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Afghanistan suicide bomb attacks
Afghanistan suicide bomb attacks

Total numbers include bombs not detonated. Source: United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan

Attack on Alexander II
Attack on Alexander II

During an 1881 suicide attack on Russian Tsar Alexander II by members of the People's Will, two suicide bombers struck. The first attack, pictured here, resulted only in arrest, but the second, moments later, killed Allexander and bomber Ignaty Grinevitsky.

Attack on the American embassy in Lebanon
Attack on the American embassy in Lebanon

The explosion of the Marine Corps building in Beirut, Lebanon on October 23, 1983 created a large cloud of smoke that was visible from miles away.

Car bombing aftermath
Car bombing aftermath

The aftermath of a suicide car bombing in Baghdad, Iraq, in 2007, the year suicide bombing peaked globally. Photo by Jim Gordon.

Global Suicide Attacks, 2004-2011
Global Suicide Attacks, 2004-2011

 

Figures from“Worldwide Incidents Tracking System,” National Counterterrorism Center.

Glorifying suicide bombers
Glorifying suicide bombers

A member of the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) stands next to a poster celebrating an Islamic Jihad operative who executed a suicide bombing in a shopping mall in 2003. The social support represented here is an essential quality of suicide bombing. Photo provided by the IDF.

Ignaty Grinevitsky
Ignaty Grinevitsky

Ignaty Grinevitsky assassinated Russian Tsar Alexander II in a suicide attack with a dynamite bomb. He was a member of the People's Will.

Kamikaze attack
Kamikaze attack

A Japanese Tokkotai operative flies a suicide mission into the side of the U.S.S. Missouri in April 1945. 

LTTE suicide bomb attack, Sri Lanka
LTTE suicide bomb attack, Sri Lanka

In this screen shot of video footage taken by a local resident, a suicide bomber sent by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam detonates a bomb during a ceremony at a mosque in Akuressa, Sri Lanka, in 2009. Thirteen were killed.

 

 

Map of Beirut barracks bombing
Map of Beirut barracks bombing

This map of the route taken by the suicide bomber at the American Marine barracks on the morning of October 23, 1983, was included in a report on the incident by the Department of Defense.

USS Cole
USS Cole

This Navy photo shows the USS Cole after a suicide attack by an Al Qaeda operative in 2007.

Velupillai Prabhakaran
Velupillai Prabhakaran

Velupillai Prabhakaran was the founder and leader of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, a militant group that came to be known as the "masters of suicide bombing." When he died, the organization fell apart.

World Trade Center attacks, September 11, 2001
World Trade Center attacks, September 11, 2001

Diagram showing how suicide attackers used airplanes as missiles in an attack on New York City, and where debris from the crash fell. Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency

World Trade Center buildings after 9/11 attack
World Trade Center buildings after 9/11 attack

The south tower just after it was struck by the second plane

Young Tokkotai pilots
Young Tokkotai pilots

Corporal Yukio Araki, 17, holds a puppy and poses with members of his squadron the day before his death in a suicide attack on a U.S. ship in May 1945.