Has suicide bombing ever achieved anything?
This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 25 January 2011. Listen to the programme.
It did not take long to establish that the attack at Moscow's airport on Monday was the work of a suicide bomber.
Aviation analysit Chris Yates told the BBC it was "an accident waiting to happen."
"Sooner or later, because of the way terror tactics have evolved, someone was going to enter an arrivals hall and blow themselves up."
Effectively, suicide bombing has become the method of choice for those wanting - for whatever reason - to destroy themselves, and other people, for their cause. But why? What has it ever achieved?
How many suicide attacks have actually resulted in changes of policy - at least, changes in the direction of the cause the attackers advocate?
Rare are the examples of countries that have conceded ground in the wake of suicide attacks. In general, the response is to galvanise the attacked country against them.
Nowhere has a sustained campaign of suicide bombing been so high-profile as in the Israel-Palestine conflict. And yet, as the leaked documents from Sunday suggest, the prospects of peace there remain as remote as ever.
On the other hand, killing, as the economists Steven D Levitt and Stephen J Dubnar - famed for their Freakonomics books - is not actually even the main point:
"Rather, it is a means by which to scare the pants off the living and fracture their normal lives. Terrorism is therefore devilishly efficient, exerting far more leverage than an equal amount of non-terrorist violence."
The consequences of such action can absolutely hamstring us. Think of what we have to go through at airports now. It's one of the few areas where you can directly match plot to policy.
Taking shoes off - down to Richard Reid, the shoe bomber. No liquids over 100 ml? That's due to the foiled plan from 2006 to detonate liquid explosives over 10 US and Canadian cities. Full body scanners? That's Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "underpants bomber."
And remember - none of those three attacks were even successful.
The point is, the fear of a future attack is what causes both the costs (in terms of time, money and legislation) and the suspicion. If one of aim of the 7/7 suicide attacks on the London underground was to increase friction with Muslim communities in the UK, they undoubtedly achieved their aims.