Uganda Police and sister security agencies have issued guidelines on how to identify suicide bombers and report them to authorities.
The guidelines follow last week’s suicide attack on a Swift Safaris bus bound for Ishaka.
Police spokesperson Fred Enanga has made it clear to Ugandans suicide attacks are “a very dangerous plot.”
“And because suicide attacks or threats are a new phenomenon, it is important that members of the public are made aware of the characteristics of suicide bombers and the fact that they come from nearly every cultural background, ethnic or religious group,” added Enanga.
“We have therefore, taken lessons from countries like Israel, which have experienced hundreds of suicide attacks, and developed some guidelines and profiles that highlight the general characteristics of a suicide bomber. We strongly believe that once a person is armed with specific information about a suspicious person, who intends to detonate him or herself, he or she can easily prevent or thwart a terrorist attack and save lives.”
Enanga explained that suicide bombers participate in months of indoctrination, and “when ready for the mission, they are in a “hypnotic state” believing that the mission will open heaven for them.”
He added that the majority of suicide bombers are not married, although a few have spouses and children, adding that most are male between 17-23 years of age, however, women and children have a potential of being recruited as well.
In Uganda, Enanga further noted that the first known suicide bombing was by the Al-shabaab suicide bombers in 2010 while the second was that of Isaac Matovu alias Muzafalu, that occurred on the Swift Safari Bus.
“We believe there are still more who have been radicalized into the ranks of suicide bombers.”
General characteristics of suicide bombers
|1. The appearance of being nervous. They may seem pre-occupied or have a blank stare.|
|2. Focused intent and vigilance. Such an acute focus may result in no response, to verbal or other contact.|
|3. An awkward attempt to blend in. Behavior will seem odd or overtly out of place.|
|4. Avoidance behaviors towards authority. If security is present, a suicide bomber will try to be inconspicuous.|
|5. May be praying fervently to him or herself. This gives the appearance of talking and whispering to someone. Keep in mind that many people talk to themselves, thus this behavior in and of itself, has little meaning. Further either of these behaviors could be confused with speaking on a cellphone.|
|6. Behavior may be consistent with that of a person without any future like giving away things of value, buying one-way ticket, or being unconcerned about receiving change for a purchase.|
|7. Profuse sweating that is out of synch with weather conditions.|
|8. Walking deliberately toward a specific target or object, often pushing the way through a crowd or armed barriers. This may show a high degree of focus or intent, especially if the target is in sight.|
|9. Lack of mobility of the lower torso, may cause upper body stiffness. This is due to the bomb device that is strapped to the body. The increased use of backpacks may reduce or eliminate this element.|
|10. In order to disguise the appearance, a beard may have been recently shaved or the hair cut short. There is a noticeable difference in the skin color of the recently shared area.|
|11. To smell better when going to paradise, the suicide bomber may use herbal or floral scented water.|