Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
A martyrdom operation is a suicide bombing. The term is used by armed Muslim militants, or other similar or related groups. Islamist militants use this term as they do not see their attacks as an act of suicide, which is prohibited by Islam. While most combat involves a chance of death, a "martyrdom operation" implies a deliberate act of self-sacrificial suicide and a systematic form of terrorism. The term is a neologism.
In Arabic, suicide bombings or martyrdom operations are called Shuada or Is-shtahad, both coming from the root Shaadi ("Testimony") that refers to the act of declaring one's belief in Islam. The suicide bombers are called "Shahids" and after their death attain the rank of a Martyr.
Osama bin Laden called the attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon a "martyrdom operation." Palestinians primarily speak of a ‘martyrdom operation’ as opposed to ‘suicide bombing.’ The Iraqi administration referred to suicide attacks on invading troops during the 2003 Iraq war in these terms also, and, in particular, their promise to retake the Baghdad airport.
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