Friendly Fire? Foreign Fighters in Iraq Are Tied to US Allies

 In Iraq

The NYT reported this past weekend that according to senior American military officials, about 60 percent of the foreign fighters who came to Iraq in the past year to serve as suicide bombers or to facilitate other attacks are coming from either Saudi Arabia or Libya.

Saudis accounted for the largest number of fighters listed on the records by far — 305, or 41 percent — American intelligence officers found as they combed through documents and computers in the weeks after the raid. The data show that despite increased efforts by Saudi Arabia to clamp down on would-be terrorists since Sept. 11, 2001, when 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi, some Saudi fighters are still getting through.
Libyans accounted for 137 foreign fighters, or 18 percent of the total, the senior American military officials said.

The question then is, with all this information, will the Bush Administration begin tagging Saudi Arabia as a threat to US interests abroad, as they did with Iran? Answer: considering the close relationship between the Bush administration and the Saudi Royal family – this scenario is highly unlikely.

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