Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Qatar homicide bomber was an Egyptian web designer who spent his time in “Islamic conversational forums” on the internet

Reports began to appear on the Arabic language boards over the past few days indicating that one of “their own” had been “martyred” in the attack Saturday on the British School and theatre in Doha, Qatar.

The most comprehensive article we’ve seen to date about the perpetrator of Saturday’s suicide bombing appeared on one of the forums earlier today, along with a photograph of the bomber.

The report was quite unnerving in that it appears that the perpetrator blended well into the community, giving no prior indications of any adherence to extremist ideologies.

In fact, this bomber was married, with a Palestinian wife, and three children under 9 years of age.

Poverty doesn’t appear to be a driving factor either. The attacker had been employed in Qatar for 15 years, the last 5 with the Qatar Petroleum Company, and was a computer engineer who designed websites. According to the report, his monthly salary was approximately 20,000 Qatari Rials, which is just under US$5500 per month.

A full translation follows:

The martyr designs Islamic websites on the Internet

The martyr designs Islamic websites on the Internet, is married to a Palestinian, and earned a salary of 20 thousand rials monthly.

The Organization of Soldiers of Al Sham yesterday claimed responsibility for the attack in Doha, as well as for the explosions in Taba last October. They warned that the greatest surprise was still to come, and called for its cells to attack oil facilities, military bases, and churches.

The Qatari Interior Ministry yesterday officially confirmed that the attack in Doha was a martyrdom operation and the person committing the crime died, along with a British citizen.

Well-informed sources in Qatar said that Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali was the suicide attacker who blew up the car bomb near the British School in the capital, Doha, which resulted in the killing of a British citizen and the injury of 12 people Saturday night.

They confirmed he was married to a Palestinian woman who was born in Qatar. They have three sons, the oldest being 9 years old. He worked as a computer engineer in the Qatar Petroleum Company for 5 years, and his monthly salary was about 20,000 Qatari rials.

Knowledgeable sources stated that Omar Abdullah Ali was not bearded and not known to be connected to the fundamentalist movement. He was not digilent about attending the Friday Sermons of Sheikh Al Qaradawi in the Omar Bin Al-Khattab mosque in Doha as do most of the men in the local Egyptian community.

An Egyptian computer engineer who was a co-worker of Omar Ahmed Abdullah Ali in the Qatari Petroleum Company stated that he was an ordinary person, who wore jeans, and exercised in sports, and overcame a natural inclination to be withdrawn from his colleagues after working hours.

Sources within the Egyptian community in Doha were surprised at the mention of Omar Abdullah Ali’s name as the perpetrator of the martyrdom attack on the British School, and questioned his connections with others in the Middle East. But they said that they do not see anything that points to his association with extremist fundamentalist beliefs.

Other sources who knew him and if his experience pointed out that the Egyptian computer engineer spent a large amount of time participating in conversational forums on Islamic websites using fictitious names,

Those sources pointed to a blackout in the Qatari media about the reasons that would cause an Egyptian engineer who had spent 15 years safely in Qatar to booby trap his car and explode himself in the British School, after listening to the words last Thursday of Saleh al Awfi, the Al Qaeda leader in Saudi Arabia who led citizens's targeting of the Westerners in the Gulf countries.

Doha witnessed on 13 February last year an attack that targeted the former Chechen president Salim Khan Yandarbiyev, and after a few days realized the masterminds were agents in Russian Intelligence Services.



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