Suicide Bombers Celebrate On Tape

A new videotape, purportedly made by al Qaeda, turned up today on an Islamic Web site based in the Persian Gulf.

CBS News Correspondent Thalia Assuras reports it claims to show militants preparing for and carrying out a suicide bomb attack that killed 17 people in Saudi Arabia last November.

The video shows a young Saudi man wearing the radiant smile of a groom being serenaded as if it were his wedding day.

But his bride is in the afterlife. The video also shows well-wishers surrounding the man chanting, "The virgins are waiting." Other verses translate to "you are going to your second house in heaven."

Two men identified on the tape as Ali Hamed al-Harbi and Naser Abdullah al-Khaldi are shown preparing for a suicide bombing mission. Their target was purportedly the housing complex that was reduced to rubble in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia last November.

Though the compound once housed Americans, the 17 people killed in that attack were Arabs.

The video shows preparations for the attack, reconnaissance of the compound and the painting of a vehicle in the colors of the Saudi military, which was apparently used to carry the suicide bombers past a checkpoint.

The video also shows an attacker warning the Saudi government to, "Stop befriending infidels."

And there's another warning inherent in the tape, as Mujahadeen are shown training inside Saudi Arabia.

They have plenty of weapons, including surface-to-air missiles. The Saudi government and the CIA claim that terrorist cells in Saudi Arabia have been crippled by an anti-militant crackdown.

Ali al-Ahmed, of the watchdog group Saudi Institute disagrees.

"We have not seen a decline in the number of attacks. We have actually seen more sophistication as the tape shows," al-Ahmed said.

Whatever the state of the terrorist cells in Saudi Arabia, this most recent tape clearly aims at inspiring and recruiting supporters.

For Saudi Arabia, with a staggering unemployment rate and widespread resentment of the government, it's an ominous threat.
  • Lauren Johnston

Comments

Follow Us