Suicide bomber prank causes uproar in Saudi Arabia

Suicide bomber prank causes uproar in Saudi Arabia
2 min read
08 Mar, 2016
A taxi driver posing as a suicide bomber with an explosive belt picks up unsuspecting passengers. What could go wrong?
Many social media users were outraged by the prank [AFP]

A Saudi production company has caused uproar with a hidden camera prank featuring a taxi driver who convinces passengers that he is a suicide bomber about to carry out an attack.

In a three-minute video uploaded to YouTube, an actor with a fake beard in a taxi picks up passengers and begins to talk to them about the merits of jihad and his plans to carry out a suicide attack against a compound.

The serious sounding actor asks his first passenger, a teenager, "Have you ever thought about jihad?" to which the boy responds: "What's this nonsense you're talking about?"

The driver then reveals what looks like an explosive belt under his jacket and tells the boy that he plans on blowing up a compound and making the boy a "martyr" along with him.

The driver only reveals that the terrifying episode was a prank after the boy bursts into tears while pleading to be let out of the car.

The prank's second victim, another teenager, doesn't wait to find out whether or not the driver's suicide belt is real, but throws himself out of the car and takes what looks like a very painful fall.

In the final sequence of the prank, two adult passengers manage to restrain the driver and force him to stop the car.

The victims of the prank were not amused by the heart stopping tactics employed, and neither were Saudi social media users who called for the producers to be punished for pulling such a stunt, especially with minors.

Saudi media also reported that YouTube has removed the prank video after a request by the country's media regulators.

Saudi Arabia has suffered a series of terrorist attacks in recent years.

In 2003, around 39 people were killed when al-Qaeda militants detonated three bombs in expatriate compounds in Saudi Arabia.

The country's Shia community have been a particular target of the Islamic State group this year, with a number of mosques hit by suicide bombers - leaving dozens dead.

Former al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and IS chief Baghdadi have also taken aim at Saudi Arabia's royal family in audio messages.

Hundreds of Saudis have joined the ranks of IS and al-Qaeda, while other citizens have been accused of financing the group.