Ali al-Mawsawi / Azzaman – 2008-08-26 22:31:39
BAGHDAD (August 22, 2008) — Western security firms are implicated in the upsurge of violence in Iraq, Defense Ministry spokesman said. Lt. Gen. Mohammed al-Askari said these security firms were working on behalf of intelligence groups in other countries which see tranquility in Iraq against their strategic interests.
He did not mention these countries nor would agree to divulge any names but said these firms have recruited hundreds or even thousands of volunteers mainly from North African Arab states and sent them to Iraq.
“These people’s access to Europe is facilitated by these firms. Once trained to carry out special violent actions they are sent to Iraq to execute their plans,” Askari said.
The general said many of these volunteers have been caught in Iraq and some were killed in military operations.
There are hundreds of thousands of foreign fighters in Iraq. Americans are disguised in the presence of their troops in the country as part of the so-called multi-national forces. So are British troops and smaller contingents from a few other states.
The other category of foreign fighters are the so-called ‘security guards’ or mercenaries the Americans employ to do their dirty job in return form massive monthly salaries of not less than $15,000 a month. They are estimated at 160,000 guards.
Besides these mercenaries there is another class of foreign fighters in Iraq. This includes foreign volunteers who join the ranks of al-Qaeda as suicide bombers.
Askari said the information bout the new class of foreign fighters comes from many detainees who admitted being trained in Europe by special security firms and then sent to Iraq “to kill Iraqis and cause further insecurity.”
“I am certain about the information I have and I believe that there are now some 2,000 such fighters in the country,” he said.
He said some of the tasks given to these fighters included the assassination of senior figures and notable Iraqis such as scientists, doctors and university professors.
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