Does Al Qaeda Use Gay Rape to Recruit Suicide Bombers?

by Steve Weinstein

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday February 5, 2009

The Sun, a United Kingdom tabloid, asserts that al-Qaeda chiefs rape young men to get them to become suicide bombers. "Evil al-Qaeda chiefs are raping young male converts to shame them into becoming suicide bombers, it emerged yesterday," the paper reported on Thursday. "The intense social stigma and fear of more gay sex attacks leaves Muslims prepared to die."

The paper claimed it got its information from a former Algerian militant named Abu Ba?ir El Assimi. "The sexual act on young recruits aged between 16 to 19 was a means to urge them to commit suicide operations," El Assimi told the Sun.

The paper also cited as evidence a 22-year-old who had "suffered sexual injuries before being shot dead on a suicide mission in Tadema?t, Algeria, three weeks ago." The U.S. military allegedly discovered two years ago that al-Qaeda were raping women to dishonor them so that they would become suicide bombers as well, the paper continued.

The paper cited "experts" who said the boy-rapes were a sign of desperation to recruit new bombers in the face of a waning cause. "Perhaps they are running short of potential martyrs," one of the experts told the paper.

Steve Weinstein has been a regular correspondent for the International Herald Tribune, the Advocate, the Village Voice and Out. He has been covering the AIDS crisis since the early '80s, when he began his career. He is the author of "The Q Guide to Fire Island" (Alyson, 2007).