Why do they make their initial contact in a mosque? Don’t the mosque leaders, aware of the Qur’an’s peaceful teachings, turn them away? Why aren’t American policymakers taking note of the implications of this fact? From the TimesOnline, :
IN A garden cafÃ© on the airport road into Damascus clusters of young men gather to drink coffee, smoke shisha and hear some awe-inspiring accounts of death and glory that will lead many on a journey to certain death in the battle raging across the border in Iraq….
“It’s an individual decision. Once you”ve decided, you go to a mosque to make the initial contact. Then you are sent to a private home and from there for a week’s intensive training inside Syria,” she said. According to former fighters who spoke to The Times in Damascus, volunteers are given a crash course in using Kalashnikov rifles, firing rocket-propelled grenades and the use of remote detonators. The training takes place at secret camps in the Syrian desert, near the Iraqi border. Some attacks are even planned in advance in Damascus and Aleppo. Once the team is ready, a guide leads them across the rugged border into Iraq where they are taken to a safe house….
Over the past few weeks US Marines have carried out a series of offensives in the western Iraqi province of Anbar to try to smash the Euphrates supply line, yet most of the towns along the river valley remain in rebel hands. The main border town of al-Qaim is even nicknamed the “jihad superbowl” by US forces.