Revealed: Syrian Training Base of Iraqi Guerrilla Squads

(Sunday Times-UK) Mark Franchetti - Hundreds of foreign fighters have entered Iraq in recent months to pursue "jihad," or holy war, against the Americans. Last week, three young militants from a group called Martyrs of Islam said they had learned to make bombs, set booby traps, and fire weapons at a camp in Syria. The three - two Syrians and a Yemeni who described Osama Bin Laden as their biggest influence - said the desert camp had attracted 140 men from across the Arab world, including Saudi Arabia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, and Kuwait. "Our entire group was trained in Syria," said one of the men. "Other groups were trained there after us." American officials estimate that more than 1,000 die-hard foreign fighters have already made Iraq their base. The fear is that, like Afghanistan under Soviet occupation, Iraq will attract more and more foreign extremists intent on turning the country into the frontline of their jihad.

2003-09-15 00:00:00

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