BAGHDAD -- Wisam Younis's sole ambition in life, he said yesterday, is to kill Americans. So he claimed surprise when he discovered his car bomb had killed eight Iraqis and wounded more than 80 outside a Baghdad restaurant.
Younis and two brothers, Badr and Yassin Shakir, are charged with murder and face the death penalty in the May 23 attack.
''We did not know that the attack would target innocent people and we were deceived. We were [deluded] by enthusiastic ideas and money," said Younis, barefooted and with bruised and swollen hands. An insurgent leader promised him $1,500 for the bombing, he said.
''Our doctrine is to wage jihad against the Americans," said Younis, wearing a stained beige traditional robe, to a reporter as police stood over him. ''Driving out the occupiers is the demand of all Iraqis. . . . I wish to die in the battlefield instead of prison."
Younis and the brothers, both in their mid 30s, were arrested late Wednesday by Hussein Brigade forces. Police allege Badr Shakir was responsible for detonating the remote-controlled bomb while his brother was the link between his cell and the main planner, a man known as Abu Karam.
Baghdad police paraded out the three Sunni Arabs to help put a face to a deadly insurgency, and to show that Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari means business with a plan to encircle Baghdad with tens of thousands of security forces.
The display also was meant to reassure a public whose discontent with the Shi'ite-led government has been high.
Car bombings and other violence have led to more than 650 deaths since Jaafari's government was announced April 28, according to an Associated Press count.
A Marine was killed while taking part in a counterinsurgency operation in Haditha, 140 miles northwest of Baghdad, the military said yesterday. He died Thursday, making him the second Marine killed in Operation New Market, which involves more than 1,000 Marines, sailors, and soldiers.
Two US soldiers were killed Thursday when insurgents shot down their helicopter, the military said. US officials were investigating the crash of the OH-58 Kiowa helicopter near Buhriz, a former Saddam Hussein stronghold north of Baghdad.
In other violence yesterday, a police officer and a bystander were killed in an ambush in the northern city of Mosul, police Brigadier Saeed Ahmed said.
A suicide car bomb attack on a police patrol killed two civilians yesterday in Tikrit, 80 miles north of Baghdad, police Lieutenant Khudhair Ali said. Six policemen were among 18 people wounded, Dr. Mohammed al-Zubaidi said.
In Baghdad, a factory guard was killed when four mortar rounds landed on the building, said police Lieutenant Sadoun Abdul Ridha. Four other people were wounded.
Iraqi authorities are preparing for what a US general described as ''a very large operation" involving more than 40,000 Iraqi police and soldiers backed by American troops and air support.
Operation Lightning has received support from US troops who are training Iraqi forces to take over security in the capital.