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Thread: Today's Wild Geese: Foreign Fighters in the GWOT

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    Default Foreign Terrorists (Iraq)

    29 Nov. Washington Times - U.S. Decimating Foreign Fighters.

    The U.S. is seeing significantly fewer foreign fighters on the battlefields of Iraq, because the coalition has killed or captured scores of terrorists in recent months and is doing a better job of securing the long border with Syria.

    But the U.S. military has noticed in recent weeks a willingness of young Iraqis to become suicide bombers, once the monopoly of ideologically driven foreign jihadists.

    We are killing them, a senior Pentagon official said yesterday, when asked about shrinking foreign-fighter numbers in Iraq.

    The trend is one reason that the Bush administration is talking more confidently about reducing the American troop presence next year to less than a base level of 138,000. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has said the current 160,000 level will revert to 138,000 after the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections.

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    Default Foreign Terrorists (Iraq)

    9 Dec. Washington Times - Inside the Ring.

    Commanders are seeing fewer foreign fighters in Iraq, a sign that operations along the Syrian border are working. There also is the hope that al Qaeda leader Abu Musab Zarqawi is encountering difficulty in persuading new jihadists to come to Iraq.

    ..."In the Multi-National Force-West area of operations, we are facing a locally based Sunni-led insurgency. These local insurgents largely operate in and around their own communities and when not fighting, they blend into the local scene."

    "Terrorists and foreign fighters associated with al Qaeda in Iraq are a factor in our area and al Qaeda gains additional synergy by developing marriages of convenience with local insurgency groups composed of the other elements of the insurgency — Saddamists, rejectionists, and criminals. The terrorist and foreign fighter presence in Al Anbar is small, but it's dangerous."

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    Default Chechens

    Hi all !
    Does anyone has informations about Chechens in Iraq?
    they recived a lot of support from Al-Quaeda and others groups in both wars, so I think that some of them can be active in Iraq now

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    marriages of convenience with local insurgency
    This metaphor was stolen from me over at SOCNET.

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    Default Terrorist Radicalization and Recruitment

    Moderator's Note

    This is a new thread, based on two old threads and re-titled. The term foreign fighters (FF) appears in numerous threads, there are two threads specifically on the theme and I understand during the peak of operations in Iraq (OIF) it was frequently raised - although I was unable to identify a specific thread. See Post 28 for details. Moderator ends.


    From the Jamestown Foundation's Terrorism Focus: Reinforcing the Mujahideen: Origins of Jihadi Manpower
    Much is written about how non-indigenous, would-be Islamist fighters enter the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan to join the mujahideen fighting U.S.-led coalitions in both countries. Do they enter Afghanistan from Pakistan? Or Iran? Perhaps Central Asia? What about Iraq? Which border is the most porous? Does that dubious honor belong to Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan or Iran? These are, of course, important questions. To know and close the entry points of these aspiring mujahideen would slow the pace at which foreign fighters could join the fray. It also would make local insurgent field commanders unsure about the dependability of the flow of replacement fighters for their units, and thereby probably limit their willingness to undertake operations that are likely to result in sizeable manpower loses.

    A more basic question, however, is seldom asked or debated. While it is clear that closing points of entry would give the U.S.-led coalitions a better chance to reduce the level of each insurgency, the more important path to victory probably lies in determining exactly from where these prospective insurgents emanate...
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 01-01-2012 at 12:21 AM. Reason: Add Mod's Note

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    Default One key thing to remember

    The US government has supported islamic jihadist in the past to keep Russian interests(the infidels lol) out of central asia-see Soviet Afghan war and Chechnya. Ten bucks says they will also be used to keep China out.

    Al Qaeda means " the base" or to be more accurate " the database". Twenty bucks says it is a code word for a database of tracked islamic terrorists gathered by a CIA modified version of PROMIS software. When the CIA wants to jack someone up and keep their hands clean-just agitate their pool of jihadists.
    Last edited by GorTex6; 05-14-2006 at 03:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GorTex6
    Al Qaeda means " the base" or to be more accurate " the database". Twenty bucks says it is a code word for a database of tracked islamic terrorists gathered by a CIA modified version of PROMIS software. When the CIA wants to jack someone up and keep their hands clean-just agitate their pool of jihadists.
    No. It refers to database of foreign fighters who fought in Afghanistan. People who were sending them to Afghanistan kept their contact info which was used later.

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    Default Figuring Out the Foreign Fighter Factor in Iraq

    2 July Stars and Stripes - Figuring Out the Foreign Fighter Factor in Iraq by Andrew Tilghman.

    Even on Iraq’s western edge, once referred to as the “foreign fighter freeway,” U.S. troops disagree about the role that foreigners play in the 3-year-old insurgency.

