Skip to comments.Foreign 'holy warriors' step up ruthless, sophisticated terrorist campaign
Posted on 10/27/2003 7:35:35 PM PST by Nachum
The suicide bombs that slaughtered dozens of people in four separate blasts within 45 minutes yesterday took terrorism in Iraq to fresh levels of sophistication and co-ordination.
Brig Gen Mark Hertling of the US 1st Armoured Division was clear. "The bombings seem to have been the operations of foreign fighters," he said.
"We have not seen attacks we could attribute to foreign fighters before. We have seen them today." While it would be in America's interest to portray terrorist attacks as the work of foreigners bent on undermining stability, the methods used in recent weeks certainly indicate a ruthlessness against civilians and aid agencies beyond anything that would serve the aims of a home-grown terrorist group.
The day before the suicide bombings, a barrage of rockets slammed into the side of the hotel in which Paul Wolfowitz, the US deputy defence secretary, was staying.
Paul Bremer, the chief US civil administrator in Iraq, said: "We're seeing a more sophisticated use of technology.
"They are using improvised explosive devises carefully placed along roads and then triggered by remote control, using garage openers or cell phones.
"It's a sophisticated operation, probably using technology that came to them from professional terrorists."
Military experts remain divided on the level of involvement of foreign fighters, although several argue that suicide bombers bear the hallmark of Muslim fundamentalism. Since early August, nine car bombs have claimed the lives of more than 140 Iraqis, while hundreds of civilians have been wounded.
"These aren't random attacks - not of this size," said Francis Tusa, publisher of the monthly journal Defence Analysis. "They have targets. They have plans. This is a classic guerrilla terrorist campaign."
Weapons and knowhow were never going to be a problem in Iraq. Saddam Hussein had his own terrorist training camp at Salman Pak, 30 minutes outside Baghdad, complete with an old airliner fuselage, train carriages and a double decker bus. It was ostensibly used to train Iraqi special forces in anti-terror techniques, but its main purpose was as a school for terrorism where thousands of foreign fighters graduated in kidnapping, assassination, sabotage and hijacking.
Many of these fighters - who spread out through the Muslim world into local terrorist cells or gravitating to al-Qa'eda - are now returning to pay a debt with weapons that are already in place.
More than 650,000 tons of ammunition - some only lightly guarded - await destruction in Iraq. US forces think a further 350,000 tons have yet to be found.
Jalal Talabani, a member of Iraq's US-backed Governing Council, said last week at least 700 foreign fighters had been arrested in Iraq, with a large proportion coming from Syria.
The number of such fighters in the country has increased rapidly since August when al-Qa'eda called for a holy war in Iraq.
Mixed into this terrorist melting pot are the remains of Saddam's elite Republican Guard and 100,000 criminals set free from Iraq's jails just before the Anglo-US invasion. The fighters operate in classic guerrilla style, forming small cells whose members do not know the identity of those outside their unit.
No one in authority is prepared to say who is co-ordinating whom, but Mr Bremer believes that Saddam will remain a focus - at least for the Iraqi guerrillas - until he is captured. Mr Bremer is convinced that Saddam is still in Iraq and that his arrest will "pull the curtain down on the dream some of these dead-enders have that he is going to come back".
That "insurgants" miniker is really getting under my skin. "Iraqi insurgents" is what most of the media is calling them. The Pali terrorists ought to complain and ask the Western media why IRAQIS get to be insurgents, while Palis only get to be "militants, and they;ve been in the organized terror game over 40 years.
The Regular Army needs more units, just like you said. We're filling the gap with the National Guard and Army Reserve--ok for now, but if we are calling on the same guys a year from now, we're in trouble. If they wanted to do back to back to back deployments, they'd be on active duty.
And let's not forget a ready-to-go reserve. About the time we get all tied down somewhere is when N. Korea may decide to re-unify the penninsula.
We don't have enough people in our military to do it. We'll find ourselves attempting to quell uprisings and attacks in too many countries simultaneously and getting slaughtered.
ARGH!! What is WITH these people?? Most of these stinking terrorists arean't even IRAQIS. ECPECIALLY the homocide bombers! Iraqis themselves (civilians) believe almost all of them are foreigners because Iraqis just SHOOT people they don't like.
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