Saturday, December 03, 2005

Mehlis Extends: Syrian Jihadists Diminish

Robin Lustig of BBC 4 writes: "You might be interested in our interview last night with Abdullah Dardari on Mehlis, Hossam, etc. The link is at and click on Listen to Latest Edition. The interview runs about 20 minutes after the start of the programme.

Thanks, by the way, for your always interesting and useful weblog.
best regards,

Here are the complete Le Figaro articles about Siddiq and Mehlis. They are interesting. Thanks Nicolas.

The latest report on Terrorism from the has some interesting statistics about foreign fighters in Iraq. Most scientific studies suggest Saudis are by far the largest group followed by Syrians who make up only slightly more than other national groups. I would argue that most Syrian statistics come from fighters who volunteered at the time the war broke out when Syria was encouraging fighters to go to Iraq. Now that Syria is arresting almost every Syrian that returns home from Iraq and has taken measures to secure the border, the flow has been probably been largely stopped. Corruption, however, will ensure that those with intimate knowledge of the region will always be able to cross if they have money.

The Salafi-Jihadist Movement in Iraq: Recruitment Methods and Arab Volunteers

By Murad Batal al-Shishani

This is the second in a two-part series on al-Zarqawi and al-Qaeda in Iraq. This article focuses on the Salafi-jihadist base from which al-Zarqawi draws support and new recruits.

The experience of Arab fighters in Iraq is the latest and most important development of the global Salafi-jihadi movement, as they constitute the third generation of Salafi-jihadists. An examination of the social structure of these fighters provides important insights into this generation and the similarities and differences with the previous two generations.
READ FULL STORY but here are a few of the most interesting paragraphs:

Two recent articles have extensively studied the phenomenon of “Arab Volunteers” in Iraq. The first is by Israeli researcher Reuven Paz, who has analyzed 154 names and found that 94 (61%) were Saudis and came from the following regions: 61 from Najd, 12 from Qassim Burida, 7 from Mecca and Hijaz, 5 from the South and 2 from the North [2]. Paz also found that these Saudis perpetrated 23 suicide attacks, and that roughly 45% of the suicide bombers were from Najd.

The remaining fighters found in Paz’s study were: 16 Syrians (10.4%); 13 Iraqis (8.4%); 11 Kuwaitis (7.1%); 4 Jordanians, and 2 from Algeria, Morocco and Yemen each; and one each from Palestine, United Arab Emirates and Sudan.
Paz also noted that their ages ranged from 25-30 years. Some of them were married, some were holders of higher education degrees, most of them went to Iraq through a friend or relative, and the majority came from neighboring countries.

The second article is a study by Anthony Cordesman and Nawaf Obaid, who question the credibility of the lists published by al-Qaeda supporters, and contend that they were published for mobilization and recruitment purposes [3]. They also argue that many of persons mentioned in the list have been found to be living in Saudi Arabia and were never involved in jihadi activities in the first place. But the Saudi magazine “Al-Osbu’iah” and had previously published a report based on the same list and no response was forthcoming from the people whose names were mentioned [4].

Using methodology and information generated by the aforementioned articles, this article furthers studies the social structure of Salafi-jihadists in Iraq by analyzing the following factors: country of origin (geography), age, marital status and participation in other conflicts.


Based on a list of mujahideen posted on the al-Saha web forum (, the ranks of the Salafi-jihadists fighting in Iraq—most of whom are part of Zarqawi’s al-Qaeda in Iraq organization—come from all over the Arab World, with Saudis being the majority (200 fighters – 53%), 13% from Syria, 8% from Iraq, 5.8% from Jordan, 4% from Kuwait, 3.8% from Libya, with the rest distributed among other countries (see Chart 1) while the geographical origin of 52 names remains unknown.

While these numbers are not comprehensive, they do give an idea as to the complexion of the mujahideen in Iraq, and indicate that the largest percentage belongs to countries surrounding Iraq, presumably because accessing Iraq is easiest for these fighters. Moreover, jihadi leaders in neighboring countries (particularly in Saudi Arabia) regularly call on mujahideen to join the jihad in American-occupied Iraq. In addition, the on-going conflict between the Saudi regime and the Saudi al-Qaeda network is forcing many young Saudi Salafi-jihadists to migrate to Iraq. Many of these jihadis are prominent fighters and ideological trainers; a good example being the Salafi-jihadist ideologue Abdullah Rashid al-Rashoud, whom Zarqawi eulogized after he was slain by American forces near al-Qaim.

