Most Did Not Start out in al Qaeda

Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah has just received a new profile of the typical Saudi suicide terrorist fighting in Iraq, which he secretly commissioned from Nawaf Abaid, one of his most trusted aides, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence sources.

Abaid has carried out many confidential missions in the service of the de facto ruler in Washington and European capitals. Drawing on data accumulated by Saudi secret services, he examined the dossiers of 454 Saudis captured and interrogated in various Arab countries on their way to or from Iraq or preparing to set out.

He also scanned closely the files on 36 Saudis who according to information received died in suicide operations in Iraq.

Abaid’s main conclusion from his researches is that 78% of these men, before going to Iraq, were never associated with al Qaeda or any other Islamic jihadist groups. The desire to volunteer to fight in Iraq and perform suicide operations there was first planted in their minds by sermons on the Iraq war they heard in Saudi mosques and the fatwas Saudi clerics issued on the subject.

DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s terror experts infer from this finding that most of the Saudi combatants in Iraq are not al Qaeda veterans from Afghanistan, Chechnya or the Balkans but a fresh intake of young zealots whom the Iraqi war brought to al Qaeda.

This conclusion may be important if the Saudi involvement in Iraq deepens in the wake of the projected visit to Riyadh by Iraqi Shiite spiritual leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

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