They just got a different tool to use than we do: They kill innocent lives to achieve objectives. That's what they do. And they're good. They get on the TV screens and they get people to ask questions about, well, you know, this, that or the other. I mean, they're able to kind of say to people: Don't come and bother us, because we will kill you. Bush - Joint News Conference with Blair - 28 July '06

Monday, September 19, 2005

Iraq: 'Majority of foreign fighters not former terrorists'

Asharq Al-Awsat: According to a report by the Washington based Center for Strategic and International Studies Saudi Nationals involved in the insurgency in Iraq, make up the smallest number of foreign fighters active there.

The study, which Asharq Al-Awsat obtained a copy of points out that the vast majority of foreign fighters are not former terrorists but were actually radicalized by the Iraq war itself. The same study found the majority of the Saudi fighters were inspired to go to Iraq by images that they saw on Arab satellite news channels.

According to CSIS, as of august 2005, 352 Saudis are believed to have entered Iraq. Out of that figure, 150 are thought to be active, whereas 72 are recognized from Al-Qaeda lists of active militants in Iraq, with a further74 presumed to be in detention, with the remaining 56 presumed dead.

The study estimated the largest foreign contingent was made up of 600 Algerian fighters, Followed by 550 Syrians, 500 Yemenis, 450 Sudanese, 400 Egyptians, 350 Saudis, and 150 fighters from other countries who have had crossed into Iraq to fight.

The study also points out that the majority of "Saudi Militants in Iraq were motivated revulsion at the idea of an Arab land being occupied by a non-Arab country". This coupled with the images on satellite television and the internet became the catalyst for the Saudi insurgents, with many citing the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, and images of Guantanamo Bay as chief motivators. Read more