    “Are there foreigners? Yes. Is it that big an influence overall? Probably not,” Lt. Col. Robert Jones, executive officer for Regimental Combat Team 7, said in a recent interview in his office at Camp Al Asad.

    Meanwhile, just a few miles up the Euphrates River, a battalion commander disagrees. “They are the core,” said Lt. Col. Nick Marano, commander of the 1st Battalion, 7th Marine Regiment based in the Al Qaim region

    Both men are talking about the same region, and presumably have access to similar intelligence. But they come to different conclusions about the role of Arab fighters from countries like Syria, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Algeria.

    “The fact you are getting so many conflicting views on the ground just shows what a tangled web of violence this has become,” said Farhana Ali, a terrorism expert with the Rand Corp., a California-based think tank.

    The question is especially relevant in recent weeks, as U.S. military officials scrambled to identify the insurgent leader who would likely take over after the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the Jordanian-born leader of al-Qaida in Iraq...

    Some troops say the foreign influence is based more on money than actual military-age men.

    “The foreigner is like John Gotti, the foreign influence is money,” said Lt. Col. Norman Cooling, commander of the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, currently based in Haditha. Gotti is a New York crime boss who was convicted in 1992 of federal racketeering charges.

    “If I could eliminate the foreign influence, it would have a big impact because the local guy in the street would lose his motivation,” Cooling said. “But there are not many foreigners out there operating in the streets. They don’t have to.”

    It is also influenced by a range of political factors — both on the Iraqi and American side — that lead some officials to overestimate the significance of foreign fighters, said Anthony Cordesman, a national security expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies based in Washington, D.C...

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    Default Perspectives on foreign fighters

    I think the difference has a lot to do with the fact that one sees them in transit and the other sees them after they have reached one of their objectives. The MNFI stats suggest that the foreign fighters are responsible for most of the attacks on non combatants which makes up about 70 percent of the casualties over the last year. I would say that is significant and good reason to focus on them.

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    It seems that it maybe a matter of perspective to foreign fighters maybe small in numbers but disproportionately violent; creating an appearance of greater consequence.

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    Default AQ and FF

    What is the objective of AQ or FF in Iraq? Is it to foment a civil war? If so, why have they not bombed or targeted the Shrine of Ali (Najaf) or Shrine of Hussein (Karbala)?

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    Abu Musab al-Masri was just named as the 30th Most Wanted Criminal/Terrorist/Insurgent in Iraq. If AQ and FF are the main problem, why is he only #30? Is this an admission that the real issue remains Sunni rejectionists and not AQ or FF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Strickland
    Abu Musab al-Masri was just named as the 30th Most Wanted Criminal/Terrorist/Insurgent in Iraq. If AQ and FF are the main problem, why is he only #30? Is this an admission that the real issue remains Sunni rejectionists and not AQ or FF?
    I highlighted the correct answer. Here's the most wanted list:

    1 - Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, $10 million bounty. Vice president of dissolved Revolutionary Command Council.

    2 - Mohammed Younis al-Ahmed al-Muwali, $1 million bounty. Former Baath Party member accused of funding and leading terrorist operations.

    3 - Tahir Jalil Haboh, $1 million bounty. Former intelligence director and member of the Baath Party regional command.

    4 - Saif al-Din Flayeh Hassan Taha al-Rawi, $1 million bounty. Chief of staff of the former Republican Guard.

    5 - Adul-Baqi Abdul-Karim Abdullah al-Saadoun, $1 million bounty. Insurgent in Diyala province who shuttles to southern Iraq.

    6 - Rashid Taan Kadhim, $1 million bounty. Leads insurgent operations in Anbar, responsible for funding terrorist operations in Diyala.

    7 - Ahmed Hassan Kaka al-Obeidi, $200,000 bounty. Former intelligence officer and ex-Baath Party official.

    8 - Muhdhir Abdul-Karim Thiyab Abdul-Kharbit, $50,000 bounty. Involved in "oil for food program," funds terrorist activities against Iraqi forces in Anbar and funds al-Qaida in Iraq.

    9 - Omar Saabawi Ibrahim Hassan al-Tikriti, $50,000 bounty. Head of the former National Union of Iraqi students, chief of Saddam's Fedayeen, supports terrorism. Saddam Hussein's nephew.

    10 - Rifaie Abdul-Latif Tulfah al-Tikriti, $1 million bounty. Assumed many posts under the former regime and was member of the former Baath Party, illegally transfers money across the border.

    11 - Nihad Naji al-Ithari al-Dulaimi, $200,000 bounty. Former general manager in the intelligence.

    12 - Hassan Hashim al-Dulaimi, $200,000 bounty. Secretary of the former finance ministry, an active former Baath Party member.

    13 - Fawzi Mutlaq al-Rawi, leads a terrorist group inside Iraq, senior former Baath Party member, supports terrorism in Anbar.

