AFP News reported that police were able to remove the teen’s suicide vest, “which he failed to detonate in a crowd of hundreds in Dera Ghazi Khan just minutes after two other bombers blew themselves up.”
Speaking from his hospital bed, Fidayee said that hundreds of other bombers were being trained in North Waziristan, which is a hotbed of al Qaeda and Taliban activity in Pakistan’s tribal belt where U.S. military leaders have been pushing Pakistan to flush out terrorist strongholds.
Fidayee said he had been recruited one day as he was coming home from school, when a Taliban leader named Qari Zafar met him and persuaded him he would go to heaven if he carried out a suicide attack. “He told me that all this education is useless and said ‘become a fighter and you will go to heaven,’” Fidayee recalled. “ ‘The moment you press the button of your suicide jacket, you will immediately go to heaven,’ ” Fidayee said Zafar told him.
“I was trained for two months and saw many boys being trained there,” the youth said as he asked the Pakistani people to forgive him. “God has given me a new life but I am sad that we killed innocent people, innocent children,” he said.
Fidayee said that the man who gave the three youth their suicide jackets told him to wait until 30 minutes after the other two had blown themselves up before detonating his own explosives in order to cause more death and mayhem among those responding in a rescue effort. AFP quoted the teen as counseling other young terrorists in training, “Please refuse to carry suicide attacks. Such attacks are forbidden in Islam.”
Reporters covering the interview said it was not clear whether Fidayee was speaking of his own volition or had been prompted by Pakistani officials.
According to intelligence sources in Pakistan, Qari Zafar, the man Fidayee said recruited him, is one of the most sought after al Qaeda terrorists in the country and the suspected architect of the September 20, 2008 Marriot Hotel suicide attack in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, that killed 54 people and injured over 260.
In addition to Zafar, one of the key players in suicide attacks throughout Pakistan was Qari Hussain, who before he was killed in a U.S. drone strike was considered a top specialist in indoctrinating Islamic teenagers for suicide bombings. A month before his death on September 3, 2010, Qari Hussain said that suicide attacks against the United States and Europe would begin “very soon.”
The AFP report noted that more than 4,200 people have been killed across Pakistan “in attacks blamed on homegrown Taliban and other Islamist extremist networks since government troops stormed a radical mosque in Islamabad in July 2007.”
Photo: People visit the site of suicide bombing at a shrine near Dera Ghazi Khan in Pakistan on April 3, 2011: AP Images