COMMENTS: Suicides & Spies

Both CBS and NBC reported on events on the ground in Iraq. NBC's Richard Engel told us that a small number of suicide bombers--just seven so far--have been women. He talked by telephone to an anonymous 20-year-old woman called Maha who claimed to be planning to be the eighth. She became depressed and suicide-minded after both of her brothers were killed by Shiite death squads and her home was burned. She was then recruited as a potential terrorist. Engel noted that women have an advantage over men if they plan to blow themselves up since Iraqi cultural norms do not permit men to pat down women: "Insurgent leaders know women will pass right through checkpoints."

Lara Logan filed an Exclusive for CBS on the journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who had been held hostage for 28 days in Iraq two years ago and then freed by Nicola Calipari, an Italian spy. Calipari had been killed and Sgrena wounded by an American soldier named Mario Lozano at a highway checkpoint as they made a nighttime getaway from her kidnappers. Lozano's lawyer suspects that Calipari refused to stop at the checkpoint because he wanted to keep secret the ransom he paid for Sgrena's release. The killing of Calipari has resulted in Italian murder charges against Lozano. Logan sat down with the tearful accused killer: "I get nightmares. I think about that guy almost every day." Lozano insists he was firing in self-defense, believing the car was attacking him--"I am just an infantry soldier doing my job"--but he will not go to Italy to stand trial.


You must be logged in to this website to leave a comment. Please click here to log in so you can participate in the discussion.