In addition, there are many North Africans—principally Moroccans, Algerians and Libyans, among Arab fighters. This is because local Salafi-jihadist movements in these countries are in conflict with their governments. Therefore, as in Saudi Arabia, overwhelming security pressures are forcing fighters to search for new havens.

Interestingly, in the list posted on the al-Saha forum, the number of local Iraqis among the ranks of the Salafi-jihadists is very low (around 8%), which indicates that insurgent Iraqis prefer to join indigenous “nationalist” resistance networks, rather then foreign-led extremist ideological movements.
These studies are probably a bit misleading because they are taken from websites, which do not pretend to be comprehensive and may be directed at the Saudi audience because it is rich. The NYT gives an overview of the multi-headed, diverse groups making up the Sunni Arab guerrilla movement, which suggests that the lack of any command structure makes it hard to know what is going on. Most killings of American troops are now being carried out by Iraqis. The number of suicide bombings is falling while the number of troops being killed due to IEDs is going up, which indicates that foreign jihadists are becoming less important as they are usually blamed for carrying out the suicide bombings.

Ever since Syria tried to frame Jumblat with the Hussam evidence, he has gone on the attack. Syria would not forgive him for his role in pushing Syria out of Lebanon despite recent attempts a reconciliation. Naharnet has this article: Jumblat Urges Assad's Overthrow, Asserting Syria Won't be New Iraq if Regime Crumbles. The Daily Star editorial today opines that Despite talk of turning the page, Syria continues with the same old story. It concludes that "evidence suggests that Jumblatt is right and that despite Siniora's optimism, relations between Lebanon and Syria are degenerating to an irreparable state. "

Mehlis May Stay on to January's End as the US Suggests 'a Clone of Mehlis': Chief UN investigator Detlev Mehlis has given tentative agreement to remain on the head of the Rafik Hariri assassination probe for "a reasonable transitional period" to avoid any vacuum that may result after he turns in his final report to the Security Council and then immediately resign by Dec. 15. U.S. urges Annan to convince Mehlis to remain as head of UN probe. Bolton wants German prosecutor to 'continue in his current capacity'. Rami Khouri has a good piece on the importance of the Mehlis Investigation: Mehlis and rule of law in the Arab world

Hizbullah remains adamant that the international tribunal would keep Lebanon under international tutelage spearheaded by the Bush administration and Israel. "Hizbullah refuses the concept of an international tribunal as a matter of principle because it would throw Lebanon into the wind," the Party of God second-in-command Sheikh Naim Kassem said. Siniora wants to off-shore the tribunal.

An American living in Damascus offered this commentary on the rumor that Total, the French oil giant, is in talks with the Syrian government regarding building an oil refinery, as reported by one of Syria Comments readers:
I can't offer confirmation per se to the story he's referring to, but I will say this:

A friend of mine working at Total here in Damascus just told me he was offered a position in their new refinery project. The offer includes a one-week training program in Paris, focused on refinery terminology, and a promotion. He was quite excited, noting how coveted these new positions are within company. The conversation occurred yesterday, his offer on Tuesday.


At 12/03/2005 09:02:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

This post has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 12/03/2005 09:07:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

I can not understand your love for the Assad Regime, Mr. Landis. You are trying very hard to save this regime, and you never defended the human rights of the Syrian people. You never tried to show your concerns of what this regime has done against the dignity of man in Syria, and all you want is to save the few among them is your father in law and his cronies.

The defeaters of America are those Liberal Americans who undermind every thing America stands for, and the few arrogant conservatives who thought that they could win in Iraq as if they were sending the army , very small in number into a picnic, and I am very disappointed by these attempts to declare America's mission in Iraq as a failure and push it to leave the region for thugs like the Assad family, and Zarqawi. I can not believe that this is what America was capable of. I am sure the mission was designed to fail, because I know america can not fail if it wants or wanted to win.

Assad must go!


At 12/03/2005 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Alterion said...

JAM wrote:
"I know america can not fail if it wants or wanted to win."

Care to elaborate?

At 12/03/2005 11:55:00 AM, Blogger zobahhan said...

I think JAM is an uber conservative freak with anti gay anti abortion anti everything views. He doesnt support freedom of choice but jesus and what he said. What did jesus know about anything?? seriously. Conservative prick.

so the mission was "designed" to fail for what purpose? Your analysis is greatly appreciated.

At 12/03/2005 03:18:00 PM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

That's an interesting one about the oil refinery.

Wouldn't it be nice! It would be right there on my wish list of things to happen for Syrians. But it's natural to ask how and why this would happen in Syria? And with such apparent speed and ease?

One of the main reasons that gasoline/petrol prices have risen so sharply around the world is the severe shortage of refineries at a time of rocketing demand by China (and to a lesser extent India).

