Marines Find Traces Of Suicide Squads

Fronting tomorrow’s WaPo: Marines Find Traces Of Suicide Squads

When the U.S. troops entered the abandoned factory shed Sunday, they found a hastily abandoned campsite full of jumbled clothing and bedrolls, scattered sneakers and gym bags, broken eggs and dirty cooking pots.

But there were other, less innocent objects half-hidden in the gloom. Sacks full of chemical-coated rocks. Leather belts stuffed with explosive putty, and one smeared with dried blood. Boxes of batteries with wires taped to them. Instructions for making bombs.

“This was a 16-man terrorist cell,” pronounced a Marine captain, rifling through the mess. “See? All the bags and sneakers are brand new, all the same make. This took money and planning. Someone sponsored them.”

Among the debris were more intimate clues to the identity and motives of the suicide squad that had lived, prayed and made bombs in the shed, preparing to do battle with the 2,500 Marines who entered sections of this turbulent city one week ago.

The evidence — Islamic books, pamphlets, tapes and farewell letters in Arabic — suggested that some of the men were not Iraqis from the area, but foreign Sunni Muslims who had traveled to this urban Sunni stronghold to fight and die in a holy war, both against the U.S. forces and the country’s Shiite Muslim majority.

Yet more evidence that the war in Iraq and the war on terrorists are inextricably linked.

FILED UNDER: Iraq War, , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. akim says:

    I guess that’s what the Brits were trying to point out – that you gotta find a way to distinguish between Iraq and Iraq as a breeding ground for terrorists. I don’t see how it would be possible to deal with the latter if you don’t get a clue about the former first.

  2. Art Keon says:

    Seems to me that the war in Iraq has produced these terrorists. They are new to game. See the Brit’s omments on how the US treats the Iraqi’s. 700 dead IRAQI’s this month. You don’t think that will create bitterness and “Martyr Material”?