دور السعوديين في التمرد في
أنجلوس تايمز - 15/7/2007
ان المتطرفين السنة من
السعودية يشكلون نصف أعداد
المقاتلين الأجانب في العراق, و
العديد من الانتحاريين, بحسب
المصادر الأمريكية الرسمية
role in Iraq insurgency outlined
extremists from Saudi Arabia make up half the foreign
fighters in Iraq, many suicide bombers, a U.S. official
Ned Parker, Times Staff Writer
— 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.
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.
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.
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.
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
problem casts a spotlight on the tangled web of
alliances and enmities that underlie the political
relations between Muslim nations and the U.S.
the 1980s, the Saudi intelligence service sponsored
Sunni Muslim fighters for the U.S.-backed Afghan
mujahedin battling Soviet troops in Afghanistan. At the
time, Saudi intelligence cultivated another man helping
the Afghan fighters, Osama bin Laden, the future leader
of Al Qaeda who would one day turn against the Saudi
royal family and mastermind the Sept. 11 attacks on New
York and the Pentagon. Indeed, Saudi Arabia has long
been a source of a good portion of the money and
manpower for Al Qaeda: 15 of the 19 hijackers in the
Sept. 11 attacks were Saudi.
a group that calls itself Al Qaeda in Iraq is the
greatest short-term threat to Iraq's security, U.S.
military spokesman Brig. Gen. Kevin Bergner said
group, one of several Sunni Muslim insurgent groups
operating in Baghdad and beyond, relies on foreigners to
carry out suicide attacks because Iraqis are less likely
to undertake such strikes, which the movement hopes will
provoke sectarian violence, Bergner said. Despite its
name, the extent of the group's links to Bin Laden's
network, based along the Afghan-Pakistani frontier, is
Saudi government does not dispute that some of its
youths are ending up as suicide bombers in Iraq, but
says it has done everything it can to stop the bloodshed.
are actually being misused. Someone is helping them come
to Iraq. Someone is helping them inside Iraq. Someone is
recruiting them to be suicide bombers. We have no idea
who these people are. We aren't getting any formal
information from the Iraqi government," said Gen.
Mansour Turki, spokesman for the Saudi Interior Ministry.
we get good feedback from the Iraqi government about
Saudis being arrested in Iraq, probably we can
help," he said.
of Saudi Arabia pointed out that it has sought to
control its lengthy border with Iraq and has fought a
bruising domestic war against Al Qaeda since Sept. 11.
suggest they've done nothing to stem the flow of people
into Iraq is wrong," said a U.S. intelligence
official in Washington, who spoke on condition of
anonymity. "People do get across that border. You
can always ask, 'Could more be done?' But what are they
supposed to do, post a guard every 15 or 20 paces?"
contend that Saudi Arabia is allowing fighters
sympathetic to Al Qaeda to go to Iraq so they won't
create havoc at home.
Shiite lawmaker Sami Askari, an advisor to Prime
Minister Nouri Maliki, accused Saudi officials of a
deliberate policy to sow chaos in Baghdad.
fact of the matter is that Saudi Arabia has strong
intelligence resources, and it would be hard to think
that they are not aware of what is going on," he
also alleged that imams at Saudi mosques call for jihad,
or holy war, against Iraq's Shiites and that the
government had funded groups causing unrest in Iraq's
largely Shiite south. Sunni extremists regard Shiites as
Iraqi officials said that though they believed Saudi
Arabia, a Sunni fundamentalist regime, had no interest
in helping Shiite-ruled Iraq, it was not helping
militants either. But some Iraqi Shiite leaders say the
Saudi royal family sees the Baghdad government as a
proxy for its regional rival, Shiite-ruled Iran, and
wants to unseat it.
its own border with Iraq largely closed, Saudi fighters
take what is now an established route by bus or plane to
Syria, where they meet handlers who help them cross into
Iraq's western deserts, the senior U.S. military officer
suggested it was here that Saudi Arabia could do more,
by implementing rigorous travel screenings for young
Saudi males. Iraqi officials agreed.
the Saudis using all means possible? Of course not….
And we think they need to do more, as does Syria, as
does Iran, as does Jordan," the senior officer
said. An estimated 60 to 80 foreign fighters cross into
Iraq each month, according to the U.S. military.
needs to be addressed by the government of Iraq head on.
They have every right to stand up to a country like
Saudi Arabia and say, 'Hey, you are killing thousands of
people by allowing your young jihadists to come here and
associate themselves with an illegal worldwide network
called Al Qaeda."
the White House and State Department declined to comment
for this article.
the Saudi spokesman, defended the right of his citizens
to travel without restriction.
you leave Saudi Arabia and go to other places and find
somebody who drags them to Iraq, that is a problem we
can't do anything about," Turki said. He added that
security officials could stop people from leaving the
kingdom only if they had information on them.
officials had not shared with Iraqi officials
information gleaned from Saudi detainees, but this has
started to change, said an Iraqi source, who asked not
to be identified. For example, U.S. officials provided
information about Saudi fighters and suicide bombers to
Iraqi security officials who traveled to Saudi Arabia
advisor Askari asserted that Vice President Dick Cheney,
in a visit to Saudi Arabia in May, pressured officials
to crack down on militant traffic to Iraq. But that
message has not yet produced results, Askari said.
close relationship between the U.S. and oil-rich Saudi
Arabia has become increasingly difficult.
leaders in early February undercut U.S. diplomacy in the
Israeli-Palestinian dispute by brokering, in Mecca, an
agreement to form a Fatah-Hamas "unity"
government in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. And King
Abdullah took Americans by surprise by declaring at an
Arab League gathering that the U.S. presence in Iraq was
officials remain sensitive about the relationship. Asked
why U.S. officials in Iraq had not publicly criticized
Saudi Arabia the way they had Iran or Syria, the senior
military officer said, "Ask the State Department.
This is a political juggernaut."
week when U.S. military spokesman Bergner declared Al
Qaeda in Iraq the country's No. 1 threat, he released a
profile of a thwarted suicide bomber, but said he had
not received clearance to reveal his nationality. The
bomber was a Saudi national, the senior military officer
fighter, a young college graduate whose mother was a
teacher and father a professor, had been recruited in a
mosque to join Al Qaeda in Iraq. He was given money for
a bus ticket and a phone number to call in Syria to
contact a handler who would smuggle him into Iraq.
the young Saudi made it in, he was under the care of
Iraqis who gave him his final training and
indoctrination. At the very last minute, the bomber
decided he didn't want to blow himself up. He was
supposed to have been one of two truck bombers on a
bridge outside Ramadi. When the first truck exploded, he
panicked and chose not to trigger his own detonator, and
Iraqi police arrested him.
Qaeda in Iraq and its affiliate groups number anywhere
from 5,000 to 10,000 individuals, the senior U.S.
military officer said. Iraqis make up the majority of
members, facilitating attacks, indoctrinating, fighting,
but generally not blowing themselves up. Iraqis account
for roughly 10% of suicide bombers, according to the
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