Suicide Bombings


On May 12, 2003 three separate teams of terrorists carried out suicide bomb attacks on the Dorrat Al Jadawel compound, the Al Hamra Oasis Village and the Vinnel Corporation Compound all of which were located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Their actions resulted in the deaths of 35 people with well over 160 others injured in the process (The world this week, 2003). It was an attack that was unprecedented in the history of Saudi Arabia since it was ideological in nature and was aimed specifically at foreign nationals (The world this week, 2003).

When examining the various aspects of this case the most interesting facet is the motivation behind the actions of the suicide bombers. As seen in the recorded wills that were made shortly before they carried out their suicide attacks, one interconnecting theme between all of the bombers is their assumption that what they do is for the “greater good” in that through their actions they would “rescue and defend” their fellow Arabs from the unjust incursions of foreign powers on both the land and culture of the Arab people.

In fact various studies which have examined the psychological underpinnings of suicide bombings have shown that most if not all of the participants involved don’t view the potentially dozens of people they may kill as a sin rather for them it is an act of devotion towards the precepts of Islam (Cooper, 2008).

When taking such factors into consideration it is thus important to examine the reactions of the general public towards the actions of the suicide bombers. The reason behind this is quite simple, if the suicide bombers are doing this “for the people” as they say then it is important to understand the whether the general public has a positive or negative reaction towards such violent actions which are “supposedly” for their sake.


The objective of this report is to investigate the following:

1.) Discern the general impression the selected respondents have on the suicide bombing incidents in Riyadh.

2.) Determine whether the respondents would be more inclined towards thinking of terrorism in a positive way if it were to occur in another country.

3.) Examine the general impression the respondents have on foreign interests within Saudi Arabia.

4.) Analyze the reactions of the respondents towards the decision making process of the suicide bombers.

5.) Determine the current view of the respondents towards the actions of terrorist groups who radicalize certain elements of the Quran in order to justify bombing public areas.

6.) Examine the general impression the respondents have regarding the possible negative ramifications of correlated to Islam as a direct result of the actions of suicide bombers and terrorist groups.

The following questions will also be asked from the respondents:

Do you believe that the suicide bombers are being misinformed by terrorist groups regarding the necessity of violent action in order to achieve their goals?
What do you believe is the primary reason why “volunteers” would willingly sacrifice their lives? Is it primarily a religious reason or are their social underpinnings regarding their actions?
Do you think that the actions of the Riyadh suicide bombers was justified given the fact that so many innocent people died who had absolutely nothing to do with the U.S. lead invasion of Iraq?
Do you harbor any ill will towards the U.S. is general? Or do you believe that it isn’t the American people who are at fault but rather their misguided leadership?
From your point of view, do you believe it is justified to kill dozens of people for the sake of getting a point across?


The hypothesis of this study is that while the general public within Saudi Arabia don’t necessarily like the interference foreign powers (particularly the U.S.) have had on their land, culture and internal affairs most people think that acts of terrorism hinder rather than result in any positive resolution to the issue.

The sub-hypothesis of this study also assumes that the general public within Riyadh thinks the acts of terrorism actually result in global mistrust, apprehension and even vilification of Arabs in general which hinders international efforts towards peaceful relations with other cultures and states.

Framing an Interview Schedule

Due to the sensitive nature of this investigation the questionnaire results will be completely anonymous with the respondents of the study picked randomly within the school campus as well as various members of the local community near the campus or within the proximity of the researcher’s home. This is done in order to ensure a certain degree of diversity in the answers given.

The questionnaires themselves will be handed on an individual basis with the researcher waiting for each participant to finish completing the questionnaire. After completion each respondent will be assured of the anonymity of their responses and that in no way will their identity be disclosed. This particular interview will be conducted on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in order to get the maximum number of respondents for the questionnaire.

Several members of the researcher’s friends and family will be asked to deliver questionnaires to various individuals that they know. This ensures that the research results will not be biased since the researcher is merely asking them to recruit respondents and not fill out the forms themselves. 10 respondents will be utilized for this particular study.

Data Collection

Response to the QuestionnairePositiveNegative
Impression on Suicide Bombers5%95%
Impression on foreign interference20%80%
Impression on the ideology behind suicide attacks5%95%
Impression on Terrorist Organization’s use of Radical Islam20%80%
Affect on the views of other countries on Islam as a result of the bombings0%100%