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    19 May 2005

    Foreign fighters are the least of our worries in Iraq

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    The new Iraqi Government requested that its neighbors stop the resistance
    Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari called on neighboring countries Thursday to help prevent foreign terrorists from crossing into Iraq as a series of attacks killed more than a dozen Iraqis and two American soldiers.

    Al-Jaafari's appeal came a day after a top U.S. military official said the leaders of Iraq's most notorious terrorist group recently held a secret meeting in neighboring Syria, where they plotted the recent wave of insurgent violence that has killed hundreds of people.

    "There are infiltrations of non-Iraqis through the border to carry out sabotage activities," al-Jaafari said of the meeting that may have been attended by most-wanted militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi himself. "It's up to our geographical neighbors. We are keen to preserve relations between us and neighboring countries, and these relations should be good."

    The only problem is the resistance, it is not an insurgency, is not based totally, or for that matter, at all outside of Iraq. The only ones saying this is bushCo. and the new Iraqi Government.

    In an inappropriately named WaPo article
    U.S. military estimates cited by security analysts put the number of active jihadists at about 1,000, or less than 10 percent of the number of fighters in a mostly Iraqi-dominated insurgency. But military officials now say the foreigners are responsible for a higher percentage of the suicide bombings, and the online postings include few names of dead Iraqis affiliated with Zarqawi's group.
    "This is not al Qaeda's first team," said Hammes of the National Defense University. "These are the scrubs who could never get us in the States."

    Furthermore, western press is so quick to blame Syria and Iran, when the greatest number of jihadists come from Saudi Arabia
    In a paper published in March, Reuven Paz, an Israeli expert on terrorism, analyzed the lists of jihadi dead. He found 154 Arabs killed over the previous six months in Iraq, 61 percent of them from Saudi Arabia, with Syrians, Iraqis and Kuwaitis together accounting for another 25 percent. He also found that 70 percent of the suicide bombers named by the Web sites were Saudi. In three cases, Paz found two brothers who carried out suicide attacks. Many of the bombers were married, well educated and in their late twenties, according to postings.

    "While incomplete," Paz wrote, the data suggest "the intensive involvement of Saudi volunteers for jihad in Iraq."

    In a telephone interview, Paz said his list -- assembled from monitoring a dozen Islamic extremist Web forums -- now had more than 200 names. "Many are students or from wealthy families -- the same sociological characteristics as the Sept. 11 hijackers," he said.

    Juan Cole weighs in noting that some jihadists get sent back without a fight in Iraq
    From al-Hayat of May 14 via BBC World Monitoring:
    ' Al-Hayat has learnt that two Saudi brothers who went to Iraq across the Syrian border for "jihad" against the occupation returned without taking part in any fighting after a bitter experience.

    Sources told Al-Hayat that the two young men followed news of the resistance against the occupation since the former Iraqi regime's downfall and the Al-Fallujah confrontation inflamed their zeal and they decided to go to Iraq. Their relatives intervened to persuade them not to carry out what they intended until everyone became convinced they would not go. But, according to the sources, the two brothers sneaked into Iraq and were able to contact a network which receives the fighters on the Iraqi-Syrian border. The two met a few days later the fighters' "emir" [commander] at the border and asked him to take them to Al-Fallujah. But he refused, claiming that the road was difficult and full of dangers.

    The sources added: "The group's emir then confronted them with the truth, which the two young men considered very bitter because it came as a surprise. He told them: We have a number of booby-trapped cars ready for suicide bombings. The brothers were almost thunderstruck by the shock and told him: You want us to end our life in a suicide operation as soon as we set foot in Iraq! He answered indifferently: This is what we have now if you like it; if not, look for somebody else! They decided at that moment to return to their country and totally dismissed the idea of taking part in what they thought to be resistance in Iraq." '

    So the claim that the neighbors are behind the resistance seems to be false and we are truly dealing with a national resistance supported at a low level by foreign jihadists, contrary to western press reports and MSM claims.

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