April 9, 1985: Female suicide bomber detonates in Lebanon

On April 9, 1985 a female terrorist blew herself up next to an Israeli convoy in South Lebanon, killing two and wounding 12

JEZZINE, LEBANON – They say there is nothing new under the sun: well, it turns out that is not true when it comes to terrorism.

I’d bet that we collectively have a common image of a terrorist. I would wager that the picture for most of us is of a young person with a wild glare or stare, kitted out with a bomb or a gun, and probably bearded. That last addition implies that the ‘typical’ terrorist is male.

And, I am fairly sure that is true: the vast majority of terrorists are men. Why? I dunno. It is not as if women aren’t equally angry about the kinds of things that lead extremists to use violence to ‘fix’.

No need to list gender pronoun preferences here! (Photo: By VOA French, Public Domain)

But there are female terrorists and there are women who make the ultimate sacrifice and become suicide bombers. Furthermore, it appears to have all started on a spring Tuesday in southern Lebanon 37 years ago.

On this day in 1985

Sana’a Mehaidli blew herself and a Peugeot filled with explosives up next to an Israeli convoy in Jezzine during Israel’s occupation of South Lebanon, killing two and wounding a dozen. She is believed to have been the very first female suicide terrorist.

Perhaps it’s simply easier not to acknowledge that women might strongly hold extremist beliefs, and be willing to engage in terrorist action

Anonymous blogger at ‘Feminist Philosophers’

We have seen a lot of talk about equality among the sexes. It turns out this applies to terrorism too.

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By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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