Paper 1: Political Serial Killing by Proxy: Christian Ganczarski the chief perpetrator, Nizar Nawar his proxy and the Djerba Synagogue Bombing by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, Ph.D.: Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine: Vol. 8, No. 2 (July - December 2007)
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Received: December 16, 2006
Accepted: July 1, 2007
Ref: Kobrin, NH.  Political Serial Killing by Proxy: Christian Ganczarski the chief perpetrator, Nizar Nawar his proxy and the Djerba Synagogue Bombing.  Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology [serial online], 2007; Vol. 8, No. 2 (July - December 2007): [about 65 p]. Available from: . Published : July 1, 2007, (Accessed: 

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Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin
Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin

Political Serial Killing by Proxy: Christian Ganczarski the chief perpetrator, Nizar Nawar his proxy and the Djerba Synagogue Bombing

by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin,
Clinical professor of psychiatry,
Hennepin-Regions Psychiatry Training Program,
Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Minnesota,
USA


Abstract

This article is about imagery and its bizarre relationship to suicide terrorism. Imagery is a new and innovative approach to understand concepts that are so foreign to us, the only way to grasp them is perhaps by considering the unconscious. Every attack site communicates an unconscious message to law enforcement and creates terror in the public. This raises the question as to how to explore the symbolic significance and the unconscious meaning of the imagery of "body parts" found at the attack site of a suicide bombing. According to the work of the psychoanalyst, Biven1 in regular serial killing body parts play a major communicative role concerning the mind of the serial killer. Every attack site constitutes a crime scene, be it a serial killing or a suicide bombing. Serial killers do not have a healthy integrated view of mother and in regular serial killing, body parts are known to express the unintegrated representation of her body as perceived by a little child. In psychological parlance they are called "part objects." It has been observed that serial killers have never been able to separate psychologically from their mother's body and enact their murderous rage targeting and projecting onto innocent victims. In Islamic suicide terrorism, suicide bombing is a collective group experience based on collective group delusions and fantasies, operated and played out by the chief perpetrator as handler. The suicide bomber is the proxy and the unconscious messenger. Regardless of how counter terrorism isolates the violence of a suicide attack from other kinds of violence, I have come to conclude that the pattern buried in the suicide attack sites are inextricably linked to imagery in other kinds of violence, most notably serial killing.

Keywords

Al Qaeda, Body Parts, Christian Ganczarski, Djerba Synagogue, Islamic Suicide Terrorism, Nizar Nawar, Part Object, Psychoanalysis, Serial killing, Tunisia

How This Work Began

When I was eight years old, I first learned about the Golden Age of Spain where Christians, Jews and Muslims lived together in-convivencia, I was fascinated. I went on to study the languages and cultures of medieval Iberia with a passion. However, my unconscious agenda was my wanting to understand how very different people negotiated the same geo-political space, be it Iberia or the space under the roof of a home.

I began working on terrorism then but it was the summer before September 11th when a leading psychoanalyst, Dr. Joan Lachkar, invited me to participate in a human rights seminar on the suicide bomber. She asked me to provide a psychohistorical backdrop because of my doctoral work on aljamía and the expulsion of the Moriscos from Spain.2 My work had been written about in German during the mid 1980's on account of the Gastarbiter problem concerning difficulties integrating into Western society.3

While training clinically, my focus took a dramatic shift, turning away from trauma survivors to undertake the actual study of perpetrators, the terrorists.4 I began to see a sadomasochistic dance à la Shakespeare's Othello. The constant cycling of projection-rage-shame-blame translated into a kind of sexual obsession/addiction, bonding to pain rather than pleasure. Could the banality of murder-suicide and something akin to serial killing be driving a significant part of the suicide attack's alleged political violence?

Introduction

Almost every news report, which has described a suicide bombing, mentions body parts. To a psychoanalyst's ear it is routine to ponder the significance and meaning when something or someone is frequently mentioned. I found myself asking, "Where else do we find body parts in crime?" The answer seemed to be - serial killing. I then went on to ask - what is its symbolic significance and unconscious meaning? Serial killing became the second template for me in an attempt to make meaning out of the horrific holocaust at the suicide attack scene as a crime scene.

Elsewhere I had written at length about the first template of murder-suicide, what is also called a death fusion. Indeed, I had a book in press entitled: The Sheikh's New Clothes: The Naked Truth About Islamic Suicide Terrorism to be brought out by Looseleaf Law, a publishing house which deals exclusively in books for law enforcement, when it was abruptly pulled from production because the publishers feared that they could not protect their staff following Pope Benedict XVI's comments concerning Islam and the ensuing violence. As my colleague put it, "so psychological terrorism really works." 5

Initially I had wondered about its mass murder and suicide. I asked myself: "Where else do we find murder-suicide?" The answer: domestic violence. As early as January 2002 while I was on sabbatical in Jerusalem and writing my first essay on Islamic suicide terrorism, I came to the image of Shakespeare's Othello.6 I felt then that I found one potential piece of a thousand or so pieces for the puzzle of the Islamic suicide attack. I believe that we are only in the beginning stages of understanding the complex phenomenon though one day perhaps we might even have a neuroscience to explain the behavior. In the Shakespearean tragedy, Othello whose name is thought to mean little bull, is a North African military Moor who marries Desdemona the daughter of an Italian senator. The story is about an intermarriage drenched in paranoia, jealousy and obsession. Desdemona is at the eye of the storm of Othello's delusion. Othello murders her and then commits suicide by sword with Iago fueling the flames of his jealousy.

As a psychoanalyst I can relate anecdotally that I have witnessed a curious resistance in counter terrorism which attempts to keep its political violence partitioned from other kinds as if the violence of suicide terrorism is special and thus, sacrosanct from other "lowlier" kinds of violence such as domestic violence despite the fact that law enforcement finds a domestic violence call to be the most dangerous and the one which most police officers would like to be able to avoid like the plague. I understand this resistance and unacknowledged terror drives behavior on the part of experts. This partitioning posture on the part of counter terrorist experts might be inadvertently colluding with the terrorists' tactics. The political violence of terrorism's psychodynamics cannot be that special that it does not share any commonality with other types of violence pigeon-holed in other categories. Perhaps something can be learned by re-conceptualizing political violence in light of other preexisting crime patterns. If there is no identifiable pattern, there can be no effective treatment plan for the problem, which in turn plays into the hands of terrorists. Oddly, terrorists are clueless as to what they tell us about themselves through the imagery and the materiality of the forensic evidence which they leave behind at the crime scene.

Terrorism taps into people's pre-existing terrors, which are different from fear because they are nonverbal and come into being during early childhood. Terror holds us psychologically hostage if it cannot be put it into words and explained. Terror interferes with the capacity to see the forest from the trees. As Sun Tzu, the great philosopher of war, wrote we must know the enemy, so too, in order to make effective interventions we must know and understand the core terrors of terrorists.7 They harbor a profound terror of being abandoned by their mothers from whom they have never separated psychologically; hence, they do not want to die alone. Counter-terrorist experts who must deal with these terrorists talk about mirror image as a strategy.

Counterterrorism tends to be brutally macho, like the culture of sports particularly soccer or ice hockey. Gutmann writing on Arab Muslim culture notes that sports cultures are shame prone as well.8 Might not the inability to factor in the early maternal relationship by counter terrorist experts be because to contemplate early childhood development vis à vis the mother is experienced as a humiliation? Yet Usama bin Laden and his ilk cry out that they have been humiliated. Might not we want to take a closer look at what this all means?

By examining the Al Qaeda suicide attack of the Djerba Synagogue Bombing in April 2002, we see horrific terrors and the interplay between two Al Qaeda operatives, Christian Ganczarski the handler and the suicide bomber Nizar Nawar. This sheds light on a conundrum of lethal emotions linked to serial killing by proxy.9 First four concepts are helpful to keep in mind: 1. All behavior is potential meaningful 2. People are more alike than they are different10 3. Violence is violence; it does not care how we humans label it. 4. Everybody has a mother.11 The maternal relationship is key to making sense out of the materiality of the suicide attack and its imagery. The capacity to delve into the personality by placing behaviors and fantasies under a magnifying glass so to speak is one of psychoanalysis' advantages. At first glance many terrorists are described as looking quite "normal" but much to our horror underneath a psychosis is buried deep within the personality not easily detectable to an observer who is not trained with the psychodynamic mind.

Political Paranoia

Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...The term "political paranoia" has been used to describe the group dynamics for terrorism. Paranoia arises out of the early childhood experience with the mother. Despite this, the maternal relationship has been largely overlooked concerning the Islamic suicide attack. In paranoia, the mother distrusts the baby because she, herself, distrusts her own sense of reality. Why is this so? Her reality was chronically and pervasively denied during her early childhood as a devalued and denigrated little girl...

The term "political paranoia" has been used to describe the group dynamics for terrorism.12 Paranoia arises out of the early childhood experience with the mother. Despite this, the maternal relationship has been largely overlooked concerning the Islamic suicide attack. In paranoia, the mother distrusts the baby because she, herself, distrusts her own sense of reality. Why is this so? Her reality was chronically and pervasively denied during her early childhood as a devalued and denigrated little girl.

One of the most common problems in personality development is the lack of maternal attunement between mother and infant. Problems in maternal attachment are often referred to as traumatic bonding.13 In forensics an older term exists to describe a pathological inability to separate known as the maternal fusion or symbiosis.14

The Prenatal Mother

Let us say that, it all begins in utero when the prenatal environment creates the "motherboard" for the baby's mind. This is a fragile maternal womb, which becomes exposed to a postpartum environment where the female instead of being valued and cherished is denigrated, abused and pathologically controlled from day one. There is no regard for the mother's stress hormone level or her devotion to her new born. Ultimately, this not only jeopardizes the infant's health but leads to severe ego dysfunction as well as cognitive impairments, such as flying planes into buildings rather than just fantasizing about it.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...The mother-child relationship is key to understanding any culture. According to the child psychiatrist, S. Timimi, in Arab Muslim culture the child is never permitted to separate psychologically from Ummi, that is mommy in Arabic. The baby becomes an appendage to the mother in a state of fusion (a problematic bond). The mother is over-idealized yet the female is denigrated. The only way she obtains power is by giving birth to a male baby...

The mother-child relationship is key to understanding any culture. According to the child psychiatrist, S. Timimi, in Arab Muslim culture the child is never permitted to separate psychologically from Ummi, that is mommy in Arabic.15 The baby becomes an appendage to the mother in a state of fusion (a problematic bond). The mother is over-idealized yet the female is denigrated. The only way she obtains power is by giving birth to a male baby. Ummi comes from the same root as Ummah - so that the Arab Muslim communal self-perception is linked to the maternal. Berko reports that Ummi is the only one who could have stopped her child from becoming a suicide bomber.16 The Saudis repeatedly sent Umm Usama to the Sudan and Afghanistan in order to get her son to behave.17 In Western terms, this could mean a complete loss of self or self-identity.

