July 15, 2007


Saudis' role in Iraq insurgency outlined: Sunni extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official says (Ned Parker, July 15, 2007, LA Times)

Although Bush administration officials have frequently lashed out at Syria and Iran, accusing it of helping insurgents and militias here, the largest number of foreign fighters and suicide bombers in Iraq come from a third neighbor, Saudi Arabia, according to a senior U.S. military officer and Iraqi lawmakers.

About 45% of all foreign militants targeting U.S. troops and Iraqi civilians and security forces are from Saudi Arabia; 15% are from Syria and Lebanon; and 10% are from North Africa, according to official U.S. military figures made available to The Times by the senior officer. Nearly half of the 135 foreigners in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq are Saudis, he said.

Fighters from Saudi Arabia are thought to have carried out more suicide bombings than those of any other nationality, said the senior U.S. officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the subject's sensitivity. It is apparently the first time a U.S. official has given such a breakdown on the role played by Saudi nationals in Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgency.

He said 50% of all Saudi fighters in Iraq come here as suicide bombers. In the last six months, such bombings have killed or injured 4,000 Iraqis.

The situation has left the U.S. military in the awkward position of battling an enemy whose top source of foreign fighters is a key ally that at best has not been able to prevent its citizens from undertaking bloody attacks in Iraq, and at worst shares complicity in sending extremists to commit attacks against U.S. forces, Iraqi civilians and the Shiite-led government in Baghdad.

It takes a level of expertise unknown to the laymen to not be able to figure out that it's us and the Shi'a vs the Sunni Arabs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 15, 2007 8:45 AM

You are assuming that the Shia are unlike the Sunni jailors running the spiritual jailhouse all over the Middle East--a floating straw at which to clutch as the battle-cry surrounds us.

It is as likely that they are no more than another set of jailors, as mad and evil as the other. Iran, Lebanon and Palestine give clues as to which of us is correct.

Now, if favoring the Shi'ites is a maskirovka on the way to the coming reformation, then we are on the right track.

Posted by: Lou Gots at July 15, 2007 9:26 AM


Thanks to OJs site and analysis (combined, of course, with a few brain cells of my own), it is pretty clear that every decision Bush has made would be patently insane if "reformation" wasn't the obvious goal.

As for the Saudi Princes, they may not like the empowerment of Iran/Shia, but the most fervent jihadis exporting themselves to Iraq to blow themselves up can't be bugging them too much.

Posted by: Bruno at July 15, 2007 2:10 PM

I wonder if there have been cases where the Sunni and Shi'a "foreign" fighters have been part of the same cells. Certainly Iran has been enabling some Sunni terror groups.

It is past time to start car bombings, assassinations, and other retributive actions inside Iran. Sever a few pipelines, burn some empty mosques, hijack tanker trucks, all of it. Kidnap some Revolutionary Guards. Distribute propaganda tapes inside Iran. Do the same to the nuttier wings of the Saudi royal family.

It goes without saying that Damascus must fall.

Posted by: ratbert at July 15, 2007 3:15 PM

Not assuming. They are. They're indistinguishable from Jews and Christians.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2007 4:15 PM

No, they haven't.

Posted by: oj at July 15, 2007 5:51 PM