Iraqi Woman Confesses on Jordan TV
The distaff half of the would-be husband-wife suicide team, who survived after her bomb failed to go off, has confessed live on Jordanian television.
Strapped with a disabled explosives belt, an Iraqi woman arrested Sunday confessed on television to trying to blow herself up with her husband in one of three suicide attacks earlier this week that killed 57 people. The 35-year-old woman Ã¢€” the sister of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s right-hand man who was killed by U.S. forces in Iraq Ã¢€” appeared on Jordanian state TV hours after she was captured by security forces who were tipped off by an al-Qaida claim that a husband-and-wife team participated in Wednesday’s bombings.
Looking nervous and wringing her hands, Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, 35, described how she failed to blow herself up during a wedding reception at the Radisson SAS hotel on Wednesday night after struggling with the cord on her explosives belt. “My husband wore an (explosives-packed) belt and put one on me. He taught me how to use it,” al-Rishawi said, wearing a white head scarf, a black gown and a disabled bomb belt tied around her waist. “My husband detonated (his bomb) and I tried to explode my belt but it wouldn’t,” she said. “People fled running and I left running with them.”
Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said the belt she wore in the broadcast was the same one she tried to use in the attack. “The vest was caught with her,” he told CNN. Her husband, Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, 35, was identified Sunday as one of three Iraqi men who carried out the bombings. The Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels also were bombed.
Muasher said the confession offered further proof that the attacks were the work of al-Qaida in Iraq, which has claimed responsibility. Muasher said the woman was wearing two vests, one packed with explosives and the other with ball bearings to inflict maximum damage. “This technique was used in all three of the attacks,” he told CNN.
A mixed blessing, I suppose. On the one hand, her bomb not going off probably saved lives and might give the Jordanians useful intelligence against Zarqawi. On the other hand, she is alive.