wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08BAGHDAD2048
2008-07-03 07:15:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy Baghdad
Cable title:  

PRT DIYALA: FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBERS - A WORRISOME

Tags:   PREL  PGOV  PINR  PINS  PTER  SOCI  IZ 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8925
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2048/01 1850715
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 030715Z JUL 08
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8103
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002048 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/03/2018
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR PINS PTER SOCI IZ
SUBJECT: PRT DIYALA: FEMALE SUICIDE BOMBERS - A WORRISOME
TREND

Classified By: PRT Team Leader George White for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)
.



1. (U) This is a PRT Diyala reporting cable.



2. (C) Summary: The recent spate of female suicide bombers
in Iraq presents serious challenges for the Iraqi Security
Forces. There have been 23 reported cases nationwide this
year alone, a significant increase from eight reported
attacks in 2007. Nineteen of those attacks occurred in
Diyala province. Although the attackers in Diyala were
homegrown, sources tell us Al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has
recruited a "regiment of women" from all over Iraq to carry
out attacks in Diyala to demonstrate that AQI is still
operational in the province. Diyala provincial security
officials state that few legal deterrents exist to discourage
women from becoming suicide bombers, and that they lack
adequate detention centers to house women terrorists. They
also argue that laws that hold families accountable for their
female relatives' actions would help curb women's involvement
in attacks. Provincial officials feel the Coalition Forces
(CF) program to recruit women security guards - known as the
"Daughters of Iraq" - will not gain traction in Diyala due to
cultural norms that prevent women from leaving the household
for long periods of time to train. End Summary.

Prevalence of Women Suicide Bombers Increasing


--------------------------

--



3. (C) With more than half of the female suicide bomber
attacks occurring in Diyala province this year, provincial
officials are keen to gain more information on the women
behind these attacks. It is widely perceived that all are
associated with AQI, most are fairly young (under 25), and
all have been indigenous to Diyala.



4. (C) The largest attacks this year occurred in the
provincial capital of Baqubah, Muqdadiyah, and Balad Ruz.
Diyala Operations Center (DOC) spokesperson COL Raqheb
Al-Omairi points out that the attack in the northern town of
Qara Tappa is an indication that AQI is still present in
Diyala, but has been unable to establish a solid base in the
province due to the combined pressure from the Iraqi Police
(IP), Iraqi Army (IA), and CF. He said the town of Qara
Tappa has always been an "incubator for bad guys."

AQI Recruits Women Suicide Bombers Nationwide


--------------------------





5. (C) According to Sunni Deputy Governor Auwf Rahoumi,
people in his neighborhood report that "a regiment of women"
(Note: "regiment" in this context is not a reflection of the
size of the element but rather the concept of central command
and control. End Note.) from around Iraq has been recruited
to conduct suicide bombings throughout Diyala, specifically
to refute reports that AQI is moribund in the province. Auwf

recently moved to Muqdadiyah, a former AQI stronghold, and is
active in the community as he initiates his campaign for
governor.

Laws Do Not Deter Women Suicide Bombers


--------------------------





6. (C) Saja Qaduri Aziz (strictly protect), a Dawa Party PC
member who sits on the PC security committee, reinforced this
report explaining she had received intelligence from the IA
stating 10-25 female suicide bombers between the ages of
15-20 had completed training and are prepared to carry out
attacks. She says the IA explained to her that they were
unable to detain these women because currently there are no
laws in place to arrest women on suspicion of training to
become suicide bombers. She also said the IA currently has
no female detention facilities.



7. (C) DOC spokesperson Ragheb told us security officials'
efforts to stop female suicide bombers have been impaired by
the absence of laws that hold family members accountable for
the actions of their female relatives who become suicide
bombers. In a culture where women's whereabouts are strictly
controlled by their families, he argued that it would seem
logical that family members would be aware of female
relatives' involvement in terrorist training activities.
Ragheb also said the majority of the female suicide bombers
are raised in families sympathetic to AQI, and the women are
usually married to a member of AQI.

Daughters of Iraq Program Fails to Gain Traction


--------------------------

---



8. (C) The CF program to recruit female security guards )
known as the "Daughters of Iraq" - is not currently
operational in Diyala province. Provincial officials tell us

BAGHDAD 00002048 002 OF 002


this type of program will not help reduce the number of
female suicide bombers in Diyala since it is culturally
unacceptable for women to be absence from their families for
the required one month training period. He added that
despite cultural standards, both men and women need to be
searched, and the IP has requested special equipment for
major check points to specifically detect female suicide
bombers.



9. (C) Saja also expressed concern that the National Office
of Intelligence and Information in Baqubah has not received
funding from the GOI. She said the office lacks Internet
service and vehicles, and that officers must purchase phone
cards out-of-pocket. She commented that there is no
incentive for Diyala residents to report information to
intelligence officers because no rewards or protection are
offered in exchange.



10. (C) Comment: The large pool of widows of deceased AQI
members is proving to be a key recruiting source for suicide
bombers. The GOI and Diyala's provincial government must
give serious consideration to developing an adequate force of
female police and intelligence officers, as well as
developing new tactics to deter women from becoming suicide
bombers. End Comment.
CROCKER