    14 - Abu Abdullah al-Shafie, $50,000 bounty. A leader in Ansar al-Islam group/Ansar al-Sunnah since the beginning of 2003, committed terrorist activities in Kirkuk, Nineveh, Diyala.

    15 - Malla Halkord Ahmedi, $50,000 bounty. Head of Ansar al-Islam/Ansar al-Sunnah in Baghdad, he runs terrorist operations on a daily basis. A member in Ansar al-Islam before the fall of the regime, a member in the Mujahedeen Shura Council.

    16 - Raghad Saddam Hussein, Saddam's daughter. Funds terrorism in Iraq, high officials in former Baath Party facilitate money transfers between her and the terrorists.

    17 - Sajida Khairuallah Tulfah Hussein, Saddam's wife. Main source of guidance, logistic support, funds terrorism in Iraq. She has access to Iraqi riches stolen by Saddam.

    18 - Maan Bashour, Lebanese Baathist. Has a long relationship with Saddam's regime. He recruits fighters in Lebanon to go to Iraq to support terrorist operations.

    19 - Isam Khudhir Abbas al-Dulaimi, $50,000 bounty. Former director in the intelligence agency, he supports the Muhammad Army insurgent group.

    20 - Ghazwan Sabti Faraj al-Kubaisi, $50,000 bounty. Senior former Baath Party member, staff major-general in the former intelligence service.

    21 - Abdullah al-Janabi, $50,000 bounty. Cleric who supports and takes part in terrorism, he provides financial and moral support in Anbar.

    22 - Ibrahim Yosif Turki al-Jubouri, $50,000 bounty. Commits terrorist acts in northern Iraq.

    23 - Khalaf Muhammad Mukhlif al-Dulaimi (nickname Abu Marwan), former manager of "special projects," belongs to the former intelligence and after the fall of the regime he escaped Iraq with millions of dollars. Also funds, organizes and smuggles terrorists and weapons to Iraq.

    24 - Abu Mtafa al-Shaibani, $200,000 bounty. Head of a terror network paramilitary located in Baghdad and southern Iraq.

    25 - Ahmed Watban Ibrahim al-Hassan al-Tikriti, unspecified reward. Funds and guides terrorists, transfers money to terrorists inside Iraq, facilitates the movements of the terrorists to Iraq. Saddam's nephew.

    26 - Munthir al-Kassar, unspecified reward. Has relations with the families of elements of the former regime, arms merchants. Supplies terrorists with weapons.

    27 - Ahmed Abu Sajjad al-Gharawi, unspecified reward. Head of a terrorist group in southern Iraq.

    28 - Mam Abdul-Karim, unspecified reward. Senior member in Ansar al-Sunnah, he is the main facilitator for the operations, funding and communications in north Iraq.

    29 - Abdul-Hadi al-Iraqi, top leader of al-Qaida in Iraq and the Mujahedeen Shura Council. He is from Nineveh.

    30 - Abu Ayyub al-Masri, $50,000 bounty. New leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. He is an Egyptian and former member in the Egyptian Islamic Jihad Movement.

    31 - Saad Hamid Shihab, $50,000 bounty. Facilitates money transfers to terrorists in Salahuddin and Anbar.

    32 - Raad Hamid Shihab, $50,000 bounty. Senior former Baath Party official, facilitates money transfers to terror leaders in Saluhuddin and Anbar provinces.

    33 - Muhammad Hisham Muhammad (nickname Mansour/Khadim el-Hsein), $50,000 bounty. Has links with Ansar al-Sunnah/Ansar al-Islam and bombmakers in Iraq, provides terrorists with bombs.

    34 - Ahmed Muhammad Younis al-Ahmed al-Muwali, unspecified reward. Uses trade and travel as a cover to facilitate and fund terrorist activities.

    35 - Sarhid Kadhim al-Janabi, active leader of many terrorist groups in southern Baghdad and the group involved in kidnapping and assassinating foreign and Iraqi officials.

    36 - Ahmed Shawqi al-Kubaissi, group leader funding terrorist operations. He issues fatwas to kill army and police officers.

    37 - Zuhair Abdul-Ghaffar al-Kubaissi, a terror leader in Baghdad. He issued a fatwa to kill Shiites and is funding hostile activities against Iraqi forces.

    38 - Jamal al-Tikriti, high field leader in Omar Brigade. He attacks Iraqi forces in Baghdad with roadside bombs.

    39 - Muhammad Fadhil Gharib al-Mashhadani, funds terrorism and facilitates terrorist operations in Diyala.

    40 - Talib Yosif Zuwayed al-Issawi, known leader of al-Qaida in Iraq. A spiritual leader to the terrorist organizations.

