Suicide bomber pledges more attacks to come in video message

Wednesday, May 22, 2002

ASKAR REFUGEE CAMP, West Bank -- A baby-faced Osama Boshkar held an M-16 assault rifle in a home video released by his family on Tuesday, and he promised that he would not be the last Palestinian suicide bomber.

The 18-year-old carpenter slipped into Israel on Sunday, traveled to the nearby coastal city of Netanya, and, wearing an olive-colored Israeli army uniform, disappeared into a narrow lane of vegetable stands at an outdoor market. He set off explosives that ripped him apart, killed three Israelis and wounded dozens.

Staring into the camera lens, the young Boshkar said, "I will not be the last (bombing). There will be others."

Less than 24 hours after he exploded, another Palestinian blew himself up at a busy crossroads in northern Israel, killing only himself. Later Monday, Israeli troops raided the West Bank town of Tulkarem and arrested a woman they believed was planning to carry out a suicide bombing.

On Tuesday, soldiers blockaded the West Bank village of Beit Furik because they suspected a Palestinian militant there was trying to reach Israel to carry out a suicide bombing.

At the Boshkar home, Osama's father Adel sat on an old sofa, his eyes brimming with tears. The elder Boshkar said the bombing took him by surprise. He seemed proud as he greeted neighbors and family, and he said he hoped more young people would commit such attacks. A day before, in a private setting, he had told a visitor he opposed bombings.

Osama, like many attackers, knew Israel well and used to work there in a carpentry workshop, said his father. His sponsor in carrying out the attack was a radical PLO faction, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

In the home video -- militants often leave them behind along with posters to be handed out after their death -- Osama stood in front of a poster of Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara.

"I donate my soul to Palestine and to revenge for the blood of the people," he said. "I am committing my operation to ensure the continuation of resistance and to respond to all the bloody Israeli policies."

He also said the attack was revenge for the detention of Ahmed Saadat, a PFLP leader. Saadat has been held in a Palestinian jail in the West Bank town of Jericho under British and American supervision since May 1.

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