Hurricane Katrina's disruption of US Gulf refineries brought this fact of life home hard. But it is not bringing on a rush to build refineries - just the opposite.

Everyone has noticed that there have been no new refineries built in America since the 1970s. This is because they do not make any money (compared with crude oil production, refineries give laughably small returns), give rise to environmental issues and are very expensive to build and run.

President Bush has tried to get refinery construction revved up in America, even offering disused army bases as sites. But the oil companies are hanging back, waiting for a lot more incentives before they commit.

But even if they started yesterday, it takes several years to get a refinery from planning to production. Plus it requires highly specialised skills and materials which are currently in severe global shortage.

So, given the geopolitical risk in Syria, who could be promising what to Total? Or is this Plan B if Iraq never settles down enough to get oil refining blooming there.

Just wondering, just wondering...

At 12/04/2005 12:18:00 AM, Blogger ActiveListener said...

The stories about proposed foreign investment in Syrian oil infrastructure are starting to look murkier than a barrel of crude oil.

We have the Reuters report below of Total dismissing any talk of refinery investment, but the Chinese and Russians – and maybe Indians – apparently lurking on the horizon with grandiose plans to build instant refineries (see my comment above on why the western oil majors aren’t building them), and vying to buy up Syria’s depleting oilfields. Well anyway, according to Mr Dardari, who has been publicly fantasising about Total.

Mr Dardari might feel at ease signing up the Chinese government to play around on Syrian soil, but note how the Americans freaked out and banned them from getting their claws into Conoco. They are not nice guys. If it happens to be in any way true, there will be nothing much in it for the Syrians. Likewise any deal with the Russians. Your can forget corporate governance, safety and environment standards, sustainability, equitable and transparent royalties and local employment. The Syrian “leadership’s” competence and motives in doing deals with such predators should sound alarm bells. Are they rushing to sign away their hostage (Syria) on second-rate, questionable deals that more developed, commercially literate and ethical governments would laugh at?

LONDON, Dec 1 (Reuters) - Syria has signed a $1.2 billion refinery deal with China and is in talks with Russia about a $2.4 billion plant, Syria's deputy prime minister said on Thursday, as money flows in despite a U.N. assassination probe.
Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah al-Dardari told reporters during a visit to London that oil producer Syria was likely to bring in $6 billion in private investment this year, with foreign direct investment accounting for 30 percent of that.
He also said Syria was in talks with French oil firm Total about building a refinery. Total denied there were any such negotiations. "We have no discussions with Syria," a spokeswoman said.
Dardari said Syria had signed a memorandum of understanding with China's state oil firm CNPC to build a 140,000 barrels per day plant in Deir ez-Zour, eastern Syria.
"It might be licensed before the end of the year, it might be licensed after it," he added.
Discussions with Russia centred on a proposed $2.4 billion petrochemical and refining complex, he said.
Reuters reported last week that CNPC and India's state Oil and Natural Gas Corp. were teaming up to bid for Petro-Canada's $1 billion stake in its Syrian oil and gas venture with Royal Dutch Shell. China and India, big importers of oil to fuel their booming economies, are normally rivals for overseas oil assets.

At 12/06/2005 09:42:00 PM, Blogger Yabroud said...

fix it

At 12/07/2005 12:05:00 PM, Blogger ol'son said...

Karl Rove's White House " Murder Inc. ".

Ariel Sharon's & Karl Rove's White House " Assassinations Inc. " !!!

Neocon's SOCOM @ "OSP" .

"The significance of this masterpiece is not only the divulsion of facts,
but the focus it's made on the covert cooperation between the parties who
are enemies...., thanks to the organized " Smear Campaign by ..X..?,
and the deliberate resonance it received in Damascus..... "

Special Investigation.

DEC., 2005- On September 15, 2001, just four days after the 9-11 attacks,
CIA Director George Tenet provided President [sic] Bush with a Top Secret
"Worldwide Attack Matrix"-a virtual license to kill targets deemed to be a
threat to the United States in some 80 countries around the world. The Tenet
plan, which was subsequently approved by Bush, essentially reversed the
executive orders of four previous U.S. administrations that expressly
prohibited political assassinations.