    41 - Sabri Khrebit al-Dulaimi (nickname Abu Ayyub), one of slain militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's aides. He had strong links with Iraqi intelligence, supervises terrorist networks.

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    What is truly amazing about this list is the fact that it demonstrates how little we know and have known in Iraq over the past 3 years. Depending on who you listen to or believe on the open source side, Ibrahim al-Douri died two years ago, last year, or is living in Syria coordinating much of the Sunni Insurgency.

    Second, to have anyone from the Kharbit clan/family on the list is amazing. Prior to the invasion we provided them will "a lot" of money for their support. Considering that they were the wealthiest people next to Saddam's immediate family/clan, they hardly needed our help. Probably didnt help that we bombed and killed several of their family members.

    Finally, here is some food for thought - The coalition captured Izz al Din al-Majid in Ramadi. He reportedly had $2m with him and $35m in his foreign accounts. He was reportedly trying to buy the allegiance and cooperation of several rival insurgent groups. How do we overcome this type of financial capability? Please explain how a $50,000 bounty (refer to the Most Wanted List) is going to overcome this type of insurgent resource/capability?

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    Transcript of testimony by Brian Jenkins to the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Intelligence, Information Sharing and Terrorism Risk Assessment on 5 Apr 07:

    Building an Army of Believers: Jihadist Radicalization and Recruitment
    ...Recently, we have begun to focus more attention on what I refer to in my book as the “front end” of the jihadist cycle. Growing concern has produced a growing volume of literature on the topic. My testimony today will simply highlight a few areas for further discussion:

    - Building an army of believers—how the jihadists recruit
    - Radicalization and recruitment in the United States
    - How we might impede radicalization and recruitment, and
    - Guiding principles for any actions we might consider.

    These comments derive from my own study of terrorism over the years, and from a large body of research done by my colleagues at the RAND Corporation....
    In reference to the last line quoted above, here are links to the footnoted documents:

    Al-Qaida: Terrorist Selection and Recruitment

    Al Qaeda Recruitment in the United States: A Preliminary Assessment (The link is actually to the MIPT 2004 Terrorism Annual; the article is on page 29 of the pdf)

    The Dynamic Terrorist Threat: An Assessment of Group Motivations and Capabilities in a Changing World

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    Default Recommend Poole's Terrorist Trail

    I recently read John Poole's Terrorist Trail, where this subject is a primary focus. All reviews that I've read and experiences in Iraq back up much of what he writes about where terrorists and global insurgents come from and how they get from point A to Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Chechyna, Pakistan, etc. While I'm not sure if Hezbollah has as strong an influence in as many places as he claims, the book's great nonetheless (plus I don't have anything to refute his claims).

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    Default Another Book Recommendation

    I just finished Inside the Jihad: My Life With Al Qaeda - A Spy's Story by Omar Nasiri - highly recommend it.

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    Default Arab Volunteers Killed in Iraq

    Although this report is obviously a little dated now, it's an interesting analysis of jihadist statements about the national origins of "martyrs" killed in Iraq, at least during a slice of 2005.

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    Default An Uphill Battle to Stop Fighters at Border

    5 May Washington Post - An Uphill Battle to Stop Fighters at Border by Joshua Partlow.

    Iraqi general in charge of guarding the border with Syria said his forces cannot completely prevent suicide bombers, who often carry fake passports and appear well trained and funded, from slipping into Iraq.

    "This borderline cannot be controlled 100 percent," said Maj. Gen. Hadi Taaha Hasoun al-Mamoori, commanding officer of the 2nd Region Department of Border Enforcement, responsible for 830 miles of border and a force of about 12,000 people. "If there was a desire on the part of the Syrians to help us, it would have been possible to wipe out a large segment of the terrorists."

    The issue of foreign fighters entering Iraq has become an increasingly high priority for U.S. officials, many of whom consider Syria a primary stopover for insurgents making their way from other Middle Eastern countries to Iraq...

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    Default And From Iran...

    5 May NY Times - U.S. Forces Break Up Arms Smuggling Ring in Baghdad by Alissa Rubin.

    American soldiers broke up a weapons smuggling ring on Friday in Baghdad, detaining 16 men who were accused of procuring powerful, armor-piercing bombs and other arms from Iran, the American military said.

    The operation, in Sadr City, the heavily Shiite neighborhood that has at times been a center of resistance to the Americans, was one in a series of raids recently aimed at stopping the flow into Iraq of armor-piercing bombs, known as explosively formed projectiles, or E.F.P.’s, said Lt. Col. Christopher Garver, a spokesman for the military. “We’re dismantling the networks link by link, and one link leads us to another,” he said.

    But he acknowledged that there were plenty of insurgents willing to smuggle and place the bombs. The military’s hope is to reduce the number of successful attacks by arresting the most experienced of the smugglers and assemblers...

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