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Bombers ID'ed, Bomber/Wife In Custody


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Jordan confirms al Qaeda behind hotel blasts

Four bombers thought to have come from outside country

AMMAN, Jordan (CNN) -- Jordan's King Abdullah II on Saturday vowed to back a crackdown on al Qaeda after confirming that four people from the terror group carried out the Amman hotel attacks -- three suicide bombers and the wife of one of the attackers.

But in an interview with CNN, the monarch stopped short of pledging unilateral action against the terror group al Qaeda in Iraq, which is led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

"Obviously we are going to crack down and take the fight to Zarqawi, but this is part of our coalition ... against this ... threat," he said. (Watch exclusive CNN interview with the king -- 10:24)

Al Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility for Wednesday's attack, which killed 57 people, plus the three bombers.

'These people are insane'

In an Internet statement, the terrorist group said three suicide bombers and the wife of one of the attackers were involved in the bombings.

While the statement cannot be independently confirmed, King Abdullah said "initial findings" indicate that they were all Iraqis.

The king expressed particular scorn for the husband and wife team.

"To see a wedding procession and to take your wife or your spouse with you into that wedding and blow yourself up -- these people are insane," he said.

The attack on the wedding party at the Radisson Hotel resulted in the heaviest loss of life, including 38 friends and family of the bride and groom.

The Web site posting from al Qaeda in Iraq said the husband and wife were responsible for the Days Inn blast.

New strategy

King Abdullah said that while Zarqawi "has been targeting Jordan for quite awhile," Wednesday's attack -- the deadliest in Jordan's history -- showed a new strategy for the Jordanian-born terror leader.

"We have been very successful on a regular basis in being able to take his groups across because he has used Jordanians," the king said. "Now he has changed tactics.

"He is using foreigners. That means that our security forces have to change tactics, also."

He said it was possible the attackers slipped into Jordan from Iraq or Syria, accused by the United States of allowing terrorists to cross into Iraq. Security officials later said they believed the attackers crossed the Iraqi border.

King Abdullah said he has spoken to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad about securing the border to prevent terrorists "that have been creating instability here."

"He has assured me on many occasions that he will take this up and give it his utmost attention, and I hope that he will continue to do that," the king said.

When asked if Assad had followed up his words with actions, the monarch said, "Well, we still have had problems across our borders."

Investigation continues

Jordanian authorities offered some insight Saturday into the ongoing investigation of Wednesday's bombings.

The bombers came across the Iraqi border three days before the Wednesday attacks and rented a house. A forensic examination of the house is under way to determine if it is commonly used a safe house for bombers, authorities said.

Authorities retrieved nothing useful from the security cameras in the hotels or from the wedding photographer at the Radisson.

As for the suicide belts, they were made outside of Jordan. But the detonators were connected to the belts shortly before the bombings, presumably in Jordan. The belts contained a "rapid detonation explosive," security officials said, and the detonators were fashioned from hand grenade detonators.

The explosives and detonators were of Yugoslavian origin, authorities said, and are readily available in Iraq.

The investigation suggests that al-Zarqawi was frustrated that Jordan had been able to thwart 15 plots since April 2004, so al Qaeda's Iraq leader shifted his focus to soft targets to demonstrate he was "still alive and kicking" in his native Jordan, officials said.

This same rationale prompted al-Zarqawi to recruit non-Jordanians in an effort to prevent Jordan's intelligence officials from uncovering plots against soft targets. Fourteen people have been arrested in connection with the bombings, all of them non-Jordanians.

Jordan police have yet to make the bombers' identities public, but may do so Sunday.

CNN's Brent Sadler, Barbara Starr, Nic Robertson, Henry Schuster and Kristen Gillespie contributed to this report.

Copyright 2005 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Jordan catches bomber's wife, IDs attackers

Suspect failed to blow herself up; Abdullah says 'these people are insane'

The Associated Press

Updated: 9:57 a.m. ET Nov. 13, 2005

AMMAN, Jordan - Jordan said Sunday it had arrested the wife of an Amman suicide bomber, caught after she failed to detonate her explosives belt during a wedding reception in one of the hotels targeted in the attacks that killed 57 people.

