Some are raped, others are ruthlessly brainwashed. In this exclusive dispatch, KEVIL TOOLIS meets the women who become ["]Al Qaeda's["] human bombs.
Dressed from head-to-toe in black, seemingly invisible and blending in with the shimmering heat of the Middle East, she is the perfect weapon: the female suicide bomber.
There is no real defence against her. In traditional Arab society it is haram - forbidden - for a man to shake hands never mind search a strange woman, even at a security checkpoint.
In the latest spate of deadly attacks across Iraq, Al Qaeda-style insurgents have turned to women to deliver their murderous message, killing at least 445 people and injuring thousands over the past two years.
Chilling fanaticisms: Manal Saba'na, 22, who recruited her two best friends to become suicide bombers
Mosques, pilgrim processions, supermarkets, even schools, are mercilessly attacked. Dressed in the traditional flowing black abaya, some of the bombers even pretend to be pregnant - and thus carry a bigger explosive payload.
In the last bloody attack, a woman detonated herself amid a dense crowd of Shi'ite pilgrims in Baghdad, slaughtering 36 and wounding 72.
But how could a woman from a traditional Islamic society turn herself into a human bomb?
We all know that the male suicide bomber is promised 72 virgins in the gardens of paradise. [Yes, we all know it is that simple! There is nothing more to it! ;p] What, then, does a female 'martyr' get in return for her suicide?
Haggard, scowling, as she stares at the prison camera, Samira Ahmed Jassim, a middle-aged Iraqi shopkeeper, hardly seems the type to inspire dozens of young women to blow themselves up.
But this week she was paraded by the Baghdad authorities as the woman who managed to recruit a staggering 80 female suicide bombers to her cause in the feared Ansar al-Sunnah insurgent network - which is allied to Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda. [fictitious "boogeyman" organization, offshoot of CIA created mujahadine; a lot of this article is clear propaganda]
Suicide bombing is never just a personal act. There is always a network, a recruiter. It was under the codename 'Mother of the Believers' that Jassim groomed her recruits for death.
Jassim, a mother of four, explained she played on the women's sense of shame. 'I was able to persuade them to become martyrs. Many of the women were broken, depressed, especially those who were raped.'
She even claimed some of the women had been deliberately raped by insurgents in order to then turn them into suicide bombers. [trauma-based mind control 101; gone into numerous times]
It is hard to think of a more pitiless form of warfare.
You rape and mentally torture your victim and then, with the aid of a hateful old crone like Jassim, convince them to kill themselves on your behalf.
But in the Middle East, with its fusion of religion, hatred and bloodshed, every human evil is possible. [-Middle East +Entire Globe; ignore WW3 propoganda]
The 'honour' of the family in traditional Arab society is built on the concept of the chastity of the women in the family.
Once she reaches puberty, a young girl is no longer allowed outside the home for a walk to the shops without a chaperone.
Pre-marital sex is forbidden, as are boyfriends.
Women are controlled by men - their fathers and brothers initially, and then their husband and his brothers, who monitor and supervise every aspect of their lives. A woman is the possession of the men in her family.
Rape is the deadliest assault on this honour code. But few sympathise with the victim herself.
Whatever the circumstances, rape victims are almost always blamed for bringing shame to their family by somehow provoking her attackers. [this happens in the West too]
Or simply by being somewhere away from the protection of the male members of the family.
In a marriage culture that prizes virginity, a rape victim will never find a husband and never recover from the sexual shame. It is a living death.
Jassim's role was to manipulate these rape victims - persuading them they would be better off dead. And once the women had volunteered to become suicide bombers, she delivered them back to insurgents ready for death.
The truth is suicide bombing is a cult [similar cult mind control techniques, of course]. It twists parts of the Koran, parts of Arab culture and genuine political grievance into an easy but deadly myth.
As your body is blown to pieces you will feel no pain. And all your sins, the shame of your rape or adultery, will be cleansed in an instant. If you blow yourself up you'll go straight to Jenna - the green fields of paradise.
Female suicide bombing is not an easy phenomenon to study but, aside from the extraordinary confession of Samira Ahmed Jassim in Baghdad, there is a place where you can discover the truth from the women themselves.
Surrounded by armed guards, barbed wire and dogs, Israel's Hasharon prison is a forbidding place. [You can bet Israel has programmed some of these female suicide bombers waiting in prison, then used them in false flag attacks (build up anti-Palestine hysteria and all that)]
But deep within its walls is the world's only jail for failed female suicide bombers - arrested by the Israeli security forces on their way to blow themselves up.
Nicknamed the 'living tomb' by its inmates and packed with more than 100 failed female 'martyrs', Unit 12 is a grim but fascinating institution.
I spent more than a month there researching Channel 4's Cult Of The Suicide Bomber series talking to these Palestinian women about how they were recruited and why they wanted to kill themselves.
And, although recruitment techniques might not have been as barbaric as rape in every case, they were just as effective.
Among the most chilling inmates was Manal Saba'na, a striking 22-year-old with pale skin and arched eyebrows, who comes from a picturesque village near the West Bank town of Jenin.
But Manal was unique for another reason - she had recruited her two best friends, Sabrine, 22, and Ayat, 19, to be suicide bombers.
Against tradition, Manal persuaded her father to let her go to university in the northern West Bank city of Nablus - and live away from home albeit in an all-female university dormitory.
