Something of a unique problem, in Afghanistan:
Two boys equipped with suicide vests were arrested here over the weekend, less than a year after one of them had been pardoned by President Hamid Karzai for the same crime, and presented to reporters on Sunday.
The boys, named Nasibullah and Azizullah, were described by officials from the National Directorate of Security, Afghanistan’s intelligence agency, as 12-year-olds who had been trained in Pakistani madrasas. The officials refused to give their names for security reasons.
Both boys appeared calm and outspoken at the news conference, and it was unclear if they understood the gravity of what it would mean to carry out suicide bombings.
Azizullah said he went to a madrasa in Quetta. The teachers told him, “ ‘You won’t be hurt; just go and carry out a suicide attack,’ ” he said.
“The last time I was arrested by officials, I was sent to Kabul and I was brought before President Karzai,” Nasibullah said at Sunday’s news conference. “Mr. Karzai asked me what had happened. I explained that the Taliban wanted me to carry out a suicide attack and they put a vest on me and said ‘you can carry out a suicide attack,’ but I was arrested by policemen. Karzai told me, ‘Don’t worry son, we will send you back home,’ and so he pardoned me.”
Nasibullah, who officials from the intelligence directorate said was originally from Pishin in the Baluchistan region of Pakistan, said he was hoping for a second reprieve. “I am again arrested by officials and now again I am requesting from the government to forgive me,” he said. “This time I won’t go back to the madrasa.”
It’s really hard to get inside the head of religious “teachers” who try to send 12-year olds off to slaughter. Perhaps Nasibullah ought to go back to the madrasa, and ask his teachers why they don’t go themselves, or send their own children, if it’s a suicide bombing they want.