The suicide bomber who killed 22 people when he blew himself up in a US army mess tent the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, was a Saudi medical student, an Arab newspaper reported today.Saudi-owned Asharq Al-Awsat identified him as 20-year-old Ahmed Said Ahmed al-Ghamdi, citing friends of the man’s father.
The friends said members of an Iraqi resistance group contacted al-Ghamdi’s father to tell him his son was the suicide bomber who carried out the December 21 attack, the deadliest on an American installation in Iraq.
US officials have said their investigation indicates the bomber was dressed in an Iraqi military uniform – but was not an Iraqi soldier – when he slipped into a mess tent packed with soldiers eating lunch in northern Iraq.
The father refused to discuss the suicide bombing, but told the newspaper his son had gone to Iraq to fight the Americans and had died there.
The paper did not name the Iraqi resistance group. But Ansar al-Sunnah, a radical Islamic Iraqi group that has been active in northern Iraq, claimed responsibility for the mess tent attack.
Malkin notes that three of the 9/11 hijackers came from the same al-Ghamdi family. This must have been a terrific family to grow up in. If three brothers/sisters/nephews/etc. grew up in the U.S. and became serial killers, responsible for the death of thousands, there would be a multitude of newspaper stories analyzing every detail of their formative years, family interactions, emotional development; relationships; as well as the psychological underpinnings of their motivations and the social, environmental and political factors which contributed to their barbaric acts. Scores of family and friends who knew them would be interviewed to try to get at the reasons why they committed such atrocities.
I wait with baited breath such discussions in the Saudi press. But without the benefit of such detailed analyses, I might reasonably guess that the al-Ghamdis could be considered an example of Wahhabist Muslim slogan: "the family that prays together slays together"?