Zarqawi Running Out of Suicide Bombers

The London TimesMichael Smith reports that Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is putting together a private army in order to move beyond suicide bombings.

The leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is attempting to set up his own mini-army and move away from individual suicide attacks to a more organised resistance movement, according to US intelligence sources. Faced with a shortage of foreign fighters willing to undertake suicide missions, Zarqawi wants to turn his group into a more traditional force mounting co-ordinated guerrilla raids on coalition targets. Al-Qaeda is sending training and planning experts to help to set up the force and infiltrate members into Iraq with the assistance of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, the sources said.


The change of strategy will make it easier for Zarqawi to link up with Iraqi insurgents and evade the allied special operations teams trying to track him down. Zarqawi came close to capture two weeks ago, Defense News, the international news weekly, reported yesterday. An American raid on a terrorist safe house in Yusifiya, 20 miles southwest of Baghdad, was aimed at capturing one of his lieutenants, but when five men at the house were interrogated, it emerged that Zarqawi had been in a house close by.

This is quite interesting, indeed. If Zarqawi is finally running out of willing martyrs, his effectiveness is coming to an end. Professional militaries have a much easier time fighting organized military forces than stopping suicide bombers.

This was presented early in the story as an aside:

Mowaffak al-Rubaie, Iraq’s national security adviser, said this weekend that the majority of American and British troops would have left by the end of next year. “By the middle of 2008 there will be no foreign soldiers in the country,” he predicted.

That would be excellent news.

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rewriteable says:

    Plame was at the press party and does bodyguard Wilson. Maybe the psychiatrist did’nt go as well as planned………

  2. legion says:

    Maybe Zarqawi should ‘send out’ for some from Iran – didn’t they just announce they had some thousands of suicide bombers in some martyrs corps or other? Unless that was all a load of crap, that is 🙂

  3. ICallMasICM says:

    Good – hopefully he can recruit plenty for a full out confrontation so we can kill more of them faster.