The constellation of devalued female, venerated mother with a rigid honor code is not a far cry from Asian cultures - Japanese, Vietnamese and Hindu.18 According to the kamikaze's training manual, it guided him not to fear death because when he was within two meters of his target, the face of his mother would appear and he would be rejoining her.19

Nor is western culture immune. In patriarchal families, be they Catholic, Lutheran, Mormon or Jewish, ergo a greater possibility for such problematic bonding also exists. This is prevalent as well in cults, clans, secular or a single parent family, the bond may be too much or what is known as traumatic bonding.

I am not one to cast stones at glass houses as it is also very dangerous to be a prenatal mother in the West. The leading cause of death is murder by her spouse or partner; its statistic is 30%.20 Could this be the hidden problem functioning behind the scenes of suicide terrorism? Could this be part of her allure and her terror? Is the suicide attack tapping into our maternal wi-fi? Think of the tragic murder of the pregnant Laci Peterson by her husband Scott. Her murder shared many similarities with the suicide attack's ideological fantasies. The forensic psychiatrist K. Ablow wrote that Peterson acted out a rebirth fantasy by killing off his wife. He felt himself to be an orphan.21 The orphan is very important in Islam.22 In jihadi Islam the 72 virgins syndrome functions literally as a rebirth fantasy.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...I am not one to cast stones at glass houses as it is also very dangerous to be a prenatal mother in the West. The leading cause of death is murder by her spouse or partner; its statistic is 30%. Could this be the hidden problem functioning behind the scenes of suicide terrorism? Could this be part of her allure and her terror? Is the suicide attack tapping into our maternal wi-fi? Think of the tragic murder of the pregnant Laci Peterson by her husband Scott. Her murder shared many similarities with the suicide attack's ideological fantasies...

Jihad holds tremendous appeal to Western converts too. There is an entire body of literature on the psychology of conversion which points to it as an attempt to repair the maternal bond.23 Then there is the problem of explaining the "homegrown" jihadis, 2nd and 3rd generation. But weren't most of their mothers brought over as child brides? Haven't the grandmothers been providing daycare zero to age 3, when the need to hate and have an enemy is learned in the home?24 How westernized were they really? And as I have just shown, even then that is no guarantee. Bonding with a baby is a labor-intensive experience, which must be set in a viable social environment where the female is valued.

Terrorists manifest highly dissociated behavior. They are terrified. They harbor intense feelings of victimization because they were, in fact, victimized as little children.25 They dissociate from their terrors and transform them into a heroic badge of false pride. They do not feel rage and terror; instead they become the rage and the terror. Their self-righteous beliefs drive their behavior, which is concrete and literal. While they may use metaphor like Usama uses in his poetry, it is superficial because they lack empathy for the enemy. They speak as if they do not have a filter, blurting out their poor perceptions. Try stepping back and pretend that you are a pre-school teacher. Pretend that you have pressed the mute button on the tv controller while looking at a terrorist scene and then, try to make sense out of their nonverbal hysterical behavior. Think of a Hamas or Hezbollah military parade with masked men parading with pretend bombs strapped to their bodies? Since when did Islam celebrate Halloween? Don't they look like toddlers, even though their behavior could be so inhumanely gross as a beheading? Like Freud's famous question, what do women want?26 What is it that these terrorists really want? Are we mind readers? It seems that they want nothing more than a genuine human connection. Why? Because my hunch is, that they have rarely experienced it. That is why they literally hurl themselves at us.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Terrorists manifest highly dissociated behavior. They are terrified. They harbor intense feelings of victimization because they were, in fact, victimized as little children. They dissociate from their terrors and transform them into a heroic badge of false pride. They do not feel rage and terror; instead they become the rage and the terror. Their self-righteous beliefs drive their behavior, which is concrete and literal. While they may use metaphor like Usama uses in his poetry, it is superficial because they lack empathy for the enemy...

To make sense of this, one might view the horrific holocaust of the suicide attack by "reading" its mute imagery. This unseverable bond between mother and infant is reflected in the suicide attack's imagery by its death scene. While it will always be important to "read their lips," and understand the ideologies, it will also become increasingly important to "read" all their other sensory perceptions, in addition to imagery.27

My theory is not meant solely to provide a psychological profile for the suicide bomber, rather to provide understanding how the rise of suicide bombers has spread throughout diverse cultures and now at the global level. It is also not meant to blame the mother but to understand how she finds herself and her baby in a hostile social environment. The imagery holds a clue to a predominant psychological problem concerning maternal attachment, its pathological suffocating bond and its attendant psychological fusion which causes developmental arrest, called neotenation, i.e. not being permitted to grow up. For a certain segment of this population, the only way one can liberate him or herself from such bonding is through murder, suicide or becoming a suicide bomber whereby paradoxically one seeks a reunion in death and the fantasy of rebirth.

In psychological terms re-bonding through bombing is the only way one liberates oneself. Sadly murder, suicide bombing, terrorism becomes the replacement for a relatively normative separation individuation from mother (as no one ever separates completely), blowing oneself up paradoxically is far less painful than having to leave the mother and to suffer the pain of separation. The suicide bomber finds consolation in knowing that death provides a reunion with mother in her purest state.

A Picture's Worth a 1,000 Words: The Suicide Attack

Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Ninety percent of what we communicate about our emotions is communicated nonverbally, especially through imagery. Yet the imagery of the body parts in the suicide attack has rarely been discussed in terms of its psychological meaning and why it is so terrifyingly effective for its terrorism. A psychoanalytic approach to the imagery of the suicide attack is especially suited to explain its graphic holocaust despite the fact that psychoanalysis is so well known as the "talking cure." This is a misnomer as the psychology focuses on scrutinizing in detail and ponders the meaning of nonverbal, autistic behaviors including all kinds of imagery, especially in fantasies...

A.  Fusion Imagery

Ninety percent of what we communicate about our emotions is communicated nonverbally, especially through imagery.28 Yet the imagery of the body parts in the suicide attack has rarely been discussed in terms of its psychological meaning and why it is so terrifyingly effective for its terrorism. A psychoanalytic approach to the imagery of the suicide attack is especially suited to explain its graphic holocaust despite the fact that psychoanalysis is so well known as the "talking cure." This is a misnomer as the psychology focuses on scrutinizing in detail and ponders the meaning of nonverbal, autistic behaviors including all kinds of imagery, especially in fantasies.

Setting up a spectrum of fusion imagery, we can better understand the imagery of the attack site's death fusion and its body parts. The first image in life is one of fusion, that of the prenatal mother carrying the fetus. The next is the post-partum image à la the Madonna and child. This image is also sacred in Islam. The next fusion image is sex as in the Arab Kama Sutra.29 The sexual union harkens back psychologically to the terrorizing sexual mother. The mother is experienced in early childhood as split -- either blissful or terrifying. This kind of splitting has been characterized by the Madonna vs. whore.30

There is also a mixed fusion image of life and death as in the Pietà where Mother Mary cradles the dead body of her son Jesus. Islam also has its own Pietà like image because the Prophet Muhammad died in the arms of his beloved Aisha, his favorite and virginal bride wife. Everything that the Prophet did is to be emulated and imitated so that this image carries significant weight in the communal psyche. The last fusion image is that of a double death which may be that of murder-suicide, or mass murder-suicide(s) or even the rapid sequence such as in Shiite Islam where Hussein cradles the dead infant Ali Asghar who is said to have gone from cradle to grave in the Ta`ziyeh, the Passion Play and then Hussein is killed on the Plains of Karbala.31
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...One asks - where is the father? The father's absence seems to reflect the frequently heard complaint in the interview literature of terrorists that their fathers were absent. We might conclude that the reason terrorists remain forever tied into their mothers, is precisely because of the absence of father in Islamic regimes. The trend continues, the father is tied into his mother, the terrorist's grandmother. It should come as no surprise then that there would be a Hamas "Jedda" bomber, a postmenopausal grandmother...

One asks - where is the father? The father's absence seems to reflect the frequently heard complaint in the interview literature of terrorists that their fathers were absent. We might conclude that the reason terrorists remain forever tied into their mothers, is precisely because of the absence of father in Islamic regimes. The trend continues, the father is tied into his mother, the terrorist's grandmother.32 It should come as no surprise then that there would be a Hamas "Jedda" bomber, a postmenopausal grandmother.33

This spectrum of fusion images becomes all the more valued when we stop to consider the fact that it is not permissible to separate psychologically from the mother, known as ummi in Arab Muslim culture and the Arabic word used throughout the Arab Muslim world for its community is Ummah which comes from the same root. Thus its communal self-perception is directly linked to the maternal and reinforced by it.

The inability to separate precipitates an impaired sense of reality, a cognitive deficit leaving one with the inability to understand that one's thoughts do not equal reality and that a person has a rich and vivid fantasy life. An example would be to think about or fantasize about flying planes into a building as opposed to actually flying planes into a building. There is a difference. Terrorists take their thoughts to equal reality; they lack the capacity and perspective to explore their fantasies. Instead, they just act them out. They are like infants or toddlers trapped in the body of an adult, a bad version of the Tom Hanks' movie Big .

Islamic suicide terrorism would not be the first time in human history that such group impairment has terrorized the world. The Third Reich clearly demonstrated an impaired sense of reality. It is one thing to put children in an oven as in the story of Hansel and Gretel but quite another to build crematoria for the genocide of the Jews. This begs the well-known question of what is sane in an insane society? That question translates to the family setting as well, namely - what is sane in a paranoid family? For the abused child, it is a question, which haunts him or her into adulthood on account of the pervasive denial of their reality during childhood.

B.  Body Parts

Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...However, a suicide attack's imagery is not just limited to fusion. There are also the body parts, where "the bad mother" parts get translocated into the object world as in serial killing. The crime scene is often a horrific scene of body parts strewn all over, organized or chaotic. As in serial killing, the body parts merge into the environment, which is also a kind of fusion. It is noteworthy that if chaotic, it is considered more psychotic reflecting the killer's mind. Serial killers are known to have disturbed relations with their mothers. They often look like "normals" because their psychosis is buried in the personality...

However, a suicide attack's imagery is not just limited to fusion. There are also the body parts, where "the bad mother" parts get translocated into the object world as in serial killing. The crime scene is often a horrific scene of body parts strewn all over, organized or chaotic. As in serial killing, the body parts merge into the environment, which is also a kind of fusion. It is noteworthy that if chaotic, it is considered more psychotic reflecting the killer's mind.34 Serial killers are known to have disturbed relations with their mothers. They often look like "normals" because their psychosis is buried in the personality.

