Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Saudi intelligence: 'Iraq invasion radicalized Saudi fighters'

RIYADH (Reuters) - Hundreds of Saudi fighters who joined the insurgency in Iraq showed few signs of militancy before the U.S.-led overthrow of Saddam Hussein, according to a detailed study based on Saudi intelligence reports.
The study by the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), obtained by Reuters on Sunday, also said Saudis made up just 350 of the 3,000-strong foreign insurgents in Iraq — fewer than many officials have assumed.
"Analysts and government officials in the U.S. and Iraq have overstated the size of the foreign element in the Iraqi insurgency, especially that of the Saudi contingent," it said.
Non-Iraqi militants made up less than 10 percent of the insurgents' ranks — perhaps even half that — the study said.
Most were motivated by "revulsion at the idea of an Arab land being occupied by a non-Arab country."
The study by Middle East analyst Anthony Cordesman and Saudi security adviser Nawaf Obaid may offer further fuel to critics who say that instead of weakening al Qaeda, the 2003 invasion of Iraq brought fresh recruits to Osama bin Laden's network.
It said Saudi Arabia had interrogated dozens of Saudi militants who either returned from Iraq or were caught at the border. "One important point was the number who insisted that they were not militants before the Iraq war," it said.
"The vast majority of Saudi militants who entered Iraq were not terrorist sympathizers before the war, and were radicalized almost exclusively by the coalition invasion," the study said.
Backing up their claim, 85 percent of those interrogated were not on any watch list of known militants, the study said. Most came from the west, south or center of Saudi Arabia, often from middle class families of prominent conservative tribes.
Many were well-educated and had jobs and all of them were Sunni Muslims, the study said. Majority Sunnis in Saudi Arabia are troubled by the emergency of Iraq's Shi'ite majority.

Source Here


Blogger Hype said...

Prediction 101. Shouldn't we have known this? Oh, wait. We did.

Some of us were more concerned about the effect of the Iraq war on the whole ME than the supposed WMD sitting in Saddam's backyard.

Looks like we were right. Go figure.


September 20, 2005 4:44 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

very true Hype

did you note this line "Non-Iraqi militants made up less than 10 percent of the insurgents' ranks — perhaps even half that — the study said"

So it seems the bullshit of this all being done by foriegn fighters is being prooved to be wrong

as far as the Saudi intelligence is concerned 9 out of every 10 insurgents are Iraqi born citizens

September 20, 2005 5:02 pm  
Blogger Hype said...

We are being told they are ex-Saddam loyalists, but it would seem more likely that an internal power struggle (civil war) had already started or taken place. It is hard to say.


September 20, 2005 7:27 pm  
Blogger _H_ said...

well even though G hates to see it :oP , i think if this isnt 'quite' a civil war yet , then we are very very close to that line

September 21, 2005 1:39 am  

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