January 25, 2005


Would-be suicide bomber angry at those who sent him (Steven Komarow and Sabah al-Anbaki, 1/24/05, USA TODAY)

His head and hands were wrapped in bandages and his uncovered face looked like bubbled tar.

The young Saudi man told investigators this month that he wants revenge against the Iraqi terrorist network that sent him on the deadly mission that he survived.

Ahmed Abdullah al-Shaya, 18, told Iraqi investigators during an interrogation early this month that he was recruited to drive a car rigged with explosives to Baghdad and blow it up.

He said the objective was "to kill the Americans, policemen, national guards and the American collaborators."

But Shaya said he was injured even before he went on the mission when insurgents detonated a truck bomb he was supposed to leave at a target site.

Shaya's statements were captured on a videotape made by Interior Ministry officials who interrogated him. It is not clear whether the video captures all of the interrogation or part of it. USA TODAY obtained a copy of the tape from an Interior Ministry official.

Shaya's video statement describes the journey of a young man ready to die in his zeal to drive Americans from Arab lands.

You'll still have the Ba'athist and zarqawi guys around, because they oppose Shi'a rule, but nitwits like this should diminish once we're gone.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 25, 2005 6:05 AM

This simply shows the naive romanticism that people like this think they are getting involved with: a glorious death that will assure them of 72 fresh raisins. But once you force reality on them, they have second thoughts. No one wants to live life as a maimed cripple for a failed cause.

Posted by: Chris Durnell at January 25, 2005 10:36 AM

Thinking westernly, I'd have thought that suicide bombers would be a wasting asset anyhow, but I'd have been wrong.

They really are not like us.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at January 25, 2005 1:26 PM

They didn't last long in Lebanon or among the Tamil, are mostly gone in Palestine, and won't be around Iraq for long after we leave.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 2:03 PM

They lasted long enough in Lebanon to chase the Jews out. The reason they don't blow up Jews in Lebanon any more is that there aren't any.

And they've just about chased out the Christians.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at January 25, 2005 11:16 PM

Yes, it's an effective and rather low cost/low mortality tactic for peoples who are overmatched militarily. Once they achieve their goals they stop using it. It's quite rational.

Posted by: oj at January 25, 2005 11:19 PM

I think you're confusing rationality with efficiency.

Posted by: Harry Eagar at January 27, 2005 4:14 PM
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