Saturday, August 25, 2007

Gone native

One can wade through countless press releases from Multinational Forces Iraq which report claims about captured foreign fighters in Iraq, or foreign influence, without ever getting a single bit of identifying information for any of the suspects. Some might say that it's because the alleged wave of foreign insurgents is a trickle, and/or because most of the foreign suspects are from Saudi Arabia.

So one reads with interest a press release that seems to offer a bit more --

Coalition forces detained a foreign fighter during an intelligence-driven operation in northern Arab Jabour Aug. 22.

Intelligence indicates the targeted individual is a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device cell leader targeting coalition forces operating in the Arab Jabour area. He was born in Egypt but came to Iraq in the early 1980s and later joined al-Qaeda fighters. He has Iraqi citizenship and believed to be a former high ranking official of the Ba’ath party during Saddam Hussein’s reign.

So the foreign fighter is, er, Iraqi, and not only that, he's from the former regime and so can't even by classified as al Qaeda in Iraq, which anyway they keep telling us is not really Iraqi except for being in Iraq. So not Iran. Not Special Groups. Not foreign. Just a recalcitrant member of the former regime who now has a specialty in car bombs, a symbol of an unfinished job from 2003.

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