BAGHDAD: Saudi Arabia and Libya, both considered allies by the United States in its fight against terrorism, were the source of about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks, according to senior American military officials.
The data come largely from a trove of documents and computers discovered in September, when American forces raided a tent camp in the desert near Sinjar, close to the Syrian border. The raid's target was an insurgent cell believed to be responsible for smuggling the vast majority of foreign fighters into Iraq.
Fortunately that raid helped cut down the flow of foreign Sunni fighters into Iraq.
The records also underscore how the insurgency in Iraq remains both overwhelmingly Iraqi and Sunni. American officials now estimate that the flow of foreign fighters was 80 to 110 per month during the first half of this year and about 60 per month during the summer. The numbers fell sharply in October to no more than 40, partly as a result of the Sinjar raid, the American officials say.
Saudis accounted for the largest number of fighters listed on the records by far — 305, or 41 percent — American intelligence officers found as they combed through documents and computers in the weeks after the raid. The data show that despite increased efforts by Saudi Arabia to clamp down on would-be terrorists since Sept. 11, 2001, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, some Saudi fighters are still getting through.
But only 1.2% of the insurgents held in American detention camps are non-Iraqi. 80% of the detained insurgents are Sunnis.
So what does this tell us? The insurgency is overwhelmingly Sunni. That makes sense. The Shias control the government. The Sunnis oppose Shia rule and they also oppose US support for the Shia government.
This also shows us something we already know but which the Bush Administration tries to officially ignore: Saudi Arabia is home to the fundamentalist form of Sunni Wahhabi Islam that generates the largest number of people actively hostile to the United States. When we buy gasoline we fund our enemies. The article reports that Saudi citizens provide the biggest source of funding for Al Qaeda in Iraq.
This report also shows something else the Bush Administration would just as soon you didn't know: Iran isn't the biggest source of external support for insurgents. Rather, our pseudo-ally Saudi Arabia produces the jihadists.
15 of 19 9/11 attackers were from Saudi Arabia. We could do more to reduce of risk of terrorist attacks by simply keeping Saudis out of the United States than from any other measure. Doing that is a subset of Separationism.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2007 November 22 04:15 PM Mideast Iraq Insurgency|