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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Symbiosis

Isn't it grand?
Non-Iraqi militants made up less than 10 percent of the insurgents' ranks -- perhaps even half that -- the study said. Most were motivated by "revulsion at the idea of an Arab land being occupied by a non-Arab country." The study by Middle East analyst Anthony Cordesman and Saudi security adviser Nawaf Obaid may offer further fuel to critics who say that instead of weakening al Qaeda, the 2003 invasion of Iraq brought fresh recruits to Osama bin Laden's network.

It said Saudi Arabia had interrogated dozens of Saudi militants who either returned from Iraq or were caught at the border. "One important point was the number who insisted that they were not militants before the Iraq war," it said. "The vast majority of Saudi militants who entered Iraq were not terrorist sympathizers before the war, and were radicalized almost exclusively by the coalition invasion," the study said.

Backing up their claim, 85 percent of those interrogated were not on any watch list of known militants, the study said. Most came from the west, south or center of Saudi Arabia, often from middle class families of prominent conservative tribes. Many were well-educated and had jobs and all of them were Sunni Muslims, the study said. Majority Sunnis in Saudi Arabia are troubled by the emergency of Iraq's Shi'ite majority.

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