Folks, the dirty radical Islamic group that claimed responsibility for the deadliest attack on a U.S. base in Iraq, released on Sunday dramatic footage of what appeared to be the explosion that killed 22 people.
The video sequence – which carried Monday’s date on the footage – shows three Ansar al-Sunna Army guerrillas clad in black, wearing face masks and carrying AK-47 automatic rifles, describing the plan to blow up the mess hall at Marez base on the outskirts of the city of Mosul in northern Iraq.
One of the men read a statement saying a member of the group – identified as Abu Omar al-Musali – would carry the attack by breaking into the base through the perimeter fence.
“He will take advantage of the change of guards. We have been observing their schedule for a long time. This lion will then proceed to his target and we will take advantage of lunch time. He will storm the dining room where the crusaders and their (Iraqi) allies are gathered,” said the unidentified man.
The man reading the statement indicated with a rifle bayonet to a hand drawn map of the base.
“Let Bush, Blair and (interim Iraqi leader Ayad) Allawi know that we are coming and that we will chase them all away, God willing,” the masked man said before embracing the suicide bomber who was wearing an explosives-laden vest.
A later outdoor video image – shot on Tuesday, when the attack occurred – shows a fireball rising from the distance with the accompanying sound of the explosion. A final image – shot from a vehicle driving past the base – shows the torn white tent that served as the base mess hall.
The dead included 18 Americans – 13 service members and five U.S. civilian contractors – and three Iraqi guardsmen and one unidentified “non-U.S. person,” according to figures released by the U.S. military.
Of the 69 wounded, 44 were U.S. military personnel and the remainder American civilians, Iraqi troops, and other foreigners.
The authenticity of the video, which appeared on an Islamic Web site on the Internet that in the past carried footage of attacks on U.S. troops, could not be independently verified.