2007 November 22 Thursday
Saudi Arabia Biggest Source Of Foreign Fighters In Iraq

Saudi Arabia is the bigges source of foreign Muslim fighters in Iraq.

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

John S Bolton said at November 22, 2007 7:54 PM:

This gives an overview of how the terror offensive operates:
Sunnis adamantly refuse to accept Shia supremacy,
as well they should, since their conflicts are zero-sum,
and it's winner take all. This explains why they would harbor foreign
terrorists who stand out enough that even a small portion
of the Sunni population could point them out to Americans.
It explains why the cycles of terror and reprisal terror
start with the Sunni and often the foreigners they harbor.
Partition could rapidly eliminate these motivations to continue the terror offensives,
though Iranian operations could still facilitate unilateral Shia terror.

Wolf-Dog said at November 23, 2007 5:25 AM:

But every cloud has a silver lining: The Saudis know with absolute certainty that after the US influence declines in the Persian Gulf, the ambitions of Iran (Persia) will expand to include the acquisition of the Saudi oil fields. For this reason, after the US leaves Iraq (but not before), it will be in the US interest to encourage the Saudis to send their Sunni warriors to impede the Iranian domination of Iraq. It is not an accident that the Gulf is called Persian Gulf, and Persia always had imperial ambitions over the whole region.

Anon said at November 23, 2007 9:21 AM:

I think the war in Iraq has benefitted Saudi Arabia, Syria and to a certain extent Iran, but not for reasons many might think. I am sure that these 3 regimes were more than happy to encourage enthusiastic jihadis to go fight the Americans in Iraq where they have been getting killed on a regular basis. These regimes have a great way to get rid of potential troublemakers who could make waves at home and look good doing it. "We are sending jihadis to fight the Crusader Infidels! Too bad they won't be coming home. Oh well..."

black sea said at November 25, 2007 5:45 AM:

Anon's comments are right on the mark; this is EXACTLY how things work in the Middle East. Nor is it just speculation. I've read that the Syrians have a habit of arresting their own jihadis fortunate(?) enough to make it back into the country. The Syrian government was just looking for way to get rid of these guys in the first place without the cost or trouble of locking them up, but if they make it back alive, hey, that's THEIR problem.

Same thing with the Saudis. They're more than happy to export their surplus population of potential trouble-makers to Afghanistan, or Iraq, or the US. So long as they don't linger around the Kingdom hatching plots against the royal family, everything's cool.

Post a comment
Name (not anon or anonymous):
Email Address:
Remember info?

Web parapundit.com
Go Read More Posts On ParaPundit
Site Traffic Info
The contents of this site are copyright