So did they kill themselves willingly, in order to seize hold of Allah's promise of Paradise to those who "kill and are killed" for him (Qur'an 9:111)? No telling at this point.
BAGHDAD - The U.S. military said Wednesday that two women used as suicide bombers in attacks earlier this month had undergone psychiatric treatment but there is no indication they had Down syndrome as Iraqi and U.S. officials initially had claimed.
Rear Adm. Gregory Smith, a military spokesman, said the women used in the Feb. 1 pet market bombings had been identified as residents from the northeastern outskirts of Baghdad who were in their late 20s or early 30s.
The two attacks killed nearly 100 people, and Iraqi and U.S. officials said at the time the women appeared to be unwitting attackers.
Lt. Gen. Abboud Qanbar, the chief Iraqi military commander in Baghdad, said soon after the attacks that photos of the women's heads showed they had Down syndrome, but he did not offer any other proof.
A U.S. military spokesman for the Baghdad area, Lt. Col. Steve Stover, also said at the time that medical experts with his division had examined the photos and agreed the women probably suffered from the genetic disorder. "They were both females and they both looked like they had Down syndrome," Stover said on Feb. 2.
A cell phone image of one of the heads viewed by The Associated Press was inconclusive.
There was speculation that the heads could have been distorted by the blast, leading police initially to believe they had Down syndrome.
On Wednesday, Smith backed away from the claim about Down syndrome while responding to a question concerning the psychiatric histories of the two bombers.
"Both had recently received psychiatric treatment for depression and/or schizophrenia. From what we know now there's no indication that they had Down syndrome," Smith said, citing records obtained by the military.
Smith also said one of the women was married but that neither had criminal backgrounds. He said it was not clear how they were linked to al-Qaida in Iraq, which the military has said was behind the bombing....