According to high level European intelligence officials, Bush's counselor,
Karl Rove, used the new presidential authority to silence a popular Lebanese
Christian politician who was planning to offer irrefutable evidence that
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon authorized the massacre of hundreds of
Palestinian men, women, and children in the Beirut refugee camps of Sabra
and Shatilla in 1982. In addition, Sharon provided the Lebanese forces who
carried out the grisly task. At the time of the massacres, Elie Hobeika was
intelligence chief of Lebanese Christian forces in Lebanon who were battling
Palestinians and other Muslim groups in a bloody civil war. He was also the
chief liaison to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) personnel in Lebanon. An
official Israeli inquiry into the massacre at the camps, the Kahan
Commission, merely found Sharon "indirectly" responsible for the slaughter
and fingered Hobeika as the chief instigator.

The Kahan Commission never called on Hobeika to offer testimony in his
defense. However, in response to charges brought against Sharon before a
special war crimes court in Belgium, Hobeika was urged to testify against
Sharon, according to well-informed Lebanese sources. Hobeika was prepared to
offer a different version of events than what was contained in the Kahan
report. A 1993 Belgian law permitting human rights prosecutions was unusual
in that non-Belgians could be tried for violations against other
non-Belgians in a Belgian court. Under pressure from the Bush
administration, the law was severely amended and the extra territoriality
provisions were curtailed.

Hobeika headed the Lebanese forces intelligence agency since the mid- 1970s
and he soon developed close ties to the CIA. He was a frequent visitor to
the CIA's headquarters at Langley, Virginia. After the Syrian invasion of
Lebanon in 1990, Hobeika held a number of cabinet positions in the Lebanese
government, a proxy for the Syrian occupation authorities. He also served in
the parliament. In July 2001, Hobeika called a press conference and
announced he was prepared to testify against Sharon in Belgium and revealed
that he had evidence of what actually occurred in Sabra and Shatilla.
Hobeika also indicated that Israel had flown members of the South Lebanon
Army (SLA) into Beirut International Airport in an Israeli Air Force C130
transport plane, in full view of dozens of witnesses, including members of
the Lebanese army and others. SLA troops under the command of Major Saad
Haddad were slipped into the camps to commit the massacres. The SLA troops
were under the direct command of Ariel Sharon and an Israeli Mossad agent
provocateur named Rafi Eitan. Hobeika offered evidence that a former U.S.
ambassador to Lebanon was aware of the Israeli plot. In addition, the IDF
had placed a camera in a strategic position to film the Sabra and Shatilla
massacres. Hobeika was going to ask that the footage be released as part of
the investigation of Sharon.

After announcing he was willing to testify against Sharon, Hobeika became
fearful for his safety and began moves to leave Lebanon. Hobeika was not
aware that his threats to testify against Sharon had triggered a series of
fateful events that reached well into the White House and Sharon's office.

On January 24, 2002, Hobeika's car was blown up by a remote controlled bomb
placed in a parked Mercedes along a street in the Hazmieh section of Beirut.
The bomb exploded when Hobeika and his three associates, Fares Souweidan,
Mitri Ajram, and Waleed Zein, were driving their Range Rover past the
TNT-laden Mercedes at 9:40 am Beirut time. The Range Rover's four passengers
were killed in the explosion. In case Hobeika's car had taken another route

through the neighborhood, two additional parked cars, located at two other
choke points, were also rigged with TNT. The powerful bomb wounded a number
of other people on the street. Other parked cars were destroyed and
buildings and homes were damaged. The Lebanese president, prime minister,
and interior minister all claimed that Israeli agents were behind the

It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist
incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on
Hobeika and his party. The White House wanted to ensure the attack was
censored from the report. The reason was simple: the attack ultimately had
Washington's fingerprints on it.

High level European intelligence sources now report that Karl Rove
personally coordinated Hobeika's assassination. The hit on Hobeika employed
Syrian intelligence agents. Syrian President Bashar Assad was trying to
curry favor with the Bush administration in the aftermath of 9-11 and was
more than willing to help the White House. In addition, Assad's father,
Hafez Assad, had been an ally of Bush's father during Desert Storm, a period
that saw Washington give a "wink and a nod" to Syria's occupation of
Lebanon. Rove wanted to help Sharon avoid any political embarrassment from
an in absentia trial in Brussels where Hobeika would be a star witness. Rove
and Sharon agreed on the plan to use Syrian Military Intelligence agents to
assassinate Hobeika. Rove saw Sharon as an indispensable ally of Bush in
ensuring the loyalty of the Christian evangelical and Jewish voting blocs in
the United States. Sharon saw the plan to have the United States coordinate
the hit as a way to mask all connections to Jerusalem.

