Wichita State University student Abduljaleel Alarbash, 22, is now being hailed a hero across international media networks as he was able to intercept a suicide bomber trying to enter a crowded mosque in the port city of Dammam. Alarbash is a hero to those whose lives he was able to save after the bomb exploded in the parking lot of the mosque.
Alarbash, who died with three others when the bomb exploded in the parking lot, had returned to Saudi Arabia to get married. He planned to return to Wichita after the wedding, supposedly just in time for classes this fall.
Suicide bomber stopped by young men
Anywhere else reports were saying that young men chased a suicide bomber disguised as a woman who tried to enter the mosque during a crowded Friday night of prayer. The terrorist was dressed in black clothes usually worn by women in Saudi Arabia.
“They (the young men) chased the suicide bomber when he tried to enter the women’s section of the mosque,” Mohammed Idris, an eye witness, told The Associated Press.
The ISIS has since claimed responsibility for the attack.
Kansas student saved lives from an ISIS suicide bomber
The young men hailed by the reports were Alarbash and a cousin who have both volunteered as security guards at the mosque, Yagoob Alsarouj told The Wichita Eagle. Alarbash’s father said his son became suspicious when a woman dressed in their black all-encompassing garments was making an entrance to the mosque. Women had been told not to attend Friday prayers following bomb attacks that happened in the previous week.
Acting on his instinct, Alarbash confronted the bomber at the parking lot. The bomber then decided to set off the bomb to avoid arrest.
Kansas student hailed as a hero
Preethika Kumar, an associate professor of electrical engineering at WSU, said Alarbash went home in Saudi Arabia to get married. Alarbash attended her class in spring. She said he was excited about getting married and for numerous times had showed her photos of his fiancé.
In a separate statement published by the university, Kumar said she was not surprised that Alarbash did the heroic act.
“In my faith, when someone is able to love God so deeply to the extent of putting their neighbor before themselves always, even to the point of laying their life down, he or she is a saint,” she said in her statement.
“I can say he was more of a friend than a student. He had such a wonderful demeanor. I will always remember him as sitting in the front row in class, right in the middle, smiling always, no matter how hard the topic we were covering was. He was one of the friendliest, kindest, caring and most respectful people I have ever known, who was always willing to assist if he could,” Kumar told of Alarbash.
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