The mission was as simple as touching two wires together, the little boy was promised. The resulting blast would obliterate the American infidels – but God would spare him from the flame and shrapnel. Abdul Samat would be unharmed and free to run back to the men who had fitted his bomb vest.
Blindfolded and rigged with his explosive payload, the boy, who was about 13, was driven to his target in the Afghan city of Kandahar, after being plucked from the streets of Quetta in neighbouring Pakistan. Minutes before he was due to execute the attack, however, Abdul realised the lies of his recruiters seeking to turn him into a human bomb.
“When I opened my eyes, I saw it was a very black thing they wanted me to do,” he later recalled.
“I began to cry and shout. People came out of their houses and asked what was wrong. I showed them I had something in my vest. Then they were scared too and called the police who took the bombs off me.”. . .