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Al-Qaeda in Iraq says Amman attacks carried out by four Iraqis including husband and wife - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) – A Web statement Friday in the name of al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed the deadly hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan, were carried out by four Iraqis, including a husband and wife &#34who chose to accompany her husband to his martyrdom.&#34

&#34All of these are Iraqis from the land between the two rivers,&#34 the statement said, alluding to Iraq”s ancient name, Mesopotamia. &#34They vowed to die and they chose the shortest route to receive the blessings of God.&#34

The statement could not be authenticated, but it appeared on a site which has included past al-Qaeda statements and was signed in the name of the group”s spokesman, Abu Maysara al-Iraqi.

It also included a threat to Israel, Jordan”s western neighbor. The statement noted that Jordan, which it described as Israel”s &#34buffer zone,&#34 was now &#34within range&#34 and &#34it will not be long before raids by the mujahedeen come&#34 to the Jewish statement itself.

At least 60 people were killed Wednesday in the blasts at three hotels in the Jordanian capital. On Friday, Jordanian police said they had rounded up 120 people, mainly Iraqis and Jordanians, in a nationwide hunt for those behind the bombings.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq, led by Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had claimed responsibility for the bombings. The latest statement said the attackers wore explosive belts &#34in order to achieve greater accuracy in hitting the target.&#34

The statement said the plot was carried out in response to &#34the conspiracy against the Sunnis whose blood and honor were shed by the Crusaders and the Shiites&#34 and with the connivance of the Arab League, which is trying to arrange an Iraqi reconciliation conference.

It also referred to &#34Revenge for the Sunnis in Qaim,&#34 a city along the Iraqi-Syrian border. U.S. and Iraqi forces are conducting an offensive in that area against al-Qaeda-led forces.

It said the &#34martyrdom lovers and heaven yearners&#34 selected the targets after &#34a month of surveillance and information gathering of the targets.&#34

The statement identified the attackers by pseudonyms Abu Khabib, Abu Maath, Abu Omeir and the wife of Abu Omeir. The husband and wife attacked the Day”s Inn, the statement said.

&#34Those who executed the plan were able to enter the sites after passing through all the security measures of which the descendants of the traitor”s dynasty were boasting,&#34 the statement said, referring to the Hashemite dynasty of King Abdullah II that rules Jordan.

The statement identified Abu Khabib as the leader of the operation and the one who struck in the bar of the SAS Radisson Hotel.

&#34He was followed by Abu Maath who chose the Hyatt Amman,&#34 the statement said.

Jordanian officials said they had found the remains of three males believed to have carried out the attacks but could not confirm that a woman was involved. They said it was possible a woman attacker had been at the Radisson and mistaken for a member of a wedding party that was hit by the blast.

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat

Asharq Al-Awsat is the world’s premier pan-Arab daily newspaper, printed simultaneously each day on four continents in 14 cities. Launched in London in 1978, Asharq Al-Awsat has established itself as the decisive publication on pan-Arab and international affairs, offering its readers in-depth analysis and exclusive editorials, as well as the most comprehensive coverage of the entire Arab world.

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