The woman failed to blow herself up at the Radisson SAS hotel after apparently struggling with the cord on her explosives belt, Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher said. Her husband saw her fumbling and “pushed her out of the ballroom,” he said. “Once she was out, he blew himself up.”

On-air confession later Sunday

It was unclear where police arrested the woman. Officials said she would confess on state-run TV later Sunday.

Muasher said the three men who blew themselves up Wednesday in three U.S.-based hotels in the capital were Iraqis affiliated with al-Qaida in Iraq, the terror group led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The group has claimed responsibility for the attacks and said there were four bombers including a husband-and-wife team.

Muasher identified the woman as Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, 35, and her husband as Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, from Iraq’s volatile Anbar province in Iraq. The woman is the sister of Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, al-Zarqawi’s right-hand man in Anbar who was killed by U.S. forces in Fallujah, he said.

Al-Shamari and his wife, both dressed for a party, entered the ballroom where hundreds of guests were celebrating a wedding. They were wearing explosives belts under their clothes to “inflict the largest number of casualties,” Muasher said.

He identified the other two Iraqi bombers as Rawad Jassem Mohammed Abed, 23; and Safaa Mohammed Ali, 23.

Muasher said the four crossed into Jordan from Iraq by car on Nov. 4, five days before the bombings, and rented a furnished apartment in the middle-class Tlaa’ Ali suburb in western Amman.

The four left their apartment on Wednesday — the day of the attacks — and took taxis to their targets, the Radisson SAS, Grand Hyatt and Days Inn hotels.

The bomber used the powerful explosive RDX and ball bearings to kill as many people as possible, Muasher said.

The devastating strike signaled al-Zarqawi's group is able to launch terror attacks outside war-ravaged Iraq.

'These people are insane'

On Saturday, Jordan's King Abdullah II called al-Zarqawi a growing threat to the Middle East and put the international community on notice that it must cooperate to fight terrorists.

“Terrorism is a sick and cross-border phenomenon. Therefore, eradicating it is the whole world’s responsibility,” he told the state-run Petra news agency. “The body parts we saw in Amman we see everyday in brotherly Iraq and have also seen in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and other countries around the world.”

“I think that to walk into the lobby of a hotel to see a wedding procession and to take your wife or your spouse with you into that wedding and to blow yourself up (showed) these people are insane,” Abdullah said.

Increased security

Security forces have scrambled to step up security in hotels in Amman and across the country as police detained more people in Jordan’s largest manhunt in modern history. Police also are searching for eight vehicles — two with Iraqi license plates — believed linked to the attacks, Jordan’s deadliest ever.

Al-Zarqawi, who slipped into northern Iraq from Afghanistan before the U.S.-led invasion of 2003, has long held ambitions to emerge as a global Islamist leader and to spread his anti-American campaign to other Middle Eastern countries.

Last month, Iraqi Interior Minister Bayan Jabr said during a visit to Amman that his government had intelligence that al-Zarqawi had ordered some of his fighters to leave Iraq to set up cells in other Arab and Islamic nations.

“Al-Zarqawi has proved a very fundamental point that the Americans can’t control al-Qaida in Iraq and now they have begun exporting terrorism outside of Iraq. The Americans have failed,” said Mustafa Alani, an Iraqi senior security analyst with the Dubai-based Gulf Research Center.

Terror group tries to justify attacks

Al-Qaida in Iraq, which has released three statements since the attacks, claimed the four Iraqi attackers staked out the hotels for a month before donning explosive belts and detonating them minutes apart.

It said the bombings were carried out in response to “the conspiracy against the Sunnis,” referring to the group favored under Saddam Hussein’s regime and now believed to form the core of the Iraqi insurgency.

Al-Qaida justified the attacks by saying the hotels were “favorite places for the work of the intelligence organs, especially those of the Americans, the Israelis and some western European countries.” More than half of those killed were Jordanians.

© 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

© 2005 MSNBC.com

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9979747/

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It is really refreshing to see people come out and protest against these people. IMHO, the media needs to show more of it, because people seem to think Muslims all are terrorists, and this is definately NOT the case.

It is also good to see they are capturing some of the "bad guys & girls".

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