Of all the martyrs in history, few have been successful at getting attention like the suicide bomber. By strapping a bushel of explosives around themselves and wandering into a crowd of "the enemy" (or maybe just people visiting "the enemy" on holiday) they succeed in making a bold, bloody statement and routing around the usual issues that attacking forces have, like escaping.
It's this intended lack of escape that makes a suicide bomber so tricky to deal with; unlike, say, a boat sailing into a harbour firing upon land to invade it, the attacker doesn't ever expect to leave. This means that they can wander deep into a building or a town square and press their plunger and not be studying the exits; more likely they'll be putting themselves next to a support beam or the gas tank of a bus because in just a few special moments they'll be travelling in many directions at high speeds.
The main problem with suicide bombing is nobody except your nutty little group thinks this is the way to go about things. Wars aren't supposed to be fought with massive amounts of one side killing themselves; that's not even sporting. War is supposed to be about risk, not guaranteed self-immolation.
The other main problem is that you get one shot with a suicide bomber; and since the type of person who commits themselves to a one-way mission for a vague sense of glory and responsibility isn't usually the sharpest fork in the drawer, you can actually have semi-hilarious situations (overlooking the dead for a moment). Consider some of these "suicide snafus":
- In August of 2001, a suicide bomber sitting in a coffee house hit on the waitress, finally lifting his shirt and showing his explosives to get her attention. The waitress immediately screamed "terrorist" and the coffee shop immediately emptied before the bomber could hit the detonator, killing himself instantly but only lightly injuring 21 people.
- There have been multiple cases of suicide bombers being snagged at checkpoints, detonating prematurely, and killing absolutely no-one. This is the suicide bomber equivalent of driving drunk and crashing into a tree pulling over for a sobriety check.
- And in one case in May of 2002, a suicide bomber blew up, by himself, walking along a road, far away from anything or anybody. No doubt his family was proud.
There was a movement recently to rename suicide bombers "homicide bombers"; this kind of thinking betrays the suckiness of our modern times, where we've equated minor word-games with solving the problem. Hence we no longer have a "Department of War", but a "Department of Defence", who are now calling bomb-laden nutjobs anything but what they are. Go team! Luckily, this didn't catch on and will quickly be forgotten, like the idea that suicide bombing is going to stop anytime soon.
Incidentally, suicide bombing is prohibited in the Quran:
Sura 2:195 And spend of your substance in the cause of Allah, and make not your own hands contribute to (your) destruction; but do good; for Allah loveth those who do good.
This may put a damper on any suicide bombers who plan to enjoy their 70 virgins in heaven.