Monday, July 28, 2008

FW: Report on al Qa'ida Foreign Fighters from the Combating Terrorism Center

The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point is pleased to announce the release of its second report of al-Qa'ida's foreign fighters in Iraq: Bombers, Bank Accounts, and Bleedout: al-Qa`ida's Road in and Out of Iraq. The report expands on an analysis of al-Qa'ida in Iraq personnel records conducted by the CTC in December 2007. The report can be accessed at:

New Raw Data

Bombers, Bank Accounts, and Bleedout not only expands on the analysis of the Sinjar Records conducted in the first report, it also introduces a host of new data, including:

  • Statistics on the exact number and nationality of foreign fighters held by the US at Camp Bucca in Iraq.
  • Contracts signed by AQI's foreign suicide bombers
  • Contracts signed by AQI fighters entering and leaving Iraq
  • Accounting sheets signed by various fighters that indicate funding sources and expenditures
  • Several narratives describing AQI’s network in Syria, personnel problems, and ties to Fatah al-Islam in Lebanon
  • Weapons reports, etc.


The report has several major new findings:

  • Foreign Fighters were an important source of funds for AQI; Saudi Fighters contributed far more money than any other nationality
  • Far more Syrians and Egyptians are held at Camp Bucca than were listed in the Sinjar Records, which likely reflects the demographic shift away from those nationalities
  • Approximately 75% of suicide bombings in Iraq between August 2006 and August 2007 can be attributed to fighters listed in the Sinjar Records.
  • “Bleedout” of fighters from Iraq is occurring, but in relatively small numbers. Nonetheless, these individual fighters will likely be well-trained and very dangerous. The primary threat from these fighters is to Arab states, Af-Pak, and perhaps Somalia.
  • Smuggling of all kinds across the Syrian/Iraqi border has long been linked to corruption in both Syria and Iraq, which limits both government’s ability to crackdown.
  • Fighters that contributed money to AQI were more likely to become suicide bombers.

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