15 year old suicide bomber:
Palestinian family's anger at his recruiters

Published: 8 June 2005
Briefing Number 143

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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 him.

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 said:-

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 everything….”

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 mass murder.

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