The Source of Terrorists


American troops have increased the number of raids they conduct in cooperation with the Iraqi police. While this leads to rounding up more anti-government fighters, it also exposes American troops to more danger from roadside bombs. The bombers have found that, if the Americans do not have an opportunity to carefully scout a route, they could plant a well concealed bomb and have a good chance of setting it off when American vehicles got near. Unscouted routes are more common for raids, as they are often in neighborhoods that American troops do not visit frequently. Working closely with the growing number of Iraqi police detectives also risks getting involved with those few Iraqi police who are working (because of belief or bribes) with anti-government forces or terrorists.

[Yesterday,] a large car bomb went off in front of a small hotel in a wealthy Baghdad neighborhood. There were 29 dead and over 40 wounded. The hotel was used largely by Arab and Iraqi businessmen. Unable to get close to the well protected larger hotels housing Americans and other foreigners, or military bases and police stations, the terrorists are going after whatever targets they can get. More foreign terrorist suspects are arrested every day, and it’s become apparent that there is a steady supply of new terrorist manpower coming in from Iran and Syria. The support from Iran is because of the many Iranian Islamic conservatives who still believe that America is the “Great Satan” and the main enemy of Islam. The Syrian support is more murky and may have more to do with money (bribes), and fear (that Syria will be invaded next because it is also run by a Baath Party dictatorship.) Both Syria and Iran have been warned repeatedly by the United States that if they continue their support of terrorists, there will be consequences.

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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.