Saudi Jihadists in Iraq

INVESTIGATIONS

Saudi Arabia

Researcher Estimates Over 2500 Saudis Left for Jihad in Iraq Since 2003

Al Hayat newspaper looks at what it says has become "a phenomenon" in Saudi Arabia: young Saudi men leaving for jihad in Iraq. A Saudi researcher interviewed by the paper estimated that around 2500 Saudis left to fight in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. He says around 500 were killed and 100 arrested. The researcher, who preferred to withhold his name, said the return of "Iraq's Saudis" as they are being called, would constitute an even greater danger for the Kingdom, than the one caused by the return of the "Afghan Saudis" because of the type of operations they carry out in Iraq under the leadership of Abu Musaab al Zarqawi. He described al Zarqawi's group as being much more radical in thought than the group that followed Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan. (Al Hayat)

Pakistan

Security Sources: The U.S. Confused "Abu Anas" with "Abu Faraj" al Libi

U.S. authorities confused "Abu Faraj al Libi", the al Qaeda suspect arrested last week in Pakistan, with "Abu Anas al Libi," another al Qaeda suspect who was closer to the network's leadership, European security sources told Asharq al Awsat. A French counter-terrorism expert said Abu Faraj al Libi is a senior leader in the second rank of al Qaeda, but is not the chief of its operations as Pakistani authorities claimed last week. This view is supported by fundamentalist residing in London and interviewed by Asharq al Awsat, including a Libyan Islamist who knew Abu Faraj closely. British experts said Abu Faraj could not have ranked third in al Qaeda network and he did not succeed Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. Abu Anas al Libi on the other hand is considered a more senior leader and is on the U.S. list of 22 most wanted. In March 2002, there were reports about Abu Anas al Libi being arrested in Sudan. (Asharq al Awsat)

Note: U.S. intelligence officials tell ABCNEWS that the above report is not credible. Abu Faraj al Libbi was considered a mid level operative until last summer when, following the arrest of Pakistani operative Mohammad Noor Khan, subsequent analysis of his laptop computers revealed al Libbi to have assumed a prominant operational role in al Qaeda. Abu Faraj al Libbi was considered to have replaced captured operative Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as its new chief of operations.

Pakistani Taliban Among Musharraf Plotters: Officials

Pakistani Taliban veterans, once held in a notorious Afghan jail where hundreds of their comrades died, were part of a foiled plot to assassinate President Pervez Musharraf, intelligence officials said yesterday. (The Peninsula)

Pakistan Tightens Embassy Security After Terror Arrests

Authorities have tightened security at foreign missions across Pakistan, officials said yesterday, following the arrest of at least eight terror suspects, including a senior al Qaeda figure wanted for two assassination bids against President Pervez Musharraf. (AP)

Kuwait

Kuwait Jails 20 Over Iraq Recruiting

A Kuwaiti court yesterday sentenced a group of 20 suspected militants to three-year jail terms on charges of recruiting anti-US fighters for Iraq. (AFP)

Oil-for-Food Investigation

U.S. Senate Panel to Name Foreigners Who Got Illegal Contracts

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