Jordan Identifies Iraqi Suspects in Hotel Bombings Jordanian authorities announce the identities of three Iraqi men accused of carrying out simultaneous suicide bomb attacks against three luxury hotels in Amman on Nov. 9. Jordanian officials also captured a fourth suspect, an Iraqi woman allegedly tried but failed to carry out one of the suicide bombings.
NPR logo

Jordan Identifies Iraqi Suspects in Hotel Bombings

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5011134/5011135" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Jordan Identifies Iraqi Suspects in Hotel Bombings

Jordan Identifies Iraqi Suspects in Hotel Bombings

Jordan Identifies Iraqi Suspects in Hotel Bombings

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5011134/5011135" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Jordanian authorities announce the identities of three Iraqi men accused of carrying out simultaneous suicide bomb attacks against three luxury hotels in Amman on Nov. 9. Jordanian officials also captured a fourth suspect, an Iraqi woman allegedly tried but failed to carry out one of the suicide bombings.

Sunday, Sajida al-Rishawi confessed on Jordanian TV to trying to blow herself up at a hotel in Amman. Reuters hide caption

toggle caption
Reuters

JENNIFER LUDDEN, host:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Jennifer Ludden. Debbie Elliott is away.

Today, Jordanian authorities announced the identities of three men accused of carrying out the simultaneous suicide bombings against luxury hotels in Amman last week. Fifty-seven people were killed in those attacks. Jordanian officials say all three of the alleged bombers were Iraqis, and they say they captured a fourth would-be bomber, an Iraqi woman. NPR's Ivan Watson has more from Amman.

IVAN WATSON reporting:

Soon after the worst terrorist attack in Jordan's history, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's group al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed responsibility in an Internet posting. The statement said three men and a woman carried out the operation. Jordanian authorities denied that a woman was involved until this afternoon, when King Abdullah made the following statement.

King ABDULLAH (Jordan): Our intelligence services have been working very hard to track down the perpetrators of this crime and have just arrested what seems to be the fourth suicide bomber. The woman that was indicated by the Zarqawi people to blow herself up actually did not. It seems that her device malfunctioned.

WATSON: Several hours later, Jordanian state television broadcast a brief, heavily edited video confession by a woman who called herself Sajida Atrous.

(Soundbite of Jordanian broadcast)

Ms. SAJIDA ATROUS: (Foreign language spoken)

WATSON: She said she was an Iraqi born in 1970 from the turbulent town of Ramadi. Dressed in a heavy black overcoat and white head scarf that covered everything but her face, she posed for the camera wearing a thick explosive belt bristling with wires and then manipulated what appeared to be a detonating device.

(Soundbite of Jordanian broadcast)

Ms. ATROUS: (Foreign language spoken)

Unidentified Man: (Foreign language spoken)

Ms. ATROUS: (Foreign language spoken)

WATSON: Questioned at times by a man who was not pictured, Atrous said she and her husband traveled from Baghdad to Amman four days before the attacks. She said they used fake passports. Here they put on explosive suicide belts and went to the Radisson Hotel on the night of November 9th, where Atrous said they walked into opposite corners of a ballroom where a wedding was taking place. Atrous says her husband detonated his bomb, but hers failed to explode and she fled the room with other panicked survivors. More than 30 people were killed in that single blast.

In a press conference, Deputy Prime Minister Marwan Muasher showed close-up photos of the unexploded belt bomb.

Mr. MARWAN MUASHER (Deputy Prime Minister, Jordan): These are pictures of the belt that she wore. As you can see, an enlarged picture here also shows the metal balls that were also attached to the belt so that they can inflict the largest number of casualties.

WATSON: Muasher named Atrous' husband and two 23-year-old Iraqi men, also from Al Anbar province, as the other three suicide bombers. And he said Sajida Atrous was the sister of a former top lieutenant in al-Qaeda in Iraq who is now deceased. Ivan Watson, NPR News, Amman.

Copyright © 2005 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.