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Foreign 'holy warriors' step up ruthless, sophisticated terrorist campaign
Telegraph ^ | 28/10/2003 | Robin Gedye, Foreign Affairs Writer

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".


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaeda; baghdad; bremer; campaign; foreign; hertling; holywarriors; insurgents; iraq; ramadan; redcross; religionofpieces; sophisticated; stepupruthless; suicidebomber; syria; talabani; terrorism; terrorist; tusa
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How long before we invade Syria?
1 posted on 10/27/2003 7:35:35 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Nachum
I would say we wait till we have about 8 more active duty combat brigades. Current troops levels are not high enough to passify Afganistan, control and rebuild Iraq

AND take on Syria.
2 posted on 10/27/2003 7:42:02 PM PST by taxcontrol (People are entitled to their opinion - no matter how wrong it is.)
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To: Nachum
A two front war would be interesting, n'est ce pas?
3 posted on 10/27/2003 7:42:51 PM PST by dts32041 (Is it time to practice decimation with our representatives?)
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To: Nachum
At this point, invading Syria would only further stretch the frontline in the war against terror. That so many Syrians are able to enter Iraq with hostile intentions is a clear indication that we're stretched thin, and since nobody else will help out, the main goal now is to get a large-enough force of Iraqi security personnel up and running to do more of the grunt work. Only when that's accomplished can we even think about significantly scaling back the army's peacekeeping duties in Iraq so it can potentially be used for other offensive operations.
4 posted on 10/27/2003 7:43:28 PM PST by Filibuster_60
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To: Nachum
Good article. Let's us know what we're up against. They're going to have to do some work on that Syrian border - shut off the flow of resistors. These aren't dead-enders, here - it's fresh talent.
5 posted on 10/27/2003 7:44:37 PM PST by master_seeks_servant (.)
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To: All
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: "ATTACK ON AMERICA!" (UPDATED DAILY.)
http://www.truthusa.com/911.html
6 posted on 10/27/2003 7:51:58 PM PST by Cindy
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To: Nachum
At least the Telegraph is calling them what they are: foreign terrorists.

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.

7 posted on 10/27/2003 7:54:58 PM PST by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: taxcontrol
I would say we wait till we have about 8 more active duty combat brigades. Current troops levels are not high enough to passify Afganistan, control and rebuild Iraq AND take on Syria.

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.

8 posted on 10/27/2003 7:57:15 PM PST by mark502inf
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To: taxcontrol
Israel would likely loan us some combat brigades.
9 posted on 10/27/2003 8:02:35 PM PST by Ingtar (Understanding is a three-edged sword : your side, my side, and the truth in between ." -- Kosh)
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To: Nachum
This is where the Turks would be of great help, if only the Iraqis would allow it. The Turks could seal off that border in no time at all, and would be great at eliminating the terrorists as they come across. The media would never even know they were being eliminated since they rarely go outside of their hotels in Baghdad.
10 posted on 10/27/2003 8:10:47 PM PST by McGavin999
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To: Ingtar
Better yet, give Israel the green light to invade Syria.
11 posted on 10/27/2003 8:11:25 PM PST by Nachum
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To: Filibuster_60
B52s with lots of dumb bombs.
12 posted on 10/27/2003 8:12:34 PM PST by sheik yerbouty
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To: Nachum
Foreigners? The people who took over the airplanes on 9/11 were from places such as Egypt and Arabia. Does anybody in their right mind think deposing Hussein and occupying Iraq ever was central to the issue?
13 posted on 10/27/2003 8:12:50 PM PST by RLK
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To: Nachum
How long before we invade Syria?

------------------------

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.

14 posted on 10/27/2003 8:15:52 PM PST by RLK
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To: McGavin999
That's my thinking also. Add to that the Kurds re-enforcing our guys and the Brits on the Iranian border. Get our guys out of the Balkans and tell Europe it's their problem now and we need the troops elsewhere.
15 posted on 10/27/2003 8:20:31 PM PST by SCHROLL
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Comment #16 Removed by Moderator

To: RLK
Maybe not central but damn close:
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.
17 posted on 10/27/2003 8:35:16 PM PST by 1066AD
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To: ExGuru
"The Washington Times called them 'resistance fighters' - Yes, the Washington Times."

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.

18 posted on 10/27/2003 8:41:44 PM PST by cake_crumb (UN Resolutions = Very Expensive, Very SCRATCHY Toilet Paper)
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To: SCHROLL; McGavin999
This is where the Turks would be of great help, if only the Iraqis would allow it.
That's my thinking also. Add to that the Kurds re-enforcing our guys and the Brits on the Iranian border.

The problem is the Iraqis in general and the Kurds in particular have....issues with the Turks.




19 posted on 10/27/2003 8:43:30 PM PST by Valin (A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the subject)
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To: 1066AD
You're correct but there are other reasons too. Enforcing the no fly zone and maintaing bases in Saudi and Kuwaite is expensive. Before we move our forces, we have to eliminate the original reason we were there. We now can save money and reposition.
20 posted on 10/27/2003 8:47:43 PM PST by Archie Bunker on steroids
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