On 11/09/2005 evening, at about 21:00, three suicide bombers blew themselves up, almost simultaneously, in the lobbies of three luxury hotels in Jordan’s capital Amman. The hotels were: the Grand Hayatt hotel, the Radisson hotel and the Days Inn hotel. 57 people were killed in the triple suicide attack, 34 of them Palestinians. 95 others were wounded. Al Qaeda in Iraq took responsibility on the attack through several websites and named the bombers as Abu Khabib, Abu Muaz, Abu Omaira and his wife Um Omaira.
In Grand Hayatt Hotel 4 senior Palestinian officials were killed in the blast while in Radisson Hotel the suicide bomber stroked a wedding ceremony of a Palestinian family from Silat-a-Dahar, a small village near Jenin in the Palestinian West Bank. 30 Palestinians, most of them Jordanian citizens, from the same clan were killed in the attack. Among the deceased was also Syrian-born Hollywood producer Moustafa Akkad and his daughter Rima Akkad, 33.
On 11/13/2005 the Jordanian PM Marwan Muasher announced, in a press conference, that Jordanian police managed to identify the 3 suicide bombers as the Iraqi citizens Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, (Abu Omaira), from Anbar province, Rawad Jassem Mohammed Abed, 23, and Safaa Mohammed Ali, 23 from Fallujah in Iraq.
The wife of Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, Sajida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi (Um Omaira), 35, was supposed to blow herself up with her husband in Radisson Hotel. The couple arrived to Radisson dressed suitably and pretended to be invited guests in the Palestinian wedding ceremony that took place in the Hotel. She failed to detonate her explosive belt after apparently struggling with its primer cord. Noticing his wife struggling, her husband, Ali Hussein Ali al-Shamari, asked her to leave the hotel and then blew himself up.
Sajida al-Rishawi is the sister of Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, a lieutenant of Abu Musab al Zarqawi , who was killed by US forces in Falluja (see – Falluja Battle). She was captured a day later when she tried to flee Jordan back to Iraq.
All the four Islamic terrorists came to Jordan on 11/05/2005 together by car, using fake passports, and rented an apartment in a suburb of Amman a couple of days later. The explosive belts, packed with powerful RDX explosives and nails, were sent from Iraq, separately, by a taxi cab a day before the attack. In the evening of the bombings they took local cab to their targets. The hotels were selected as targets because they host a large number of foreign Westerners although, eventually, almost all the casulties were innocent Muslims
According to USA army spokesman in Iraq one of the suicide bombers – a man under the name Safaa Mohammed Ali was, indeed, arrested in Fallujah in 11/2004 but was released after two weeks due to lack of evidence.
Jordanian Intelligence had a prior warning about the attack but failed to focus on the right suspects.
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