Syria says attack on US embassy planned in Saudi Arabia
An official source at the Syrian Interior Ministry announced Thursday that the anti-terrorism authorities ended investigations into the attack on the US Embassy in Damascus on Sep.12, 2006. The official source said that the terrorist group which attempted to storm into the US chancery comprised of four Syrians from Damascus-countryside, al-Tal neighborhood who are Abdul-Rauf Saleh 31, Bilal Saleh 25, Samir Abdul-Ghani Saleh 25, and Ramzi Atef Shalabi 25.
"Investigations showed that the terrorist group has no organizing relations with extremist organizations abroad," the source noted, adding that Abdul-Rauf Saleh and his brother Bilal and their relative Samir were attending religious lessons in Saudi Arabia.
"Their extremism has been increased by the political conditions which affect the region and the US unlimited support to Israel against the Arabs and Muslims, particularly in Palestine and south Lebanon, the matter that facilitated to convince the others to be invloved in extremist acts ," the source added, according to SANA.
Investigations showed that the killed Abdul-Rauf Saleh was the leader of the group who funded and plotted the terrorist operation. He started preparing for it during his presence in Saudi Arabia with his brother Bilal and relative Samir. "They agreed to execute an attack on the US Embassy in Damascus and planned to bomb the door of the chancery and storm into its offices and kill whoever they find in," the source said.
"After executing the operation, the terrorist group intended to distribute a recording tape to broadcast it on TV stations and mass media under the name of Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi brigade," the official source added.
According to the source, though the group has no relations to al-Qaeda network, it mentioned the name of Zarqawi to link its act to terrorism "resulted from the US anti-Arab and Muslim policy."
"Investigations with those who were involved with the group showed that the leader of the group Abdul-Rauf began preparing for the act since 2004 by sending money to his relatives in Syria, Taher Saleh and his brother Anas, who have been arrested after the act," the source said.
It added that Abdul-Rauf told his relatives to buy weapons and bombs from Lebanon to transport them to Damascus through Lebanese smugglers, and when they completed the transportation of the weapons and explosives in the Summer of 2006, Abdul-Rauf came to Syria in July 20, and made the bombs.
The source added that the leader of the group ordered Ramzi Shalabi to rent a Mitsubishi car to use it in the act after he has brought a booby-trapped pick-up to explode it in front of the US Embassy door.
"The terrorists came on Sep.12 to al-Malki Street, they stopped their Mitsubishi car near the main gate of the chancery where three of them got down with their weapons and hand grenades, trying to storm the Embassy," the source said.
"Anti-terrorism forces who were appointed to guard the Chancery confronted the three men and killed them at the time when the booby-trapped pick-up Chana stooped in front of the entrance of the Embassy and Bilal Saleh attempted to explode it, but anti-terror authorities fired on him, to be admitted in a hospital where he died," the source noted.
It concluded that one anti-terror policeman, Nawfal Khalil, was killed and four others were wounded in addition to 10 Arab and Syrian citizens who were passing by the Embassy, then one of the Syrian citizens, Ahmad Breikhan, dead.
"All the arrested who had relations to the terrorist act will be brought to justice to take the necessary judicial procedures against them," the source said.