The camera shows the suicide bomber warmly embracing a group of masked men. There are kisses on the cheek and a shot of him in the cab of a truck — his fingers resting on what appears to be a detonator.
He reads a statement, telling his wife and his companions: "I sacrifice myself for my religion."
Then, as a camera films cars passing quietly across a bridge, an explosion sends up a massive ball of fire.
The scene, purportedly of the bomber's mission, is one of several on a video given to Time Magazine correspondent Michael Ware by men reportedly in close contact with the network of Jordanian-born terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (search).
The video chronicles what are supposedly the final days and hours of the militants as they ready themselves for suicide missions. Along with scenes of them praying and relaxing, there are individual shots of the men reciting their wills and explaining why they are carrying out the attacks.
"How can I live peacefully at a time when the holy and sacred places have been violated, and the country is usurped and the infidels are encroaching on our country and humiliating our religion, which is ... our pride," the bomber says, reading a statement as armed, masked men stand behind him at night.
"How can I live, and others live, while our sisters are prisoners of the Americans in Iraq?"
The tape does not say where the bridge attack occurred, but it also appears to show the June 14 attack on General Electric (search) contractors in Baghdad and the May 17 homicide car bombing of a president of the now-defunct Governing Council.
Independent confirmation of the claims was not possible, but al-Zarqawi's Tawhid (search) and Jihad group claimed responsibility for both those bombings, as well as the beheading of American businessman Nicholas Berg (search) and South Korean translator Kim Sun-il (search).
Ware, who met with the militants over the course of a year, says the video underscores the growing sophistication of the group and casts light on how it is working to recruit new followers in an increasingly competitive market for funding for such activities.
It also sends a message to coalition partners and foreigners working in Iraq that "we can get you. You cannot stop us," he said in an interview with Associated Press Television News.
The video "is a very, very sophisticated part of Zarqawi's information campaign, stamping him as the star of the new global jihad inspired by Usama bin Laden," Ware said.
In a prelude to the filming of the June 14 attack on the electricity sector contractors, which left 13 dead and 62 injured, the attacker explains that "the doors of hell have been opened to receive the infidels."
In another shot, the car in which the cameraman is reportedly filming the May 17 homicide car bombing of Governing Council head Izzadine Saleem (search), is so close that the windshield is cracked from the force of the explosion. Saleem and eight others, including the bomber, were killed in the attack outside the Green Zone.
Both videos show routine street scenes interrupted by huge blasts.
The video also shows purported attackers resting and joking in a safe house before carrying out a suicide boat attack in April that targeted offshore oil terminals near the southern city of Basra.
Last month, the U.S. military launched four airstrikes in Fallujah on what it said were safehouses used by al-Zarqawi, killing dozens of people.