Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 3, Number 29 August 24 - 30, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
in Iraq 'Preparing For a Holy War'
senior western counter-terrorism official on Monday said the presence of foreign
fighters in Iraq was "extremely worrying".
statement purportedly from al-Qaeda was broadcast on Monday by the Arab
satellite television channel al-Arabiya. It claimed the al-Qaeda leader Osama
bin Laden and the leader of the Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime Mullah
Mohammed Omar were still alive. But it also asserted that recent attacks on US
forces in Iraq were the work of jihadis.
focus of concern for US counter-terrorist officials was at first on a
reconstituted Ansar al-Islam, the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group based in
northern Iraq before the war. But US officials have recently acknowledged the
presence of other foreign fighters in Iraq.
Bremer, the US administrator in Iraq, said recent raids, including one near al-Qaim
last month, uncovered fighters "carrying travel documents from a variety of
to Saad al-Faguih, a UK-based Saudi dissident, the Saudi authorities are
concerned that up to 3,000 Saudi men have gone "missing" in the
kingdom in two months, although it is not clear how many have crossed into Iraq.
who have gone to Iraq have established links with sympathetic Iraqis in the
northern area between Baghdad, Mosul and Tikrit, where they have hidden in
safe-houses, a Saudi Islamist source said on Monday.
on Islamists in Saudi Arabia has grown since the bombing of an expatriate
residential compound in May killed 35 people. The subsequent arrest of many
Islamists has forced some underground while others are trying to flee to Iraq.
of this movement of people has been individual, but it is getting more organised
now," Saad al-Faguih said, adding that the loose organisation of Saudi
Islamists did not have a clear link to al-Qaeda. "Al-Qaeda is there and not
there. But its umbrella is huge, which is what has given it its ability to
survive," he said.
senior UK official said there was evidence of extremists from several countries
focusing on Iraq, though it was unclear what role al-Qaeda played.
"I don't know whether you can talk about an al-Qaeda strategy in Iraq, though there is great evidence of al-Qaeda involvement in the jihadi cause inside Iraq. But there's as much talk about other people doing things inside Iraq," the official said.