CNN anchor Miles O’Brien spoke Monday with CNN security analyst Ken Robinson about Saijida Mubarak Atrous al-Rishawi, who described in a televised confession how the attacks were planned.
O’BRIEN: Let’s talk about … what’s going on right now, the interrogation of this woman. What do we know about Jordanian tactics, and what do you suppose she might know?
ROBINSON: Well, Jordanian tactics are not the same as those in the West, and they’re pretty direct. But it appears that this woman is responding. …
O’BRIEN: So when you say direct, is she being tortured?
ROBINSON: I don’t think so.
ROBINSON: I think she’s responding to the direct approach … which is, did you do it? Yes, I did, and here’s how I did it. She appears to be reconciled with her fate, and she’s simply answering exactly what she did and what her role in it [was] as she knew it.
O’BRIEN: Why do you think the Jordanians were so quick to put her videotaped confession on television?
ROBINSON: I think it was very important for the king to be able to demonstrate that his security services were involved in solving this problem. It also demonstrates so that they can hear her accent and know that she was from Iraq and not a Jordanian…
O’BRIEN: … this might very well create a whole new realm of recruits, Jordanian recruits, to engage in that kind of — that kind of act in Jordan as well as fueling the terror campaign in Iraq.
ROBINSON: Well, I think that the U.S. presence is the largest magnet toward fueling recruitment … within the Iraqi area. It has created a magnet that is drawing these jihadists from all over. I think that because they targeted a wedding, which is the basic element of their structure of culture of union of two tribes, unions of people, the most heinous type of a target they could have selected, I think it’s going to have just the opposite effect. It will be very divisive and cause the Jordanians to become very nationalistic…
O’BRIEN: A quick final thought. Did the bomb really not detonate, or did she get cold feet? What do you think?
ROBINSON: You know, there’s really no way to tell, Miles, except for the forensics of the people that actually hold the trigger. I think it could go either way. [full transcript]
another interesting analysis…
WHITFIELD: In her statement she says that her husband organized everything, and she doesn’t know anything. Is that a believable statement? Might she be recruited or coerced or forced to be a part of this mission, but really not be open to all the details of how it is being executed, just given instructions on how to detonate her belt?
DAVIS: It is possible that she would simply have been told what to do. But she would have had to prove her inner strength, her commitment before then. … I tend to think she was part of an organization, and had many times been asked to carry out or to help in operations. And this time, she was expected to carry out the ultimate operation, a suicide bombing. [full transcript]