Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ever heard of the saying, there's no honor among criminals, dumb**s?

I just watched the interrogation video of Ahmed Abdullah al-Shayea made available to Newsweek:

Twenty-one-year-old Ahmed Abdullah al-Shayea had come to Iraq from Saudi Arabia to join the infamous terrorist known as Abu Mussab al-Zarqawi in a holy war against the American infidels. On Christmas morning, 2004, he got his first assignment, to park a tanker truck full of explosives near the high walls around the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad. He didn't know that four fellow terrorists in a Jeep Cherokee following a safe distance behind held the remote-control trigger. When they pushed it, an explosion thundered across the city, killing 10 Iraqi policemen. But al-Shayea, unlike scores of other bombers who've been vaporized beyond recognition, was blown through the windshield and, against all odds, survived.

A few weeks later the authorities realized that he wasn’t an innocent bystander and kidnapped him from the hospital to interrogate him. This interrogation led to the apprehension of three Zarqawi aides last week.

It is a short clip, with subtitles, and al-Shayea is still wrapped up in bandages, his burnt skin making him look 40 years older. You can tell that this filmed interrogation has taken place after the actual interrogation, and that he is now just repeating answers that they had laboriously gotten out of him over the past few hours, and now were packaging together into a neat little video that they could hand out to the media.

The questions the interrogator asked on the film were only interesting in an anecdotal form. The point of the film was to get him to tell his story to the viewers, they weren’t trying to get actual information from him anymore. They asked him where he came from, how he had gotten into Iraq, his itinerary, and how it came to that final day. He said he was ordered to Baghdad, and was supposed to drive a fuel tanker somewhere, meet with some other guys, and hand over the truck. He didn’t realize that in actuality, he was a suicide bomber, being set-up; his buddies blew up the tank by remote as soon as the truck stopped at the pre-arranged “meeting point.”

Here is a transcript I made of part of the tape. The ending is head shakingly mind boggling: [The interrogator's questions are in bold.]

Are you regretful?
What do you want from Iraqis?
I want them to live in peace.
The terrorist criminals that you met in Rawa, Anna, and Ramadi …what are their nationalities?
Arab nationalities, Tunisian, Moroccan, Saudi, Egyptians, Syrians…one from Macedonia. Mostly, the majority are Iraqis.
What was the objective of the terrorists from what they told you?
They said we were against Americans. We killed the Americans and the police and the Iraqi National Guard and civil defense because they collaborate with the Americans.
What do you think of Osama bin Laden? Sheik Osama bin Laden?
He’s nothing to me.
What does he represent to you?
He’s nothing, he doesn’t represent anything to me. He kills Muslims.
How about Zarqawi? What do you think about him?
Zarqawi. If they are Muslims, all should take revenge on him for what they did to me.
What do you mean? Who should take revenge?
To take revenge on them for what they did to me.
Now you suggest they are criminals, for the horrible thing they have done to you?

Newsweek’s video ends there. But you just hoped that room erupted in guffaws of laughter when they stopped the tape. You almost felt pity for the guy. He obviously wasn’t very bright, because he didn’t see the irony in what he was saying.

He didn’t say who was supposed to take revenge, but I guess it to mean everyone. So now he wants us to conveniently forget that he was part of a plot to kill many people, but he wants these same people to now help him get revenge on his buddies, because they were going to kill him too?

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.


Blogger ac blue eagle said...

Thanks. I've not read this before.

4:42 PM  

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