It was Manal's first taste of Western-style freedom.
Ironically, Manal immediately became more religious. She started reading the Koran and secretly joined a university-based cell of the deadly Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, becoming its organiser.
And her first target was her classmate Sabrine A'mara.
Striking up a close friendship, Manal, who is exceptionally intelligent, cultivated Sabrine, who soon viewed her as an older sister.
Many female suicide bombers are rape victims manipulated by groomers who fill them with shame (file photo)
Manal often visited Sabrine's family at home, discovering that Sabrine's father was dead and one of her elder brothers had been killed by the Israeli army in 1988.
And Sabrine was the youngest child in her family of eight.
Sabrine was a perfect psychological target. As we discovered, most of the failed female suicide bombers in the prison came from fractured or broken families. Their fathers were dead, elderly, or sick. [typical fractured/broken family of all/most MK victims across the globe]
The prisoners' mothers were often second wives - 20 years younger than their husbands. This age gap was vital.
As the fathers and stepfathers grew older - most were now in their late 70s - the Arab patriarchal structure weakened and their youngest daughters began to ignore traditional social constraints that might have stopped them from being recruited.
A weak father figure also made it easier for extremists to sign up his daughter, as it was less dangerous for the militants - with less risk of the family exacting retribution on them.
In Arab society any unauthorised contact between a woman and strange men would be seen as a slight on the honour of her family.
Her brothers and father would be compelled to seek revenge. But Manal, as a woman, could easily groom Sabrine for death over morning coffee.
The dead father, her murdered brother and the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land - they were all easy psychological buttons to hit. [It had been planned for centuries; one of the intended results of the colossal amount of trauma and evil involved in the creation of Israel]
'At first, I told Sabrine that I needed someone to take over the female side of the Islamic Jihad group at the university. And she kept asking why. And then I told her I was going on a martyrdom operation.
'After a week, she asked me if she could go with me. We were like sisters. [low level twinning] I said yes and we agreed to do it together. But about a week later I told her it was just for one person. And then she volunteered to go in my stead,' explained Manal.
Manal's other job in Islamic Jihad was moving guns and explosives around - women are obviously less likely to be searched - and 15 days before the bombing she smuggled Sabrine's suicide bomb vest into her student dorm.
'When Sabrine first saw the vest in my room, the wires, the strange-smelling explosives, she cried. She was nervous, excited. And she cried because the time, her time, was near.'
It was always clear who was in charge. Sabrine's 'will' - her martyrdom statement justifying the proposed attack on a restaurant in Jerusalem - was written by Manal.
But Manal was also busy recruiting Ayat Kmeil, whom she had known through secondary school. Ayat came from a very strict religious family which had lived in Saudi Arabia.
Her father did not believe that women should even be allowed to drive and he kept a watchful eye on his daughter. After she failed her exams, Ayat was marooned at home.
Not allowed to leave the house without her mother, she spent her days watching Arab satellite TV and dreaming of escaping a family house that had become a prison.
Manal recruited Ayat at a family wedding when the two women were briefly alone. Manal told Ayat she would have to wait for the right time - but Manal knew she now had another would-be martyr in waiting.
Manal's plan was to use Sabrine to blow up a Jerusalem restaurant.
Instead, they were all arrested and sentenced to between four and five years in Hasharon. The three women insist they are still best friends.
'I often think of Manal as my sister. At first, my parents were angry at her for recruiting me, but I do not blame Manal. We have each chosen our path to God,' says Ayat.
In her cell I asked Sabrine what was going to happen to her in paradise after she had blown herself up.
'In paradise the male martyr gets 72 virgins but the female martyr becomes queen of those virgins. The rest of the virgins are her maids and they wait on her. She is the best and most beloved.'
Queen of the Virgins? It seems almost childish, and beyond the prison walls Ayat's confidence in her parent's forgiveness was ill-founded.
'If I had known what Ayat was planning I would have told the Jews. I would have stopped her,' said Ahmed Kmeil, her father.
'In our religion it is forbidden for a girl's body to be uncovered even at home. How could a girl allow her body to be smashed to pieces and then collected up by Jews? This is absolutely forbidden.'
Even Manal's family insisted that female suicide bombing is wrong.
'With a man it's different. For us, a girl can't show her leg or wear a short T-shirt. How can you then be a good Muslim woman and expose your body to the world? What Manal was doing recruiting those girls was wrong,' said her mother Nadia Saba'na.
Like most of us, Manal's and Ayat's families are unfamiliar with the aftermath of explosives and the human body. It's not pleasant. Most of the torso of the bomber just disintegrates leaving the head and lower limbs.
But what was shocking was none of the families of the would-be female suicide bombers expressed outrage about the innocent civilians their daughters would have killed.
They did not seem to be particularly concerned about their daughter's death. What they were worried about was pieces of their daughter's body being exposed to strangers, or worse still, to Jews. They saw everything through this false prism of 'honour'.
The same lessons, of course, apply in Iraq. If you are a woman blowing yourself up, exposing your body is forbidden and a sin.
The truth is that Iraq's insurgents have turned to female suicide bombing as a tactic of desperation.
Even in Baghdad, with all its security checkpoints, a woman dressed in the all concealing abaya is still more likely to succeed with a suicide bombing.
Here is one such victim, aged 15; about to blow herself up but the police caught her, she was drugged (and probably a lot more), see this post.