But what do these body parts mean psychologically? Could they be part object representation of the early mother - the breast, the nipple, etc.? This is the understanding in psychology. When a baby is first born he/she does not perceive the mother as a separate person. A baby can grow into looking like an adult but with a shaky insecure maternal experience. This is part of the reason why terrorists plug into a charismatic leader or a gang in order to feel excitingly alive and stabilized as a way of compensating for traumatic bonding.

Biven dates such extreme fragmentation to a specific time frame developmentally in the mind of the serial killer as being between the age of one and 1 1/2 years old. He explains the body parts of the serial killing in the following way as he links it to very early childhood. A baby is not born with a fully integrated picture of the mother. Instead the mother is experienced by the baby as part object. Such part objects and splitting are what constitute the basis for paranoia. He notes: ". . . pre-oedipal, anal-sadistic, separation-individuation, mirroring, narcissistic psychosexual task and developmental pathways have coalesced and transmogrified into a grotesque mélange of symbols, sights and feelings."35 Even though Biven believes that serial killers are a small group in comparison to other kinds of murderers, he believes that the attack is an attempt at reversing a trauma in the present:

They have developed, as adults, action-oriented pathologies and fantasy lives that are dominated by reality reversals, attempts at mastery and reparation, revenge and disavowal. The painful irony is that they wish to return to the prototypical childhood scene while simultaneously terrified that this entails a voyage in psychosis. 36

The Image of the Female Suicide Bomber

Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...The female suicide bomber speaks to such traumatic bonding. Accompanying her image is the myth of the womb's pure, blissful paradise. She is a concrete hallucination of the terrorists' fantasy about their maternal love-hate relationship that is at first presented in an idealized way as THE heroine and then, she is blown to hell...

The female suicide bomber speaks to such traumatic bonding. Accompanying her image is the myth of the womb's pure, blissful paradise. She is a concrete hallucination of the terrorists' fantasy about their maternal love-hate relationship that is at first presented in an idealized way as THE heroine and then, she is blown to hell.

Why must they do this? The prenatal mother arouses in the male terrorist's mind and in all of us what we may not have gotten from our own mothers -physical and emotional deprivation. The image arouses envy whose response is to attack and destroy. All the terrorist organizations, which have consciously deployed her, reveal unconsciously their murderous wishes for their own mothers. The splitting is so profound between conscious and unconscious behavior in terrorism, that we are not even aware of it. Yet together it carries a powerful psychological punch because the chaos seems impossible to make sense out of -- terror, which cannot be explained and put into words, holds us psychologically hostage. The deployment of the female suicide bomber signals a psychotic regression on the part of the terrorist organization. She destroys herself and her womb because she feels devalued. She has internalized male hatred for her as self-hatred. By killing herself she will be appreciated in this perverse male world. The female suicide bomber is the quintessential crystallization of the rage against the Early or Prenatal Mother.

While the Djerba Synagogue bombing did not involve a female suicide bomber, it is necessary to retrace this psychological undercurrent concerning the female suicide bomber because she is the quintessence of the underlying wellspring of terrorist rage for Christian Ganczarski the handler and his suicide bomber proxy Nizar Nawar. Their unconscious murderous rage towards their own mothers was in turn projected on to the innocent victims. Thus, the rage is not solely of this time nor solely of this place. For example, Usama bin Laden would not even give L'Houssaine Kherchtou, a faithful pilot of his, $500 which he needed for a Caesarean section for his pregnant wife.37 This cruelty reveals Usama Bin Laden's passive aggressive sadism for the prenatal mother as well.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Al Qaeda has an extremely fragile group self and weak identity. The terrorist organization is a surrogate family. The operatives need to hook into their charismatic leader who in fantasy is the wished for Early Mother, the warm caretaker of every need. This delusional mother bolsters a fragile sense of self. It is a self, which needs to connect in order to maintain its cohesion. It is not independent. "By hooking in, the other terrorist operatives feel as if the charismatic leader is a part of them, thereby becoming invulnerable, fending off vulnerability...

Al Qaeda has an extremely fragile group self and weak identity. The terrorist organization is a surrogate family. The operatives need to hook into their charismatic leader who in fantasy is the wished for Early Mother, the warm caretaker of every need. This delusional mother bolsters a fragile sense of self. It is a self, which needs to connect in order to maintain its cohesion. It is not independent. "By hooking in, the other terrorist operatives feel as if the charismatic leader is a part of them, thereby becoming invulnerable, fending off vulnerability. Their symptoms and weird behavior also organize experience in the face of and as a defense against potential calamitous disintegration of the self. The connection to a powerful other is experienced as if the other's power is a piece of the self, a piece that serves to organize the mental life of the participant."38

"Terrorists do not feel the rage and the terror - instead they become the rage and the terror."39 Terrorists' behavior is strikingly concrete and imitative very much like a young child; this is due to cognitively impaired thinking, which molds and shapes a sense of reality lacking in nuance, remaining fixated on concrete unelaborated images. The graphic nature of the imagery of the crime scene, which these terrorist operatives create and leave behind, expresses the contents of their mind. Just like serial killers who can look like "normals" on the surface, they are not normal.

"Everybody Has a Mother"40 - Terrorism Taps into the Global Maternal Wi-Fi

Could it be that the imagery, odor and sounds are so terrifying and the wish to murder one's mother so abhorrent though common that this possible connection to serial killing has been overlooked and defended against? The suicide bombing attack's manifest psychological terror permeates the entire setting with its special feature of searing the trauma into the memory of survivors and witnesses by the repugnant odor of burning flesh, deafening sound and profoundly disturbing images of body parts, while seeking to wipe out all our good feelings, memories and identifications, leaving us terrified and feeling incompetent and unconfident without hope. Even for those who see it second hand through photographs, live reports from the scene, video footage on YouTube - it is gruesome and horrific. It has been noted that the media is particularly drawn to violence, suicide and murder yet there has been little discussion as to why this is so from a psychological point of view.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...The suicide bombing attack seems to be the perfect news-breaking story as "it shows very strong emotional images of victims of violence in order to arouse an indifferent public. A wall of indifference has to be over come." Could it be that the attraction and fascination with suicide attacks has something to do with the Early Mother and the shattering of the maternal cameo (mother + infant image as in the Madonna and child) as a universal template?...

The suicide bombing attack seems to be the perfect news-breaking story as "it shows very strong emotional images of victims of violence in order to arouse an indifferent public. A wall of indifference has to be over come."41 Could it be that the attraction and fascination with suicide attacks has something to do with the Early Mother and the shattering of the maternal cameo (mother + infant image as in the Madonna and child) as a universal template? What I am suggesting is that terrorism terrifies because it strikes the deepest chord in all of us - our first relationship in life. This is the taproot of political violence; the love-hate relationship with the Early Mother.

Christian Ganczarski, the Handler and his Proxy the Suicide Bomber - Nizar Nawar

But who is Christian Ganczarski and what does a handler mean psychologically? Ganczarski is an Al Qaeda operative who was arrested by the French on June 3, 2003. He is currently being held in France. Ganczarski is implicated in three terrorist incidents: The September 11th attacks on America, The Djerba synagogue bombing in Tunisia in April 2002 in which 21 people died fourteen of whom were German citizens and a foiled car bomb plot on La Reunion, the French Island located in the Indian Ocean. Ganczarski was a convert to Islam who became radicalized.42

Ganczarski was an al Qaeda handler who facilitated Nizar Nawar's suicide bombing of the Djerba Synagogue on April 11, 2002. The handler is a manager or controller of the terrorist operative who is designated to be a suicide bomber. The handler manages the suicide bomber in order to carry out the attack. In addition Ganczarski is a White Moor, the slang term used by North African Muslims such as Nizar Nawar to describe European Caucasian converts to Islam.43 White Moors are also called blue-eyed emirs as their looks provide excellent cover to be a go between in the West; they can more easily hide in plain sight.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Ganczarski, had remained at large even though two different authorities had arrested and released him twice before - first the Germans and then the Saudis. The reason given for release was insufficient evidence. On June 2, 2002 Ganczarski was re-arrested while in transit in Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport." He remains in French custody as of this posting...

Ganczarski, had remained at large even though two different authorities had arrested and released him twice before - first the Germans and then the Saudis. The reason given for release was insufficient evidence. On June 2, 2002 Ganczarski was re-arrested while in transit in Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport." He remains in French custody as of this posting.44

Who was Nizar Nawar? He was a Tunisian who had trained in the Afghanistan camps and not the sharpest knife in the drawer even though he did manage to carry out a successful attack. Nawar has been described as "a 24 year old drifter and former smuggler . . . who came from a local lower middle-class Tunisian family. He had no radical history but had spent time in Montreal, Canada, where he may have become involved in Algerian radical groups. He also had radical Muslim friends in Germany."45 Nawar had met Ganczarski while fighting in Afghanistan. Nawar was known to have telephone contact on the same day with Ganczarski and material support from Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks. At that time the Djerba attack was rare in that Al Qaeda publicly used the group name in claiming responsibility for the attack. However, it also disclosed Khalid Sheikh Muhammad's plans to include more converts in other attacks such as José Padilla, the dirty suitcase bomber.

Nawar's notoriety came from being a "freelancer" but as we have seen, even a freelancer depends on help from others. His mission was the first post September 11th that was approved of and financed by Al Qaeda. Nawar murdered 21 persons, 14 of whom were German tourists and one French citizen. While the Djerba Synagogue bombing was not characterized as Germany's 9/11, it nonetheless functioned as a wake-up call that there was an enemy within this country. Given the history of the Holocaust, the Third Reich's genocidal anti-Semitism, Rommel the Desert Fox's North African campaign, the bombing of the Djerba synagogue carried a unique blow to the German public's psyche.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...The ancient Al Ghriba Synagogue was built in 586 A.D. It was a hardened target, set back from the road behind a concrete barrier and well guarded. Al Qaeda had to be determined to get to it. The synagogue compound is a place of pilgrimage for Sephardic Jews, many of whom are descendants of those expelled in 1492 from Catholic Spain. For Nawar, the jihadi Moor, it carried a monumental significance. For the majority of moderate Tunisian Muslims who feel that they live peacefully in convivencia with their fellow Jews, the synagogue's attractive draw for tourism was welcomed. The Tunisian Reformist scholar Abdelwahab Meddeb goes further to underscore how the jihadis are emblematic of what he calls the Malady of Islam...

