Thankful I have OnDemand service from a major cable provider. Watched the 1994 movie The Professional starring Jean Reno, Gary Oldman and a very young Natalie Portman tonight. At the end, The character Leon, played by Reno, detonates his belt of explosives to kill the thoroughly despicable nemesis, Stansfield, played by Oldman.
The movie was released June 26th, 1994.
Although use of suicide attacks has occurred throughout history — with Samson's suicidal destruction of a Philistine temple (as recounted in the Book of Judges), the legendary Swiss hero Arnold von Winkelried, and the Japanese kamikaze pilots of World War II — its main notoriety as a specific kind of attack began in the 1980s and involved explosives deliberately carried to the target either on the person or in a civilian vehicle and delivered by surprise. Following the success of a 1983 truck bombing of two barracks buildings in Beirut that killed 300 and helped drive American and French Multinational Force troops from Lebanon, it spread to insurgent groups like the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka, Palestinian groups like Hamas, and Al-Qaeda. Suicide bombings are now mostly associated with jihad, which involves holy war against non-Muslims.Throughout the movie Reno wears a woven skullcap.
During this time the number of suicide attacks has grown rapidly, from an average of 4.7/year in the 1980s to 180/year in the first half of the 00s, and from 81 suicide attacks in 2001 to 460 in 2005. Particularly hard-hit by attacks have been military and civilian targets in Sri Lanka during Sri Lankan Civil War, Israeli targets in Israel since 1994, and Iraqis since the US-led invasion of that country in 2003.