Mireille was a 38-year old woman born into a white, Christian family in the
Southern Belgian town of Charleroi; she married to a Moroccan, converted to a
radical form of Islam, and went to Iraq where she blew herself up in a suicide
attack targeted against a US military convoy; she killed only herself. Her
passport was in her remains, and its finding prompted yesterday the arrest by
Belgium and France security forces of 15 suspected Islamic militants believed to
be linked to her. Mireille has the more than dubious honor of being the first
white Western woman to carry out a suicide bombing, according to London's The
A white, female suicide bomber in Western Europe - a uniquely valuable weapon - and she goes to Iraq, where her uniqueness is not merely no longer an advantage, but is now a disadvantage.
This lends considerable strength to the idea, expressed before, that suicide bombing is often more a personal statement than a serious attempt to cause any kind of political change:
Why suicide bombing? ... Maybe they feel that, other things being equal, it is better to die in the attack than survive it. I don't 100% believe the "Blood Feud" theory of Islamist terrorism -- I do think there is some strategy to it -- but it is valid to say that the bombers are very much concerned with themselves and their supporters, not just with their effects on us.