The ancient Al Ghriba Synagogue was built in 586 A.D. It was a hardened target, set back from the road behind a concrete barrier and well guarded. Al Qaeda had to be determined to get to it. The synagogue compound is a place of pilgrimage for Sephardic Jews, many of whom are descendants of those expelled in 1492 from Catholic Spain. For Nawar, the jihadi Moor, it carried a monumental significance. For the majority of moderate Tunisian Muslims who feel that they live peacefully in convivencia with their fellow Jews, the synagogue's attractive draw for tourism was welcomed. The Tunisian Reformist scholar Abdelwahab Meddeb goes further to underscore how the jihadis are emblematic of what he calls the Malady of Islam. In his work he cites the give and take between cultures as represented by the great Sephardic scholars and writers such as Yehuda HaLevi, Maimonides and Moshe Ibn Ezra.46 However, for the jihadis such as Nawar, the Jewish presence remained a thorn in their side disrupting the purity of Islam. Perhaps too the Sephardic community's presence remained an ambivalent reminder of the Moors' military defeat by Catholic Spain and the Moriscos' subsequent forced expulsion in 1609, a hundred years or so after the Jews. The jihadis want to reconquer Spain as part of their irredentist policy while the Sephardic Jews have no desire to do so as they were never conquerors.

Nawar could not tolerate the existence of these Jews who "contaminated" mother Tunisia just as bin Laden could not tolerate the American presence, which was experienced as an occupation in Saudi Arabia because it too contaminated mother Mecca.47 Thus, Nawar set off fi sabil Allah < Ar. fighting in the path of God to destroy the infidels.

Even though Nawar was a freelancer, he was still dependent upon an elaborate terrorist network and its array of operatives. Nawar was "a tactical tool in the group's arsenal" consciously deployed.48 Nawar played out that role as well. While we may never learn what Nawar's unconscious tipping point was, which made him "operational," undoubtedly there was one. Take for example, the case of Zarqawi's rampage of beheadings. He began it at the end of his 40th day of mourning the death of his mother. Once Nawar made the decision to become a suicide bomber, he was a shahid hai , (Ar. A living martyr) on his final journey. He was a dead man walking in an altered state of consciousness, a trance-like regression. His handler, Christian Ganczarski, would help "pull the trigger."

In terrorism parlance the handler is considered the chief perpetrator because he is the closest and the last to have had contact managing the suicide bomber, yet a handler would never be caught dead carrying out a suicide mission. Sometimes a handler is referred to as an escort. Another slang word used for the handler is pimp.49 Both escort and pimp bring this discussion into the world of prostitution.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Prostitution is generally considered a "crime without victims" predicated on an exchange and mutual consent among the involved parties. The handler pimp of the suicide bomber essentially tells him: "you give me dead infidels and I will give you honor." To the family of the suicide bomber, the terrorist group says - "we will give you money and honor." The true victims, the innocent completely drop out of the picture. In malignant narcissism, the narcissist always sees himself as THE victim, not the real victims...

Prostitution is generally considered a "crime without victims" predicated on an exchange and mutual consent among the involved parties. The handler pimp of the suicide bomber essentially tells him: "you give me dead infidels and I will give you honor." To the family of the suicide bomber, the terrorist group says - "we will give you money and honor."50 The true victims, the innocent completely drop out of the picture. In malignant narcissism, the narcissist always sees himself as THE victim, not the real victims. It seems that the Islamic suicide attack's dynamics cut across pre-established categories for criminal violence, which if not recognized, makes it harder to define the phenomenon and more difficult to stop such cold blooded killing.

Consider how Nawar committed mass murder. He installed a 1,300-gallon cistern on the back of a used truck purchased with $20,000 seed money from Al Qaeda. With the help of his uncle, 45 year old Belqassam Nawar who was subsequently convicted for his role in the bombing to 20 years in prison, Nawar told police that he had told his uncle that the truck was to transport olive oil for his new business. Instead his uncle helped him fill it with liquid propane in order to insure detonation and immolation. Nawar's self-immolation was not a dying without killing like the Buddhist monk Thich Quan Duc in Saigon on the 11th of June, 1963.51 Instead, his death was stalking and predatory.

The explosion ripped through the synagogue and its courtyard, leaving a grisly tableau. As a mise en scène it reveals quite transparently the disturbed psyche of not just Nawar but all others involved. It represents the fused destructive regressed group psyche with a perverse asabiya <Ar. the binding of a group for group solidarity concerning honor.52 Al Qaeda members are tightly bound together, and to which Ganczarski's unconscious is fused. It is a psyche that shares a striking similarity to that of a regular serial killer though not without its differences.

As a White Moor, Ganczarski became deeply involved in radical Islam. There is a built-in irony in the term White Moor as Moor derives from the Greek maurus meaning black whence Mauritania takes its name. Race and ethnicity are said not to be an issue in Islam, which is portrayed as a religion of tolerance, equality and brotherhood. As Murad Kalam, the author of "Night Journey" who is also an African American of light skinned convert to Islam wrote after spending a year in Egypt "passing" as an Egyptian: "Hadn't I embraced Islam to find the racial utopia Malcolm X discovered in Mecca?"53

Ganczarski found perverse pleasure in such carnage as his history points to similar traumatic bonding. The following psychological sketch of Ganczarski is based in part on a German police deposition given by Ganczarski, which contained details about his early childhood to which I was given access. Born in Gleiwitz, Poland in 1966 to ethnic German parents, he came from a poor family that bore a decidedly Polish surname. The senior Ganczarski had been a Dreher, metalworker, who was born in 1935 and his wife, a simple homemaker, born in 1941The senior Ganczarski had been a Dreher, metalworker, who was born in 1935 and his wife, a simple homemaker, born in 1941. Undoubtedly the Third Reich and its anti-Semitism must have shaped their thinking and behavior. Christian and his sister who was three years older were raised Catholic. He was formally baptized at the age of six. Up until then he only spoke Polish even though his parents and sister spoke German at home so he contends. His protesting about German is a curious disavowal since his home environment was immersed in it.

The refusal to speak the mother tongue expresses a maternal disturbance literally articulating Ganczarski's inability to separate psychologically from the maternal fusion, a verbal manifestation of traumatic bonding.54 The need to speak, read and write German would be crucial for Ganczarski when at age 9 in 1976 the family was forced to act out his father's longing and wish to be repatriated to Germany, the Heimat . Technically there is no word that adequately translates Heimat; often it appears as homeland, signifying a natal bond to the land. Germany is referred to as the Väterland (Ger. Fatherland). Yet this should not distract us from the fact that in fantasy the nation <Latin natio(n) , from nat , 'born' etymologically encapsulates the wish to a return to the womb of the prenatal mother.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...These maternal bonding issues were his father's difficulties. Yet, the conflict remained unresolved and was transmitted to the son, in part. The move "home" proved to be a fiasco. The family could not find a place to call home; they wandered all over the Ruhr Valley. They were homeless outcasts in society. A hallmark of trauma is moving from place to place and not being able to set down roots. One wonders if there was a latent identification with the Wandering Jew so denigrated in German culture? His father had trouble finding work as well. His mother could no longer afford to stay at home; she became a cleaning lady...

These maternal bonding issues were his father's difficulties. Yet, the conflict remained unresolved and was transmitted to the son, in part. The move "home" proved to be a fiasco . The family could not find a place to call home; they wandered all over the Ruhr Valley. They were homeless outcasts in society. A hallmark of trauma is moving from place to place and not being able to set down roots. One wonders if there was a latent identification with the Wandering Jew so denigrated in German culture? His father had trouble finding work as well. His mother could no longer afford to stay at home; she became a cleaning lady. This surely must have put a dent into Ganczarski's family romance and his fantasy of nobility.55

Ultimately Christian was placed in a boarding school supposedly because of financial difficulties -- yet one more humiliation. Ganczarski was forced to repeat the 4th grade in Mülheim. In his own words, he diagnosed himself as having an "einige Intregationprobleme," trouble fitting in, literally though - integrating which repeats his inability to fit in, in the family. Many North African and Turkish immigrant children in Europe who later became jihadis, shared a similar problem. Indeed this had been the reason why some of my doctoral work had been written about in German in the mid 1980s. I had even presented at the Universität Siegen. Ashamedly, Ganczarski admits that he failed to finish his studies and had to be tracked for technical/vocational training. At age 37 he persists in blaming his parents for his failures. As a school dropout, he wound up finding similar work to that of his father.

Ganczarski claims he lost all interest in religion by age 15. However, several years later, he is reintroduced to the subject by one of his fellow assembly line workers who abiding by the Islamic duty to perform Dawa , (Ar. The Call to Islam), this Muslim worker put Ganczarski in his gun sight for conversion to Islam. He was not the only one who fell under the sway of Islam while working on an assembly line; such was the case of Ziad Jarrah, the Death Pilot of September 11th who crashed the plane into a Pennsylvania field. Ganczarski could not remember this fellow worker's name but he remembered his nationality. Perhaps he did not want to name names as the police was questioning him? Is it even a question to guess where this fellow immigrant worker was from? Answer: Tunisia.

By age 20 Ganczarski converts or more correctly "reverts" to Islam. In hindsight he recognizes that this coworker was quite ignorant about Islam. A sociologist of religion calls such conversions, a symbolic migration like "Volvo Marxists."56 Most German converts tend to be content to remain in their armchairs, satisfied to stay home, yet pleased to have been able to change their identity. But this was hardly the case for Mr. Ganczarski, who felt pressed to become a radical Muslim by enacting the fantasy of jihad, literally fighting -- fi sabil Allah . Following the Path was made much easier because the Saudis are picking up the travel tab.

As a convert Ganczarski chose the name -- Ibrahim -- the Arabic equivalent of Abraham. However, the Patriarch Ibrahim was hanif , <Ar. pure, a monotheist but not a Jew, by which Islam could then claim that it preceded Judaism in the chronology of revelations. Ibrahim is also the name of the son of the Prophet Muhammad and his Coptic Christian concubine Maryam, who died at the age of two. Could this also mean that Ganczarski identified with this small toddler feeling as he may have felt himself to die a psychic death at that early age? Uncannily the time frame and age fit with the psyche age of the mind of the serial killer who creates a similar tableau. The choice of name hints at a compromise formation whereby Ibrahim aka Christian could retain a tie in fantasy to his "Christian" roots through his mother (hence not having to relinquish her by separating) while at the same time becoming the Prophet's son -- thereby repairing his shattered family romance.

In 1990 Ganczarski meets his future wife Nicola Garbrecht through her mother while attending the mosque. She converted to Islam and then her daughter. There are several points of interest here. Ganczarski and Garbrecht have a twinship reminiscent of toddlers at parallel play: both surnames begin with "G"; both are Caucasian converts, "White Moors"; both have histories of estrangement from their parents; both reject the original religion of their mothers. Their marriage is a microcosm of the political strife between Poles and Germans - a sadomasochism's master-slave dynamic, an addictive traumatic bonding. According to the deposition, his wife is master when he reveals that she is more educated than he. After stating this, Ganczarski immediately backtracks and overcompensates for his long-standing humiliation and feelings of inferiority. He begins to brag about the "scholarship" as he calls it that he received to study Arabic in Saudi Arabia in 1992. Ganczarski who failed to complete the Gymnasium and was who is marginally literate in German still saw himself as grandiosely meriting such a scholarship.

