. A story that ended four months before that fateful 20 May. And that's when it all came to my mind. I had this idea from the gesture of Wafa Idris, the first Palestinian suicide bomber. But I don't hate Jews. However, I could give many examples of Palestinian children being killed by Israelis for no reason. Or my cousin killed by the same troops in the living room of my house in Jenin. Yeah, that's them. Who invaded my land and absolutely mercilessly slaughtered my people. And that's why I decided not to take pity. Much less mercy. As for the children, I have nothing against the little Israelis. There is a possibility that once they are adults, they will kill my son, my friend's son or my neighbor's son. That's why they should die now. And this kind of mission is a credit to the family. And to me, too, if you like. The fact of being locked up as a potential danger to the security of the country already brings prestige. It does great credit to the guerrillas. But to become a martyr», says Touraya, «you need in any case a lot of strength of mind and immense will. There was only one thing that worried me. I feared that during the explosion my private parts would be visible to all. The very idea of exploding already gives a very unusual feeling. I was even thrilled by this opportunity and I was waiting anxiously, impatiently, for that moment. However, as a Palestinian woman I knew that at least for a while I would raise the hearts of many compatriots, of many people who have suffered too much and have continued to suffer. And I was not at all afraid to make the gesture». It's a secret for Touraya to blow up, a secret of her own that she never reveals. «After all, if I'd told anyone the secret, I would have risked ruining everything. My parents would never let me step outside the house again», she clarifies. As an aspiring martyr, she refuses to be filmed in a pre-death video, reiterating that the will must be something only between her and God. As the moment of truth approaches, Touraya has her first doubts and does not want to explode anymore. «I thought of all those I could kill. While those who sent me to my death didn't care about my fate. They only care about the target. "If they're gonna catch you, blow you up", they said, "even though there's no one around you"». Touraya Hamour then bursts into tears and hides her beautiful face in her flickering hands. 
Refusing to sacrifice one's life for a cause one does not believe in and finding the strength to escape a destiny of violence apparently marked in a land that has been torn apart by a fierce war for over 10 years, is what a 20-year-old Chechen has managed to do. Raisa Ganieva has officially requested police protection. «To circumvent the constriction of my older brother Rustam to kill. He offered me and then treated me for $3,000. So he wanted at all costs to hand me over that amount as a suicide bomb to Samil Basaev, leader of the Chechen guerrillas. Like he did with the other sisters. But I didn't want to. I didn't mean to kill. I hate violence. I'm sick of violence. And I didn't even want to die like that».
27-year-old Obeida Abu Aisha was arrested in Tel Aviv in June 2002 before wearing her explosive belt. Same day as the anniversary of the death of the brother of the missing-kamikaze, who at the age of 17 blew himself up in the same place, injuring about twenty people. Every friend and acquaintance of her is aware of Obeida's desire to sacrifice herself for the cause. She's been stubbornly repeating it for at least a year. «I stopped when the operation was about to take place. Backed by my boyfriend Ali, we were in fact simultaneously preparing marriage and suicide bombings. But also concluding the desire to start having children. Man to whom I promised I would never commit the action alone. That I would wait for him. But four days before the scheduled date he was killed in an Israeli raid in Ramallah. Even today I cannot explain myself, except with words of war and hatred, how I could think of myself mother, prepare the wedding party and continue to organize the massacre. 72 virgins are promised to bomb men when they die and reach Paradise. I could have just gotten closer to God. Peace requires patience. I will never forget the blood of my missed husband and my brother».
20-year-old Arin Ahmen decided to join Jad, her great love pulverized by an Israeli rocket, at the Martyrs' Paradise. And no one up there can ever separate them. After the trauma of the death of his boyfriend, Arin goes to university again and sees Ali al Magradi, an activist of Tanzim . Suddenly one day the girl reveals the idea of dying as a martyr. She doesn't realize that she just destroyed her life. Four days after expressing that thought, Ali waits for her at the entrance to the faculty. Her time had come. Arin puts on his religious clothes, records the traditional videotape and receives the belt loaded with explosives. Once they arrive at the chosen location, at the last moment the girl decides to abandon the suicide mission. She was arrested. Binyamin Ben Eliezer interrogated and investigated her at the Jerusalem prison. He wants to understand the human mechanism behind the kamikaze gestures.
This is the true story of the only Black Tiger who only at the last moment, repentant, decided not to complete the suicide mission for which she had been chosen. And now, forced to live as an illegal immigrant so as not to be killed by the Tamils, she says: «It all began in 1998. The army kidnapped my father, and then we found him dead. One day a man I knew asked me if I wanted to avenge Daddy. And, which I found rather strange, he even asked me if I was a virgin. For the first question I was affirmative, and for the second I answered no. "Too bad", replied the man, "virgins are better suited. But it's the same. Make a written request and leave it to the village suggestion box". Three months later that man came back to warn me that my wish had been granted because it was judged worthy by the supreme head Velupillai Prabhakaran . I was accompanied to the first field where they cut my hair, gave me pants, boots and shirts. They inculcated in me so many things and I believed everything. They told me so insistently that I ended up believing it. I was ready for the second phase of training. In the second camp we non-virgin women used to spend days and days with a grenade in the vagina. They made us wear copies of the suicide vest and prepare us for the day when we would have to throw ourselves on the target and actuate the detonator to explode in tandem». After a year, she is returned to the city. «We will contact you. We will be in touch. Don't worry», they just said. But they took possession of all my identity documents and ordered me to delete all traces of me because if I was arrested they could not trace my person. Finally, they forced me to look for and accept a normal, modest job». The girl gets hired in an ice cream shop. It's probably that job that saves her. «I knew it would come that day. The day when I would have to wear that vest. When I should have disguised myself among the passers-by and waited there for the target to be sacrificed. Maybe it was also an idea that made me happy but suddenly, the day they came to take me, the day I was asked if I had any relatives that I would leave in trouble to take care of. The day I was told that it had reached the end of the line and I had to take action, I was no longer ready. I had already been given the classic cyanide pill to wear around my neck, the pill that allows you not to fall into the arms of the enemy, and I was told that I was entitled to the last dinner with my head and to a hug from him. Well, that very day I was no longer available. No, I was not. I wasn't ready anymore». She's safe. She escapes. We don't know how.
di Noemi Genova