Hamas issues video of British bombers

Nearly a year after their deaths, the Palestinian group Hamas has released a video of two British Muslim human bombers speaking about the pride they would take in killing Israelis.

    Hanif (L) and Sharif (R) pose with a Quran and AK47 rifles

    Released on Monday, the recording - which Hamas said was previously withheld for security reasons - marked the first time a bomber has explained in English his motivation for carrying out an attack in Israel. 

    "What can I say? The real terrorists are these Israelis. They're really sickos," said Asif Muhammad Hanif. 

    The 22-year-old Briton of Pakistani descent blew himself up at Mike's Place, a jazz club on Tel Aviv's beach promenade, on 30 April 2003, killing three people in an attack claimed by
    Hamas. 

    "Muslims are being killed every day. It is an honour to kill one of those people [Israelis]," he said in Pakistani-accented English. 

    Body found

    Hanif's partner in the attack, 27-year-old Umar Khan Sharif,
    attempted to detonate his bomb, but failed, then fled the scene.

    "What can I say? The real terrorists are these Israelis. They're really sickos"

    Asif Muhammad Hanif,
    British bomber

    His body was later washed ashore on a Tel Aviv beach. The two bombers entered Israel as tourists and mixed with foreign pro-Palestinian peace activists in the Gaza Strip. 

    "We wanted to offer our souls for the sake of Allah and to
    get revenge against the Jews and Crusaders," Sharif, also a
    Briton of Pakistani descent, said in Arabic as he clutched an
    AK-47 assault rifle. 

    Both men were dressed in military-style uniforms with the words "Qassam Brigades" painted in Arabic on their bandanas. 

    First anniversary

    A poster of Ibrahim al-Maqadma, a senior Hamas leader killed along with his two bodyguards in an Israeli assassination attempt last year, was placed in the background

    Hamas said it distributed the video - such recordings
    are usually released soon after a suicide bombing - to mark the first anniversary of his death. 

    The use of foreigners in the Tel Aviv bombing, the group
    said, was meant to send a message "to the Zionists that Qassam Brigades have many options to fight you as long as you occupy our land and commit massacres". 

    SOURCE: Reuters


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