Ganczarski's narcissism is such that the deposition feeds his need to be the center of attention as he eagerly provides details of the Saudi "academic" operation. Of course, he does not tell us that as a blond hair, blue-eyed Aryan, a German Lawrence of Arabia, that he is also being lured deeper and deeper into the bowels of Islamic terrorism: from Dawa on the assembly line, to the Saudi " Ulpan " for Arabic to the training camps of Afghanistan.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Ganczarski's narcissism is such that the deposition feeds his need to be the center of attention as he eagerly provides details of the Saudi "academic" operation. Of course, he does not tell us that as a blond hair, blue-eyed Aryan, a German Lawrence of Arabia, that he is also being lured deeper and deeper into the bowels of Islamic terrorism: from Dawa on the assembly line, to the Saudi " Ulpan " for Arabic to the training camps of Afghanistan...

Here we see is the jihadi 21st century roadmap whose cartographers are distinctly Saudi. The ulterior motive is to put the converts through a homogenizing process so that they would return to their respective countries "upgraded" to THE real Islam of Mecca and Medina. Likewise, Afro-American imams who had been serving as chaplains throughout the American prison system were also sent on similar junkets to be "Wahhabi-ized".57

In 1991 the first Gulf War breaks out while Ganczarski waits for his student visa. According to the Saudi program for intensive language study, a wife is not permitted to accompany a student but he manages to receive special permission, again feeding his narcissism. Garbrecht joins him along with their first child, a daughter. Predictably in keeping with his poor educational track record, Ganczarski fails and drops out of school once again. One can imagine him to have been supremely ashamed and humiliated.

Yet, lucky once again, he and his family are taken into the home of a prominent professor. The residence happens to be near the famous compound of the Prophet Muhammad's Mosque and home where the Prophet died in the lap of his favorite child-bride, Aisha whose very name means 'life'. Even in burial the Prophet remained in a fusion state as he is entombed in her room. Aisha continued to live there, supporting herself from the alms of pilgrims visiting his tomb. Thus, Ganczarski, the blue-collar blue-eyed emir, was now rubbing shoulders with Islamic royalty. To this day it is of great importance to be able to trace one's lineage to the Prophet as Said , which undercuts the notion of racial and ethnic equality in Islam. The politics of blood was of no less importance for the Third Reich. Blood is everywhere. Ganczarski may have felt himself to be descended from the Prophet as well.

In 1993 his first son is born and predictably named -- Mohamed. When the baby turns one and a half years old, Ganczarski abruptly uproots the entire family moving back to Germany. The Saudi fairy-tale comes to an end. Repeating the trauma of his father's move back to Germany, the son's is fraught with similar difficulties. Homeless, they move from apartment to apartment, having more children whom they can not afford neither financially nor emotionally -- another son Yusuf, whose name means 'add/increase' is born in 1996 and another daughter Hanan <Ar. Mercy, compassion in either 2000 or 2001. Ganczarski cannot remember the year of her birth. Could it be because of she is a devalued female? After her birth he and his wife decide to separate. For his identity registration information, required by German law, he gives his parents' address, revealing that he has never really grown up.
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...In 1993 his first son is born and predictably named -- Mohamed. When the baby turns one and a half years old, Ganczarski abruptly uproots the entire family moving back to Germany. The Saudi fairy-tale comes to an end. Repeating the trauma of his father's move back to Germany, the son's is fraught with similar difficulties...

At this point in the deposition, Ganczarski waxes philosophical, mentioning that he and his wife had long discussed the fact that they did not wish to raise their children in a non-Muslim country though they are now back in Germany. His choice of words is chilling: Besonders im Hinblick auf die Erziehung der Kinder ist das Leben in einem islamischen Land im islamischen Sinne lebenswerter . [ trans. Especially with respect to the education of children, it is more worthwhile living life in an Islamic country in an Islamic fashion, that is, meaning under Sharia, Islamic law]58

Lebenswert is a Nazi code word implying that there were other lives, which did not merit living such as the life of a Jew. In Nazi Germany the Jews along with the homosexuals, congenitally deformed and mentally retarded were called lebensunwertes Leben , that is, "life unworthy of life." This was the Nazi code word that justified medical experimentation, eugenic abortion and eventually the death camps. Lebenswert points to the dehumanization of life, which is the exact objective of suicide bombing. Those lives destroyed in a dehumanized way have a counterpoint in Nazi ideology, the practice of Lebensborn , and the stud farms where Aryans procreated. Usama bin Laden and his jihadis have their own Lebensborn called polygamy. Along with Usama's obsession for breeding - be they Arabian horses or genetically engineered agricultural seeds suitable for the Sudan fit like hand and glove with Nazi ideology. Beliefs drive behavior, most especially paranoid delusional ones which inevitably have to do with sexual hang-ups.

Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...Lebenswert is a Nazi code word implying that there were other lives, which did not merit living such as the life of a Jew. In Nazi Germany the Jews along with the homosexuals, congenitally deformed and mentally retarded were called lebensunwertes Leben , that is, "life unworthy of life." This was the Nazi code word that justified medical experimentation, eugenic abortion and eventually the death camps...

Shortly thereafter, Ganczarski abandons his children, and travels to Afghanistan where he meets Nizar Nawar in one of bin Laden's camps.

In an account related by Wall Street Journal, D. Cloud and I. Johnson describe a kind of bizarre mutual admiration society:

"Nizar Nawar was fascinated by Ibrahim. Nawar was impressed with Ganczarski -- he was someone different, but a Muslim," says a German intelligence official. "They shared the goal of wanting to rid the Islamic world of what they saw as Jewish intruders."59

Their shared object of hatred was the same - the Jew who has long been embraced in German-Arab relations as the hated other. In addition Nawar's fascination with Ganczarski mirrors the German fascination for the noble Arab as the idealized exotic erotic Semite in contrast to the vilified Semite Jew who by now has become the wicked witch, i.e. the bad Early Mother.60

The Last Phone Call "Home"

And so from the island of Djerba Nawar calls Ganczarski in Germany. It is to be the proxy's last phone call. In his mind's eye it is his last call home to mama.

"Don't forget to remember me in your prayers. Don't forget," Mr. Nawar said in Arabic in the two-minute call.

"God willing," said Mr. Ganczarski. "How are you doing? Well?"

"Good, good," Mr. Nawar replied. The transcript gives no indication that Mr. Ganczarski knew Mr. Nawar's intentions. Mr. Nawar spoke cryptically. When asked where he was, he said, "I'm outside, away."
Paper by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin - Pullquotes
...In an account related by Wall Street Journal, D. Cloud and I. Johnson describe a kind of bizarre mutual admiration society: "Nizar Nawar was fascinated by Ibrahim. Nawar was impressed with Ganczarski -- he was someone different, but a Muslim," says a German intelligence official. "They shared the goal of wanting to rid the Islamic world of what they saw as Jewish intruders...

"Aha. God willing. Do you need anything?" Mr. Ganczarski asked.

"No, thanks. I have called you . . . I need [your] blessing"

"God willing Ok."

"Go in peace," Mr. Nawar said, finally.

"Go in peace," Mr. Ganczarski replied. "God's mercy and blessing be with you."61

A short time later Nawar drove his used truck with the specially fitted 1,300 gallon cistern filled with liquid propane into the ancient synagogue and detonated the bomb murdering and maiming many. Its tableau represents a political serial killing by proxy, one of many of Al Qaeda's handy work. Like a religious mafia, these murderers rationalize their actions as justified by political oppression and sanctified by religious conviction. Their beliefs drive their predatory behavior.

Some may think that Ganczarski could not have been Nawar's escort handler since he was not physically present in Tunisia. Yet the last phone call "home" is a common phenomenon in terrorism. For example, the Death Pilot, Ziad Jarrah called his girlfriend/wife. Nawar called "home" one last time in an attempt to connect with his good Early Mother, albeit it perverse. Ganczarski willingly stepped in and took the call; thereby Ganczarski filled the maternal void in Nawar's emotionally troubled life at that crucial moment. Politically assisting suicide and mass murder, Ganczarski as his handler prepared Nawar for the self-immolation. Quite literally, Ganczarski had taken Nawar by his Handy, German slang for cell phone. In this fusion state of life Nawar then turned to detonate entering another fusion state but of death. It is a double scapegoating as well.

As Nawar's psychological handler-escort Ganczarski was the chief perpetrator accomplice to mass murder. As such the tableau attack site also graphically reflects the contents of his fragmented psychotic mind. There are many others who live in the same given geo-politically defined region under the same adverse environmental circumstances and even practice the same religion who choose not to become suicide bombers or handlers and who do not go so far as to commit murder of non-combatants. Their willingness to engage in predatory behavior that defies and breaches the accepted norms of human conduct is reminiscent of the serial killer.

Listen to the following passage from "Dehumanization as an enactment of serial killers: A sadomasochistic case study" authored by Biven, a psychoanalyst. He describes the tableau of a serial killing by Jack-the-Ripper:

. . . The mechanical work of dismemberment and mutilation had not been carried out by a "frenzied madman." As incomprehensible as it all seems, one can see that great care had been taken to arrange a death tableau. The dismantling of the body was so extensive as to rob it of humanness. The body was merged with the immediate environment so that the whole room was an aggregate of meaning of meaningful things and themes. The tableau is a communication as well as a realization. The killer is expressing a complex of ideas and emotions for himself and to those who discover the carnage. Much in the same way that we think of a screen memory as a code, we can think of the tableau as a coded screen event. The killer wishes to humiliate the castrating, authoritative father while exciting and shocking him with each new outrage. The relationship that develops between the hunter and hunted is clearly a most pleasurable post hoc component of the tableau phenomenon, but needs to be consigned to a secondary role in our reconstructive theorizing. The major driving force in the creation and evolution of the tableau is a massive perverse compromise formation. In a real descriptive sense, one would have to admit that there is little evidence of high-level sublimated neurotic compromise in the more classical conflictual sense.62

Needless to say, there are differences between a "regular" serial killing tableau and that of a suicide attack. The former being more planned in the architecture of the crime scene with the murderer intimately involved with the victim whereas the latter, the suicide bomber, is not intimately involved for as long a time. In addition, the suicide bombing is caused by this proxy who sets off an explosion leaving a randomness of chaotic destruction. Despite these differences it is difficult to dismember a human body and takes great force no matter what kind of instrument is used, meaning that the rage must be great.

The wave of bombings and their simultaneity are the MO of Al Qaeda as the attacks stress a serialized sequence in the sense that they tend to play off one another, heightening and compounding the terror like serial killing. Because terrorist operatives have pseudo-personalities and engage in imitative behavior, simultaneity or twinning of attacks indicates their inability to function independently; they have to be escorted by a handler every step of the way.

