Would-be Suicide Bomber Angry at Those who Sent Him
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 Ã¢€œto kill the Americans, policemen, national guards and the American collaborators.Ã¢€ 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.
Shaya moved to Baghdad in December to prepare for his final mission, which he expected to be as the suicide pilot of a bomb-laden car. But on Dec. 24, he was given a preliminary job of driving a butane-gas delivery truck that was rigged with bombs. It wasn’t supposed to be a suicide mission. Ã¢€œThey asked me to take the truck near a concrete block barrier before turning to the right and leaving it there,Ã¢€ he says. Ã¢€œThere, somebody will pick up the truck from you,Ã¢€ they told him. Ã¢€œBut they blew me up in the truck,Ã¢€ he says.
When the gas truck ignited into a fireball near the Jordanian Embassy, nine people were killed, including a family of seven whose house collapsed on them. The explosion burned Shaya on his face and hands, but he was thrown from the cab and survived. Authorities at first didn’t know who he was. But then a local Baghdad newspaper carried a report from Saudi Arabia about his family mourning his martyrdom.
Shaya told the interrogators that he regretted his mission now. Ã¢€œI want the Iraqi people to live in peace,Ã¢€ he says, and he can no longer support Osama bin Laden because Ã¢€œhe is killing Muslims.Ã¢€ As for the Zarqawi network that sent him on the mission that left him permanently disfigured and in prison, he says, Ã¢€œI want revenge for what they have done to me.Ã¢€
One would think this anger would be more widespread, since the wanton murder of innocent fellow Arab Muslims has dwarfed the number of American infidels killed. Of course, most of the people in Shaya’s situation don’t survive their mission.