The diary of a Saudi man, currently living in the United Kingdom, where the Religious Police no longer trouble him for the moment.

In Memory of the lives of 15 Makkah Schoolgirls, lost when their school burnt down on Monday, 11th March, 2002. The Religious Police would not allow them to leave the building, nor allow the Firemen to enter.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

My intentions were good 

You remember Ahmad, our young failed suicide bomber , the one who was still waiting for his brain cells to be delivered? Well, the good news is that he's now appeared on Saudi TV, to tell us his heroic tale. (Thanks to "Ash" for this news and URL). If you go to the MEMRI site, you can see the full interview, with subtitles, and a transcript.

The interview is obviously intended to deter future wannabe Jihadis, by showing them the terrible fate that can befall them. After all, they might get a bit singed round the extremities, but they'll end up in this extremely nice hospital room, with their own telephone, and a big bunch of flowers. In fact I would hazard a guess that it's one of the really nice military hospitals, it's certainly better than my memories of the best civilian hospital in Riyadh, the Kingdom hospital. And the interviewer is very nice as well, doesn't ask him any nasty questions, even when Ahmad trots out what you can see on the screen, "my intentions were good".

I particularly enjoyed this exchange:

Host: Up to this moment, you didn't know this was a bombing operation?
Ahmad: No.
Host: You thought it was an operation just involving driving a tanker?
Ahmad: My intentions were good: to carry out what I was asked to do. I didn't think about anything like that. Then I received the tanker, at about nine in the evening. There were two people in the tanker with me, but they got off.
Host: They got off the tanker?
Ahmad: They got off the tanker, got into a car, and drove off. I was left by myself, and I was supposed to transport the tanker from that place to the place I was asked.
Host: You didn't think it was suspicious?

Those nasty Iraqis, leaving poor little Ahmad all by himself, in a tanker full of gas but no gas station to deliver it to, taking it to nowhere in particular for no obvious purpose, then blowing him up. How cruel and cynical. Still, it all turned out right in the end.

Ahmad: A Saudi team arrived to interrogate the Saudis there. They watched over us, Allah be praised. I'm grateful to them. Allah made them come. They interrogated us, and said to us: "We are watching over you, you are our sons. We don't want you to be detained here. We will try to get you back." Allah be praised, this came true. A month after they arrived, I was extradited from Baghdad to Riyadh. I was flown in a private plane, Allah be praised. This was all thanks to the efforts of our rulers.

Allah be praised indeed. Ahmad is one of "our sons", we'll get him back home. Not by Saudi Airlines, though, this guy deserves his own private jet. And then he gets a very nice hospital room, with his own telephone, a huge bunch of flowers, and his own show on TV.

As I said yesterday, the US Government tells us that "Saudi Arabia is Washington's closest Arab ally in the war on terrorism." And you can see why. We really make our home-grown terrorists regret what they did. Not only that, but if any other young man thinks of following them, it may be even worse next time - it may just be an interview for Radio Riyadh.

(Incidentally, if you get almost to the end of the recording, at 11.45 minutes, you can hear the interviewer's phone go off. And the ringtone is the tune....
....we wish you a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!)

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