The murdered and maimed are completely dehumanized, carnage is everywhere, and the scene communicates excess. The operatives have labored secretly planning the strikes like the serial killer who stalks its victims. Media messages are sent by Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahri, taunting the West trying to make us feel shamed and humiliated. "Theatre is always a feature of terrorism" and these terrorists are unrivaled."63 Yet, this is Al Qaeda's projection into the West of its own impotence. As Farag Foda, a brave secular columnist who was assassinated by Omar Abdul Rahman, the Blind Sheikh's Islamic Group in 1992, put it - Islamists are less motivated by politics than sexual frustration.64 The terrorists remain terrified of their terrorizing sexual Early Mother. They seek to annihilate her.

While the serial killer is not suicidal, he is homicidal just as the chief perpetrator is. He merely hides behind his human shield predatory proxy -- the suicide bomber, obscuring the line and blurring the picture. This is a telling clue as the terrorist group is not solely composed of suicidal operatives. In fact the suicide terrorists make up only a small portion of the group and they are the weakest link, the most expendable.

The suicide bomber is both suicidal and homicidal more in keeping with the paradigm of conjoint murder and suicide in domestic violence. The sado-masochistic allure of the suicide bomber that the public's voyeuristic gaze shifts the focus away from the true victims on to the life of the now defunct suicide bomber and thus making it easier for the chief perpetrator murderers to elude scrutiny and responsibility.

In Ganczarski's own words the terrorist group gave him a sense of identity, power and surrogate family. His deposition reveals traces of a psyche found at the bloody tableau. In the Middle East blood plays a cruel role as it takes on a magical quality left over from pre-historic times.65 I came to learn first hand a bit about such blood politics while writing my doctoral dissertation but it would be years later when I would understand the significance of blood for the suicide attack.

My "Tunisian" Experience

My dissertation advisor was one of the world's leading authorities on aljamía, i.e. Old Spanish in Arabic script. Fluent in English, Spanish and Arabic, he had grown up in a Lebanese Christian home in Latin America. Tragically, he became terminally ill while I was writing my thesis. As part of his medical treatment for a rare blood disease, he had to undergo blood transfusions and amputation ( lege , body parts). Considering the importance of blood in Middle Eastern culture, it must have been all the more devastating. I visited him fairly frequently as I tried to observe bikur holim <Hebr visiting the sick) as that is my community's custom but I was also traumatized myself at the impending loss of my "father/mother" whom I needed in order to complete my studies. Visiting him was an attempt too, to master my own mortality. It dawned on me one day as I was leaving his home while in the foyer saying goodbye to his wife, a kind and gracious woman, if the family needed me to give blood. The thought came to me out of the blue. This simple gesture of donating blood, which I took for granted at the time, caused a dramatic shift. It was as if I became a member of the family.

Shortly thereafter, during my next visit my ailing professor handed me a beautifully engraved invitation in gold, which had been addressed to him to attend a conference in Tunisia where all his colleagues would be. He asked me if I would represent him. I was deeply touched. A few weeks later I eulogized him at his funeral along with a muezzin. I then got on a plane bound for Tunisia. No one knew that he had died.

I vaguely had heard that the Saudis were funding the conference. In fact they had paid for my ticket and lodging at a five star resort on the outskirts of Tunis about two miles from the PLO Headquarters in Sidi Bou Said where Yasir Arafat was ensconced, having been recently kicked out of Lebanon. There were only a handful of women participating at the conference of several hundred and I was the only Jew. None of the women were permitted to have our own hotel rooms like the men. Instead we were assigned roommates. Mine turned out to be a university professor and a member of the PLO. I will never forget the look on her face when I said that I had studied at The Hebrew University in Jerusalem. I had also wanted to make a side trip to Djerba to see the Al Ghriba Synagogue but chose not to because I was traveling alone under a time constraint as I had two little children back home. I did not want to take an additional risk.

Back then the Saudis bought academic conferences as well as Middle East Studies departments while at the same time they could conveniently spread Wahhabi Islam. My experience corroborates what Martin Kramer wrote in Ivory Towers on Sand.66 To quote my colleague Y. Schweitzer, the Saudis created the Al Qaeda tiger and now they would have to ride it. As early as the 1990s the Saudis, themselves, knew that they had a big problem. They commissioned a psychological study to profile the 2800 jihadis who had just returned from Afghanistan. A 17-man team conducted it.

According to the scholars familiar with the study, the psychological profiles of these jihadis were similar to those of drug abusers and other dysfunctional Saudis. Many came from poorer backgrounds and were victims of abusive fathers; a higher than usual percentage came from homes in which fathers had taken second wives; many of their own mothers had been forced to leave their homes. A second, older group had been sent abroad for advanced studies, but had failed as students.67 Drug abuse is routinely understood to be an indicator of a problem concerning maternal attachment or traumatic bonding.

What I learned from giving blood in this instance was the unique magical meaning it takes on in Arab Muslim culture. While I "got the clan-thing," as I am the youngest and female of a large clan, dominated by male cousins, blood other than as in the old adage that 'blood is thicker than water' seemed irrelevant. But buried beneath this veneer, donating my blood was as if I had pressed a magic button and "open sesame" the door to acceptance at a time when sex discrimination was rampant in academia and being a Jewish female studying Arabic was like being a salmon swimming up stream. I came to realize retrospectively that this simple act resonated with the cultural norm of willfully spilling of blood, which is mandatory for the recuperation of sharaf, male or family honor. Despite the fact that I am female, I was unconsciously helping my doctoral advisor regain his honor by me being his proxy, as he had been laid low by a humiliating blood disease, thus fulfilling his need to cleanse his honor. I was told that he had died peacefully surrounded by his immediate family. Unlike Nizar Nawar, I was not a scapegoat proxy engaging in predatory killing.

The significance of blood runs deep in the world of Islamic suicide bombing. The first step in stopping such predatory behavior is knowing what we are dealing with. The symbolic level of meaning cannot be overlooked if we are to devise long-term effect interventions. Education concerning the psychodynamics of the family, clan and culture remain central to dismantling Islamic suicide terrorism and its terrors.

Conclusion

This excursion into the mindset of serial killing by proxy for the Islamic suicide terrorism in particular argues that the suicide attack site is a crime scene, which reveals similarities to regular serial killing. By examining the imagery of fusion and body parts along with the cultural taboo that it is not permissible to separate from the mother, ummi, ever in Arab Muslim culture, the group dynamics of such political violence is shown to be related to early childhood psychopathology. An attempt has been made to connect the dots as to the meaning and significance to be a devalued female and an over-idealized mother under the conditions of a shame-honor obsessed society. We are only in the opening phase of understanding the complex phenomena of the suicide attack and its suicide bomber. Key to understanding the jihadis is erasing the artificially constructed lines between different categories of violence because in the end its sadism is predatory and atavistic. I conclude by quoting Biven one last time on the mind of the serial killer and the dehumanization of its victims:

. . . This brief foray into the mind of one sadistic young man and some generalizations about serial killers can be left on a more positive note. In the world of medicine for example, we quite accept that the discovery of a deadly disease leads to funded research, which in turn produces innovative treatments, preventions and cures. . . It follows that we should be able to understand something about the normal mind of the adult by studying sadists and serial killers from a developmental, psychodynamic perspective. Then, perhaps we will have the counter point to the tableau "morte" the more healthy tableau "vivant."68

The more we can admit to our own vulnerability and mortality; the more effective interventions can be made, thereby creating a healthy, living tableau.

Postscript

I formulated and coined the term political serial killing without the knowledge that American soldiers hunting for Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan have been using a "complicated software program called The Analyst's Notebook to map the links in bin Laden's tribal network and identify weaknesses. The same program has been used to track wanted Iraqis and catch serial killers in the United States."69

Acknowledgements

The first part, revised, for this essay was originally presented at a NATO AWRS in Cambridge, England, December 2006. The second half of the essay was first presented at the International Psychohistorical Conference June 2003 in New York. I also co-authored with Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D. 2005 Outside View: Serial Political Murderers, in Security & Terrorism, 5 December, www.upi.com; reposted as "The Rise of the Suicide Bomber, www.frontpagemag.com, 5 December 05. I wish to thank Ian Johnson, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Berlin Bureau editor of The Wall Street Journal for making available to me a portion of a deposition by Christian Ganczarski referred to in this essay. In addition I wish to thank David Van Dyke, Ph.D., for his excellent German translation and glosses concerning Nazi rhetoric. I also wish to thank Anat Berko, Ph.D., Phyllis Chesler, Ph.D., Edna Erez, Ph.D., J.C., Joan Lachkar, Ph.D. and Marv Logel, Ph.D., Reuven Paz, Ph.D. and Yoram Schweitzer.

References and Notes

(1) Biven, BM. Dehumanization as an Enactment of Serial Killers: A Sadomasochistic Case Study. In: Journal of Analytic Social Work. 1997, 4(2) 23-49.  (Back to [citationin text)

(2) Kobrin, N. Moses on the Margin: A Critical Transcription and Semiotic Analysis of Eight Aljamiado-Morisco Legends on the pre-Islamic Figure of Musa. 1984 (University of Minnesota: Minneapolis, Ph.D. Thesis, 2 volumes). (Back to [citationin text)

(3) Kobrin, N.1988 Die psychoanalytische Ubertragung al historisches Symptom: Freud und seine fueros. In: Materialitat der Kommunikation, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (ed). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp Verlag, 94-105; _____.1987 Freud and his Fueros: Towards a Preliminary Semiotics of the Psychoanalytic Transference. Stanford Literature Review, 4:2, 193-210;_____.1986. Aljamía - Lebenstil und Gruppenbindung am Rande des christlichen Europ, transl. by Ludwig Pfeiffer, In: Stil: Geschichten und Funktionene eines kulturwissenschaftlichen Diskurselements, Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht (ed.). Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 463-474;_____.1985 das sprachproblem: kreolisierung, kulturpluralismus und das beispiel der morisken. übersetzung - ursula link-heer, (ed.). In: kultuRRevolution: zeitschrift für angewandte diskurstheorie. 10 fata morgana multikultur?nr. 10 oktober, 63-66. 1989.  (Back to [citationin text)

(4) Kobrin, N. 2000. The Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. In: Effective Treatments for PTSD, Edna Foa, Terence M. Keane & Matt Friedman, M.D. (eds.). New York: Guilford Press. The author was a contributor to this chapter. (Back to [citationin text)

(5) The Sheikh's New Clothes: The Naked Truth About Islamic Suicide Terrorism was in press and pulled from production in September, 2006 by Looseleaf Law publications because of the comments made by Pope Benedict XVI concerning Islam and the ensuing violence. The publishing house felt that they could not protect themselves or their staff against Islamist violence. See the two essays concerning this book fiasco: I. Martín-Barbero, The West's Moral Weakness, 10 October 2006, http://www.frontpagemag.com/ and A. Taheri, Preemptive Obedience: The West's Self-Imposed Censorship, Gulf News, 13 October 2006. The subtitle of my book alludes to the Pakistani practice as described by Rohan Gunaratna, the Al Qaeda expert: "It is not uncommon in Pakistan for intelligence agents to arrest their quarry's family members. One terrorist reportedly turned himself in because his 90-year-old grandfather was being held in jail. "In the Middle East," says one man familiar with interrogations, "they will bring a suspect's mother to the police station and undress her in front of him." R. Gunaratna, The Brain: Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, Playboy, June 2005, p. 169.

