20 Dec 2007

We Should Have Invaded Saudi Arabia

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15 of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, and a recent West Point study, reported by Reuters, demonstrates that spoiled Saudi young men, free to live a life of idleness funded by the Kingdom’s oil exactions on the civilized world’s economy, make up the leading portion of Al Qaeda’s membership.

Most al Qaeda fighters in Iraq are from Saudi Arabia and Libya and many are university-aged students, said a study released on Wednesday by researchers at the U.S. Army’s West Point military academy.

The study was based on 606 personnel records collected by al Qaeda in Iraq and captured by coalition troops in October. It includes data on fighters who entered Iraq, largely through Syria, between August 2006 and August 2007.

The researchers at West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center found that 41 percent of the fighters were Saudi nationals.

Libyan nationals accounted for the second largest group entering Iraq in that time period with about 19 percent of the total, followed by Syrians and Yemenis each at 8 percent, Algerians with 7 percent and Moroccans at 6 percent. …

According to the study, the average age of the 606 fighters who entered over that one-year period was 24-25. One was 15 years old.

The authors called that finding “worrisome.”

“The incitement of a new generation of jihadis to join the fight in Iraq, or plan operations elsewhere, is one of the most worrisome aspects of the ongoing fight in Iraq,” they wrote.

“The United States should not confuse gains against al-Qa’ida’s Iraqi franchises as fundamental blows against the organization outside of Iraq. So long as al-Qa’ida is able to attract hundreds of young men to join its ranks, it will remain a serious threat to global security.”

The researchers found that of the 157 fighters who listed an occupation, 43 percent said they were students.

“Universities have become a critical recruiting field for al Qaeda,” the study said.

One Feedback on "We Should Have Invaded Saudi Arabia"

John Burgess

Your headline suggests you’ve misread the article. Saudis represent the majority of foreign fighters in Iraq, but as a proportion of all fighters, they represent less than 1%.

You can read details on this at Crossroads Arabia. You can also learn that the UK’s Guardian newspaper reports Saudi Fatawas Reducing Numbers of Jihadis in Iraq.


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