The Syrian hit team was ordered by Assef Shawkat, the number two man in
Syrian military intelligence and a good friend and brother in law of Syrian
President Bashar Assad. Assad's intelligence services had already cooperated
with U.S. intelligence in resorting to unconventional methods to extract
information from al Qaeda detainees deported to Syria from the United States
and other countries in the wake of 9-11. The order to take out Hobeika was
transmitted by Shawkat to Roustom Ghazali, the head of Syrian military
intelligence in Beirut. Ghazali arranged for the three remote controlled
cars to be parked along Hobeika's route in Hazmieh; only few hundred yards
from the Barracks of Syrian Special Forces which are stationed in the area
near the Presidential palace , the ministry of Defense and various
Government and officers quarters . This particular area is covered 24/7 by a
very sophisticated USA multi-agency surveillance system to monitor Syrian
and Lebanese security activities and is a " Choice " area to live in for its
perceived high security, [Courtesy of the Special Collections Services.]
SCS...; CIA & NSA & DIA....etc.

The plan to kill Hobeika had all the necessary caveats and built-in denial
mechanisms. If the Syrians were discovered beforehand or afterwards, Karl
Rove and his associates in the Pentagon's Office of Special Plans would be
ensured plausible deniability.

Hobeika's CIA intermediary in Beirut, a man only referred to as "Jason" by
Hobeika, was a frequent companion of the Lebanese politician during official
and off-duty hours. During Hobeika's election campaigns for his
parliamentary seat, Jason was often in Hobeika's office offering support and
advice. After Hobeika's assassination, Jason became despondent over the
death of his colleague. Eventually, Jason disappeared abruptly from Lebanon
and reportedly later emerged in Pakistan.

Karl Rove's involvement in the assassination of Hobeika may not have been
the last "hit" he ordered to help out Sharon. In March 2002, a few months
after Hobeika's assassination, another Lebanese Christian with knowledge of
Sharon's involvement in the Sabra and Shatilla massacres was gunned down
along with his wife in Sao Paulo, Brazil. A bullet fired at Michael Nassar's
car flattened one of his tires. Nassar pulled into a gasoline station for
repairs. A professional assassin, firing a gun with a silencer, shot Nassar
and his wife in the head, killing them both instantly. The assailant fled
and was never captured. Nassar was also involved with the Phalange militia
at Sabra and Shatilla. Nassar was also reportedly willing to testify against
Sharon in Belgium and, as a nephew of SLA Commander General Antoine Lahd,
may have had important evidence to bolster Hobeika's charge that Sharon
ordered SLA forces into the camps to wipe out the Palestinians.

Based on what European intelligence claims is concrete intelligence on
Rove's involvement in the assassination of Hobeika, the Bush administration
can now add political assassination to its laundry list of other misdeeds,
from lying about the reasons to go to war to the torture tactics in
violation of the Geneva Conventions that have been employed by the Pentagon
and "third country" nationals at prisons in Iraq , Guantanamo Bay,
Morocco, and various East European locations, among others....

It is noteworthy that the State Department's list of global terrorist
incidents for 2002 worldwide failed to list the car bombing attack on
Hobeika and his party.... But Listed a small Hand Grenade thrown at
a U.S. franchise....? The White House wanted to ensure the attack was
censored from the report. The reason was simple: the attack ultimately had
Washington's fingerprints on it....

This is some of the evidence for you and for the World .... article=1052
~encrypted/logs/access ====>> INTELLIGENCE Agencies Servers footprints.


Not to mention hundreds of private companies and governments........!
See Below :

Lines 10-36 of my logfiles show a lot of interest in this article: =1052

# grep sid=1052 /encrypted/logs/access_log|awk '{print$1,$7}'|sed-n'10,36p'. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Soviet/Russian Intelligence services... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
NATO Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Nato Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Strategic Air Command US Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
European Parliament Intel. Unit /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Department of Justice... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Department of Justice... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Treasury Department /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Treasury Department /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
CIA Langley /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
CIA Langley /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
CIA Langley /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Department of Homeland security Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
British Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Pentagon US. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Intel.... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Intel..... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
British Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Marine Corps Quantico Virginia Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
USA Marine Corps Quantico Virginia Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
US Intel SIS. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Intel.... /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
US Intel. OSIS. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
British Intel. /modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=1052
Ukrainian Intelligence.

"The significance of this masterpiece is not only the divulsion of facts,
but the focus it's made on the covert cooperation between the parties who
are playing enemies.... " At the very Least in Lebanon since the 1970s...!!!

At 12/09/2005 09:18:00 AM, Blogger Joseph ALi Mohammed said...

Blog needs to ve fixed every posting something in some threads. this i sstrange..

At 12/12/2005 02:18:00 PM, Blogger al-hakika said...

At 12/12/2005 02:19:00 PM, Blogger al-hakika said...


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