The mother is often used as bait to entrap the terrorist. However, S. Katz writes: "There had always been certain unwritten rules etched in the Shin Bet's playbook as to what they could or wouldn't do in counterterrorist operations. Suspects, informants, or any of the other characters that came across their path could be manipulated, threatened, roughed up, and in some cases, tortured; but a different set of rules had always applied to women, especially Muslim women. In a region of the world where butchery was an accepted practice of settling disputes, sexual respect had remarkably been maintained. Israeli troops and Shin Bet had a markedly superior record to their Palestinian counterparts who, according to claims made by Amnesty international, Had routinely threatened male prisoners that their wives, mothers, and sisters would be raped before their eyes if they did not cooperate, confess or compromise fellow operatives." S. M. Katz. (2002). The Hunt for the Engineer . New York: The Lyons Press, p. 204.

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(6) Kobrin, N. A Psychoanalytic Approach to bin Laden, Political Violence and Islamic suicidal terrorism. In Clio´s Psyche. 2002 (8) 4, 181-183.  (Back to [citationin text) [This essay was abridged and reprinted as A Psychoanalytic Approach to bin Laden, Political Violence and Islamic suicidal terrorism, reprinted abridged version in MAMFT News: The Newsletter of the Minnesota Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, 20(3), September 2002, 7-10. The essay one a prize given by the Minnsota Association for Marriage and Famly Therapy.]

(7) Sun Tzu, The Art of War, J. Clavell (ed.). New York: Delacorte Press, 1983 (Back to [citationin text)

(8) David Gutmann, Ph. D. unpublished manuscript.  (Back to [citationin text)

(9) Anat Berko, Ph.D. suggested that I use the term proxy with regard to serial killing and suicide terrorism. In a forthcoming article, the term proxy will be explored at greater length. A. Berko, N. Kobrin and E. Erez, Suicide bombing as serial killing by proxy? (in draft).  (Back to [citationin text)

(10) The Species Identity Theorem is "Everyone and anyone is much more simply human than otherwise, more like everyone else than different." (letter, dated about 1944, photocopied on frontispiece of Sullivan, 1962 Schizophrenia as a Human Process, in Howell, p. 263, ft. 1. Howell also refers to cultures such as this as dissociogenic. E.F. Howell. (2005), p. 263. The Dissociative Mind. Hillsdale, NJ: The Analytic Press, p. . "Dissociation is the one way that the psyche modifies its own structure to accommodate interaction with a frightening but needed and usually loved, attachment figure [the mother].' (Howell, p. 3) J. Zulaika. 1984. Basque Violence. Reno/Las Vegas, NV: University of Nevada Press, detailed these phenomena, noting that journalists characterized ETA terrorists as lacking verbal skills. "Current thinking concerning highly dissociated, traumatized behavior stresses the concrete, its literal use of language, narrative rigidity and lack of metaphor, common to the sociopath." (Howell, p. 257)  (Back to [citationin text)

(11) This was the header for the New York Times Magazine on Zacarias Moussaoui, Dominus, 2003, Everybody has a mother. In: The New York Times Magazine, 9 February.  (Back to [citationin text)

(12) Robert S. Robbins and Jerrold M. Post. Post. Political Paranoia: The Psychopolitics of Hatred. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1997.  (Back to [citationin text)

(13) D. Dutton and S.L. Painter. (1981). Traumatic bonding: the development of emotional attachments in battered women and other relationships of intermittent abuse. In: Victimology: An International Journal 6:139-155. D. Dutton (1995). The Domestic Assault of Women. Vancouver: UCB Press. There is an entire body of literature on maternal bonding and addictions. (Back to [citationin text)

(14) S. Orgel. 1974. Sylvia Path: Fusion with the victim and suicide. In: Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 43:272-273. K. Ablow, 2005. Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson. New York: St. Martin's Press. Avner Falk. 2002. Political Assassination and Personality Disorder: The Cases of Lee Harvey Oswald and Yigal Amir. In: Mind and Human Interaction, 12 (1): 2-34. I am indebted to Avner Falk, Ph.D. for introducing me to the concept of the death fusion. (Back to [citationin text)

(15) Sami Timimi. 2002. Pathological Child Psychiatry and the Medicalization of Childhood. New York: Brunner-Routledge, p. 22. (Back to [citationin text)

(16) Personal communication, Anat Berko. See also, Berko, A. and E. Erez, "Ordinary People" and "Death Work": Palestinian Suicide Bombers as Victimizers and Victims. In: The Journal of Violence and Victims, Volume 20, Number 6, December 2005; Berko, A. Wolf, Y & Addad, M. 2005. The moral infrastructure of chief perpetrators of Palestinian suicidal terrorism. In: Israel Studies in Criminology, 9, 10-47. (Back to [citationin text)

(17) Lawrence Wright. 2006. The Looming Tower. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, p. 194. (Back to [citationin text)

(18) Timimi, S. Pathological child psychiatry and the medicalization of childhood. New York: Brunner-Routledge. 2002. p. 22. (Back to [citationin text)

(19) Joiner, T. 2005. Why People Die By Suicide, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England: Harvard University Press, p.143. Also in the same text, to attempt suicide one must become habituated to it. It is a slow evolving process. P. 68-78. To what extent have these suicide bombers been family scapegoats who have long become habituated to the thought of suicide?. (Back to [citationin text)

(20) G. Pingree and L. Abend, Spain's lessons on fighting spousal abuse, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 November 2006. Available from: http://www.csmonitor.com/2006/1127/p06s01-woeu.htm
One of the leading psychoanalysts concerning aggression is Otto Kernberg, M.D.. My colleague J. Lachkar, Ph.D. describes his understanding of aggression and bonding: "Kernberg delves deeply into the complexity of the love bond. Kernberg's primary focus is on how people form attachments through the use or misuse of aggression. Kernberg contrasts his view of aggression with self-psychology, suggesting that aggression is all not that bad, that healthy aggression can be used in the service of the ego. Aggression is addictive and exciting. Once it starts, it is difficult to stop; people get hooked on it. Otto Kernberg's understanding of the use and misuse of aggression provides a valuable guideline to understanding different kinds of regressive love bonds. Kernberg's explanation of narcissistic pathology in relationship to love object bonds is in part gender related. He states that in women there lies a masochistic tendency to attach themselves to unsatisfactory men who cannot sustain a full and intimate relationship with them. Jessica Benjamin notes that masochism in woman can be seen as a means for escaping loneliness by allowing the other to be in control. For men, Kernberg claims, attach themselves to unsatisfactory women, for fear and insecurity in the form of hostility and resentment toward them, "envy of the pregenital mother" (Kernberg, 1995, 56). " personal communication J. Lachkar. (Back to [citationin text)

(21) Ablow, K. 2005. Inside the Mind of Scott Peterson. New York: St. Martin's Press. (Back to [citationin text)

(22) See (Ar. Yatiim) "Orphans" In: The Dictionary of Islam, T. P. Hughes (ed.). Chicago: Kazi Publications, 1994, p. 448. Osama bin Laden felt himself to be orphaned, cf. J. Burke, 2003, p. 43-44. (Back to [citationin text)

(23) Kobrin, N. 2003. Psychoanalytic Explorations of the New Moors: Converts for Jihad. In: Clio's Psyche, 9(4)171-187. (Back to [citationin text)

(24) Volkan, V. 1988. The Need to Have Enemies and Allies: From Clinical Practice to International Relationships. Northvale, NJ: Jason Aronson. (Back to [citationin text)

(25) Cf. Howell on attachment gone awry: "Do Unto Others Before They Do Unto You", p. 256-259. (Back to [citationin text)

(26) Freud struggled to understand the female in part because he was too close to his own mother. On Freud's relationship with his mother, see L. Breger. 2000. Freud: Darkness in the Midst of Vision. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Elsewhere I have argued that Freud had a profound identification with the Golden Age of medieval Spain. His thinking was quite Sephardic and that this is something, which "Reb" Derrida understood. It was Western philosophical tradition, which appropriated psychoanalysis. Klein followed in this "non" Western aspect of psychoanalysis. Cf. "Uriel Acosta, J.M. da Costa, M.D. -- What's Freud got to do with it? or How Ladino and Sephardic Culture inform psychoanalysis and trauma studies." In: Languages and Literatures of Sephardic and Oriental Jewry, ed. by David M. Bunis, Yaakov Benttolila and Efraim Hazan. Proceedings of the Misgav Yerushalayim's Sixth International Congress, June 11-162000. Jerusalem: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Press, in press.
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(27) I do not mean to privilege vision over the other senses. I merely was drawn to it first, perhaps because of my dyslexia. Dyslexics look at the world and language's grapheme as imagery. Cf. also Sensorium: Embodied Experience, Technology, and Contemporary Art, C. A. Jones, (ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, p. 36.
The eight senses are: visual, auditory, motor, tactile, olfactory, gustatory, thermal and pain. It will be necessary for a comprehensive exploration of these eight senses in different configurations, for a more accurate understanding of the mindset of the terrorist and the different psychological states for suicide terrorism. The next sense thatI am currently researching vis a vis suicide terrorism is olfaction. Smell is the only sense, which disrupts rational thought.
In addition to exploring the senses it will be critical to factor in early childhood development. See for example:
S. Rose. 2005. The 21st Century Brain: Explaining, Mending and Manipulating the Mind, London: Vintage; A. Schore.1994. Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: The Neurobiology of Emotional Development. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc., Publishers; F. de Waal. 2005. Our Inner Ape, New York: Riverhead Books; R. M. Sapolski. 2005. Monkeyluv, New York: Schribner; R. M. Sapolsky. 1998. The Trouble With Testosterone: And Other Essays on the Biology of the Human Predicament, New York: Simon & Schuster; D. Prince-Hughes. 2004. Songs of the Gorilla Nation: My Journey Through Autism, New York: Three Rivers Press; D. Niehoff. 1999. The Biology of Violence: How Understanding the Brain, Behavior and Environment Can Break the Vicious Circle of Aggression, The Free Press; A. Raine. 1993. The Psychopathology of Crime: Criminal Behavior as a Clinical Disorder. New York: Academic Press.
 (Back to [
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(28) S. Nowicki, Jr., and M. Duke. 2002. Will I Ever Fit In?, New York: The Free Press, p. 14: "Nonverbal communication is further removed from awareness than verbal language."; "The initial and most important significant other from whom we receive feed back about what we are like is our mother. . .Since we do not begin to develop effective verbal language until we are about 18 months to 2 years of age, our initial reflected appraisals are communicated and secured nonverbally." P. 41; "Nonverbal language is the language of how we feel about ourselves.", p.47. "Nonverbal behavior takes place outside of awareness, p. 56. (Back to [citationin text)

