Monday, December 27, 2004

Video shows bombing on U.S. base near Mosul


Posted on Mon, Dec. 27, 2004
The Associated Press

BAGHDAD, Iraq — A video posted by an Iraqi insurgent group Sunday purported to show last week's suicide attack at a U.S. base near Mosul, with a fireball rising from a tent.
The footage showed a black-garbed gunman wearing an explosives belt around his body — apparently the suicide bomber, identified in the tape as Abu Omar al-Mosuli — bidding farewell to his comrades. The video gives no further details about the bomber.

The Ansar al-Sunnah Army had earlier said it would release a video of last Tuesday's attack, which killed 22 persons, including 18 U.S. service members and civilian contractors.
The bombing — the deadliest attack on a U.S. base in Iraq — has prompted a U.S. military investigation into how the bomber got onto the heavily guarded site and how security at bases can be improved. Three Iraqi National Guardsmen and a fourth “non-U.S. person” also were killed. The military has not said whether that fourth man was the bomber.

The U.S. military has said the attacker probably was wearing an Iraqi military uniform, and one general said the Iraqi security forces may have been infiltrated. The Iraqi chief of staff, Gen. Babaker B. Shawkat Zebari, said in an interview that the bomber may have bought a uniform from the market but was not a member of the Iraqi security forces.

In the first section of the video — with a time signature of Dec. 20, a day before the attack — three gunmen wearing black masks and clothes and holding automatic rifles are shown sitting in front of a black banner with the group's name on it. One of them, apparently al-Mosuli, sits on the left, wearing an explosives belt.

The gunman in the center reads a statement describing how the attack will be carried out. No mention is made of wearing a uniform. The authenticity of the video could not be independently verified.

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