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Report by US think tank says only '4 to 10' percent of insurgents are foreigners.
By Tom Regan | csmonitor.com
The US and Iraqi governments have vastly overstated the number of foreign fighters in Iraq, and most of them don't come from Saudi Arabia, according to a new report from the Washington-based Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS). According to a piece in The Guardian, this means the US and Iraq "feed the myth" that foreign fighters are the backbone of the insurgency. While the foreign fighters may stoke the insurgency flames, they only comprise only about 4 to 10 percent of the estimated 30,000 insurgents.
The CSIS study also disputes media reports that Saudis comprise the largest group of foreign fighters. CSIS says "Algerians are the largest group (20 percent), followed by Syrians (18 percent), Yemenis (17 percent), Sudanese (15 percent), Egyptians (13 percent), Saudis (12 percent) and those from other states (5 percent)." CSIS gathered the information for its study from intelligence sources in the Gulf region.
The CSIS report says: "The vast majority of Saudi militants who have entered Iraq were not terrorist sympathizers before the war; and were radicalized almost exclusively by the coalition invasion."