(29) The imagery calls to mind the Hindu Kamasutram, which influenced Arab eroticism. See M. Chebel. 2006. Le Kama-Sutra Arabe: Deux mille ans de littérature érotique en Orient, Paris: Pauvert; A. Bouhdiba. 1998. Sexuality in Islam, London: Saqi Books, 1998. Lest we forget the Tamil Tigers are raised Hindu and there is the custom of sati, burning the wife on the husband's funeral pyre which constitutes a death fusion image coupled with immolation, which plays a major role in the suicide attack. (Back to [citationin text)

(30) See also E. V. Welldon. 2000. Mother, Madonna, Whore: The Idealization and Denigration of Motherhood. New York: Other Press; R. Morgan. 1989. The Demon Lover: The Roots of Terrorism. New York: Washington Square Press. It is a fusion image with the post-partem mother and nursing child or toddler. It can be thought of as "kangaroo care. " The mother's lap as represented by the Madonna and child has a special significance in Arab Muslim culture. Besides the fact that the images of Christianity are sacred to Islam as the Prophet Muhammed built upon them through the Quranic revelation, the mother's lap is frequently encountered in the literature as opposed to, for example, a mother's shoulder to lean on. The mother's lap is of particular importance in Arab Muslim culture and most especially for the terrorists. Mohammad Atta sat in his mother's lap until he went to college and he witnessed his father's physical abuse of his mother and experienced it himself. The mother's lap is found in martyr's wills and testaments, cf. M. M. Hafez. 2006. Manufacturing Human Bombs: The Making of Palestinian Suicide Bombers, Washington, D.C.: United States Institute of Peace, p. 87: " I write to you my last will and testament while I am alive, before my martyrdom (God willing). I write it with my tears, not with the ink of my pen. I write it with my tears not out of fear for myself, but in sadness for my mother, whom I urge not to cry when she hears the news of my meeting my Lord. I ask her to rejoice and raise her head high in the sky. O Mother, I know that being nestled in your lap [Emphasis mine] is gentler an kinder on me than my burial grave, but this is God's calling and the calling of my country... (Back to [citationin text)

(31) This 'mixed fusion' is also found in Shiite Islam but it quickly shifts into a double death. Initially, Baby Ali is shot through the heart by an arrow while being held in the arms of Hussein who in turn is killed on the battlefield of Karbala. Baby Ali is literally described as going "from cradle to grave" in the passion play. K. Scot Aghaie. 2004. The Martyrs of Karbala: Shi'I Symbols and Rituals in Modern Iran. Seattle: University of Washington Press, cf. insert of photograph with the caption: "Women carrying the cradle of Ali Asghar. . .in that the infant Ali Asghar went directly from cradle to grave." No page number given to the photo insert.  (Back to [citationin text)

(32) This is a good example of transgenerational transmission of trauma through neglect. Cf.. A. A. Schützenberger. 1998. The Ancestor Syndrome. London: Routledge. (Back to [citationin text)

(33) The sons are essentially married to their mothers psychologically so their unconscious murderous rage gets acted out in a concrete manner in the case of 57 year old Fatma Najar sent by Hamas. H. Greenberg, (2006) "Woman suicide bomber's family: We're very proud," 23 November, 2006. Available from: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3331878,00.html. (Back to [citationin text)

(34) Simon, R.I. 1996. Bad Men Do What Good Men Dream: A Forensic Psychiatrist Illuminates The Darker Side of Human Behavior. Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Press, Inc., p. 294. (Back to [citationin text)

(35) Biven, B.M. 1997. Dehumanization as an Enactment of Serial Killers: A Sadomasochistic Case Study. J Analytic Social Work 1997, 4(2), 46. (Back to [citationin text)

(36) Biven, B.M. 1997. Dehumanization as an Enactment of Serial Killers: A Sadomasochistic Case Study. J Analytic Social Work 1997, 4(2), 46. (Back to [citationin text)

(37) Wright, L. The looming tower. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. 2006, p.197. (Back to [citationin text)

(38) Personal communication, M. Logel, Ph.D., May 2003. (Back to [citationin text)

(39) Personal communication, J. Lachkar, Ph.D., May 2003. (Back to [citationin text)

(40) This was the header for the New York Times Magazine on Zacarias Moussaoui, Dominus, 2003, Everybody has a mother, The New York Times Magazine, 9 February. (Back to [citationin text)

(41) S. Bok, Mayhem, Reading, Mass.: Perseus Books, 1998, p. 115, quoted by Nacos. (2003). Mass-Mediated Terror. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., p. 90. (Back to [citationin text)

(42) Stephen Brown. White Terror. Available from: http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=9173. (Back to [citationin text)

(43) Personal communication, C. Hedges, April 2003. (Back to [citationin text)

(44) Crumley B. The Alliance lives! How French and Amrican intelligence agencies teamed up to nab a suspected al-Qaeda operative, 15 June 2003. Available from: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,458739,00.html. (Back to [citationin text)

(45) Jason Burke. 2003. Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, p. 233. (Back to [citationin text)

(46) Abdelwahab Meddeb. 2003. The Malady of Islam. New York: Basic Books. (Back to [citationin text)

(47) It is poorly understood that the Jew is identified withy Dajjaal, the antichrist, in Islamic theology. This contributes the binary opposition of the hated other - the Jew. (Back to [citationin text)

(48) Personal communication, Yoram Schweitzer and Shaul Shay. 2003. The Globalization of Terror: The Challenge of Al-Qaida and the Response of the International Community. New Brunswick (USA) and London (UK): Transaction Press, p. 3, 38-39. (Back to [citationin text)

(49) Personal communication, Yoram Schweitzer, May 2003. (Back to [citationin text)

(50) I am indebted to Anat Berko, Ph.D. for introducing this concept to me and Edna Erez, Ph.D., J.D. who explained to me the nature of the exchange. In a forthcoming paper authored by Berko, Kobrin and Erez this will be further developed. (Back to [citationin text)

(51) M. Biggs. 2002. Dying without killing: protest by self-immolation. In: To Die For: Making Sense of Suicide Missions. Diego Gambetta. (ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Back to [citationin text)

(52) Akbar S. Ahmed. 2002. Discovering Islam. New York: Routledge, p. 13, 78. (Back to [citationin text)

(53) Murad Kalam, Egyptian like me, The New York Times Magazine, 16 November 2003, p. 116. This factious racial and ethnic utopia is also promoted by bin Laden for Al Qaeda but the cells are predicated on ethnic differences. (Back to [citationin text)

(54) Jacqueline Amati Mahler, Simona Argentieri and Jorge Canestri. The Babel of the Unconscious: The Mother Tongue and Foreign Languages in the Psychoanalytic Dimension. (1990). Milan: Raffaello Cortina. Anna Potamianou. In exile from the mother tongue, in Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 1 (2), 1993, pp. 47-59. (Back to [citationin text)

(55) The family romance is a conscious fantasy, later repressed, in which a child imagines that their birth parents are not actual but adoptive parents, or that their birth was the outcome of maternal infidelity. Typically, the fantasy parents are of noble lineage, or at last of a higher social class than the real parents. The family romance (Freud, 1909c [1908]) differs from children's sexual theories in that it does not. http://soc.enotes.com/psychoanalysis-encyclopedia/family-romance. (Back to [citationin text)

(56) M. Wohlrab-Sahr.1999. Konversion zum Islam in Deutschland und den USA. Frankfurt: Campus Fachbuch. (Back to [citationin text)

(57) Barrett P, How a Muslim chaplain spread extremism to an inmate flock. In: The Wall Street Journal. 5 February 2003 on line. (Back to [citationin text)

(58) I am indebted to David Van Dyke, Ph.D. for the English translation of the deposition as well as his glosses in light of Nazi history. (Back to [citationin text)

(59) David Cloud and Ian Johnson. The hunt for al Qaeda misses the likes of Nizar Nawar. In: The Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2002 on line, www.wsj.com. (Back to [citationin text)

(60) Kobrin, N. The Death Pilots of September 11th, 2001: The Ultimate Schizoid Dilemma. In Piven, J., Boyd, C., & Lawton, H. (Eds.). 2002. In: Jihad and Sacred Vengeance: Psychological Undercurrents of History Volume 3, 76-98. (Back to [citationin text)

(61) David Cloud and Ian Johnson. The hunt for al Qaeda misses the likes of Nizar Nawar. In: The Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2002 on line, www.wsj.com. (Back to [citationin text)

(62) Biven, B.M. 1997. Dehumanization as an Enactment of Serial Killers: A Sadomasochistic Case Study. In: Journal of Analytic Social Work, 4(2), 26. (Back to [citationin text)

(63) Lawrence Wright. 2006. The Looming Tower. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, p. 179. (Back to [citationin text)

(64) Lawrence Wright. 2006. The Looming Tower. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, p. 184. (Back to [citationin text)

(65) O'Ballance, E. (1979). Language of Violence: The Blood Politics of Terrorism. San Rafael, CA: Presidio Press. (Back to [citationin text)

(66) Kramer, M. (2001). Ivory Towers on Sand. Washington, D.C.: Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (Back to [citationin text)

(67) Judith Miller. 1996. God Has Ninety-Nine Names. New York: Simon and Schuster, p. 118. (Back to [citationin text)

(68) Biven, B.M. Dehumanization as an enactment of serial killers: a sadomasochistic case study. J Analytic Social Work, 1997 4(2), 26. (Back to [citationin text)

(69) Rose, D. (2003). Newsweek: U.S. almost had hands on bin Laden. Available from: http://www.twincities.com. (Back to [citationin text)


*Corresponding author and requests for clarifications and further details:
Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin, Ph.D.,
Clinical professor of Psychiatry,
Hennepin-Regions Psychiatry Training Program,
Minneapolis-St. Paul,
Minnesota,
USA
E-mail: nhkobrin@comcast.net

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IMPORTANT NOTE: ALL PAPERS APPEARING IN THIS ONLINE JOURNAL ARE COPYRIGHTED BY "ANIL AGGRAWAL'S INTERNET JOURNAL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AND TOXICOLOGY" AND MAY NOT BE REPOSTED, REPRINTED OR OTHERWISE USED IN ANY MANNER WITHOUT THE WRITTEN PERMISSION OF THE WEBMASTER

  home  > Vol.8, No. 2, July - December 2007  > Paper 1 by Nancy Hartevelt Kobrin (you are here)
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