Of course, the whole world now knows that foreign jihadists have been streaming into Iraq. I gave details of some of this movement even before the war in Onward Muslim Soldiers. But most analysts present these men as largely newly-minted, radicalized by the Iraq war itself, when in fact there is a population of intinerent warriors that has gone from Afghanistan to Bosnia to Chechnya and elsewhere in search of the latest jihad. Iraq is just a stop along the way.
From Bill Gertz in the Washington Times, :
U.S. military forces captured more than 30 foreign fighters during recent combat in Fallujah and found equipment used by terrorists to make fake passports and documents, a senior military official in Iraq said.
“We found a lot of evidence in the city of foreign fighter involvement, to include equipment for making and forging passports and official documents, rolls, books or ledgers with names and countries of origin of foreign fighters that were located within the city,” the senior officer said.
However, al Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab Zarqawi and other insurgent leaders fled the city and are believed to be moving constantly. Some are operating in the Mosul area in northern Iraq, the senior officer in Iraq told The Washington Times.
One finding of the battle of Fallujah was that no single nation was the main home of the foreigners who were killed or captured. The list of foreign fighters who were identified included nationals from Saudi Arabia, Syria, Sudan, Morocco and Algeria, said the officer, speaking on condition that he not be named.
In addition to the 30 captured foreign fighters, the remains of more than 40 others have been identified as non-Iraqis. Many of those killed in the recent fighting also may have been foreign terrorists, but did not carry any identification.
“The number of foreign fighters that were found in the city was lower than we expected,” the official said, adding that many fled the city and others were killed but not identified.