Watch: Outrage as TV prankster poses as suicide bomber
Saudi answer to TV hoaxer Jeremy Beadle terrifies members of the public by posing as terrorist with suicide vest
Published 10/03/2016 | 07:26
When a Saudi television crew decided to send out a "fake" suicide bomber to test the reactions of his fellow citizens, not everyone saw the funny side.
In a series of clips that have drawn the wrath of Saudi officials, the "bomber" poses as a taxi driver who informs his terrified passengers that they are about to join him on a "martyrdom" mission.
"I'll take you to paradise with me, we will be in heaven with a single press of this button," he shouts, pulling back his robes to reveal a suicide vest packed with explosives.
The first of his fares - a teenage boy - bursts into tears, while the second leaps out of the door of the door of the cab while it is still driving.
The third - a pair of suit-wearing businessmen - grab him from behind and try to wrestle the suicide vest's remote control button from his hands.
As in Beadle's About - in which the late Jeremy Beadle played pranks such as staging a fake alien landing - each clip ends with a member of the TV crew appearing on the scene and informing the victim that it is all a hoax.
The driver of the taxi also shows them the hidden cameras on his dashboard and peels off his fake jihadi-style beard.
But while the teenage boy is shown later on laughing along with the crew, the two businessmen attempt to call the police. They then look baffled rather than amused when told it is all part of a candid camera stunt.
The producers of the online show - called Hayya Ta'al - claim the idea was to warn young Saudi men and women of the dangers of radicalisation and joining groups like Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
However, the Saudi authorities have also failed to see the funny side, and have reportedly told them to remove the footage online.