CAIRO, Egypt – A videotape posted Friday on the Internet claims to show how Al Qaeda in Iraq carried out Oct. 24 suicide attacks on two Baghdad hotels that killed as many as 17 Iraqi pedestrians and security guards.
The video purports to show the terror group rehearsing the attack, with a commander giving directions to bombers in a car. The video also shows the actual bombings, which the Internet posting says was filmed by Al Qaeda.
The 13-minute video is called "Badr Raid," after a famous victory by Islam's Prophet Muhammad. Its authenticity could not be verified but it appeared on an Islamic Web site known for publishing messages from militant groups.
As religious song plays in the background, the video shows a hand pointing out the car window to indicate routes to the Palestine and Sheraton hotels.
A voice identified only as a "military official" gives directions to the three bombers: "Abu Naiem leads with the Honda and takes the extreme right toward the square, the Firdous square. Here is the Palestine Hotel, which will be the target of Abu Juhayman driving a Jeep Cherokee."
"Abu Naiem will strike to the right to hit the first checkpoint, then the second barrier," the voice says.
Another part of the video shows "Abu Naiem" walking toward the Honda van he drove in the attack and "Abu Dahan" driving the cement mixer that exploded closest to the two hotels.
The narrator says the cement truck "carries the biggest amount of explosives."
In the attacks, the cement mixer failed to get close enough to inflict structural damage. A U.S. soldier fired on the vehicle from inside the hotel compound, and the vehicle rocked back and forth, apparently stuck on something, before it exploded.
At the end of the video, the narrator says the Palestine — headquarters of The Associated Press and others — was occupied "by foreign journalists and security companies" but indicates the Sheraton was the main target because it housed "assassination teams, intelligence groups" and American soldiers.
The final scene shows the attack under way with a subtitle in Arabic saying "the holy warriors are watching the execution of the raid." Men are heard shouting "Allah u-Akbar," or "God is Great," as a big cloud of smoke rises from the scene.