Accession Number : ADA474986

Title :   Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records

Corporate Author : MILITARY ACADEMY WEST POINT NY COMBATING TERRORISM CENTER

Personal Author(s) : Felter, Joseph ; Fishman, Brian

PDF Url : ADA474986

Report Date : DEC 2007

Pagination or Media Count : 31

Abstract : On December 4, 2007 Abu Umar al-Baghdadi, the reputed Emir of al-Qa'ida's Islamic State of Iraq (151), claimed that his organization was almost purely Iraqi, containing only 200 foreign fighters. Twelve days later, on December 16, 2007, Ayman al-Zawahiri urged Sunnis in Iraq to unite behind the 151. Both statements are part of al-Qa'ida's ongoing struggle to appeal to Iraqis, many of whom resent the ISI's foreign leadership and its desire to impose strict Islamic law. In November 2007, received the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point nearly 700 records of foreign nationals that entered Iraq between August 2006 and August 2007. The data compiled and analyzed in this report is drawn from these personnel records, which was collected by al-Qa'ida's Iraqi affiliates, first the Mujahidin Shura Council (MSC) and then the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). The records contain varying levels of information on each fighter, but often include the fighter's country of origin, hometown, age, occupation, the name of the fighter's recruiter, and even the route the fighter took to Iraq. The records were captured by coalition forces in October 2007 in a raid near Sinjar, along Iraq's Syrian border. Although there is some ambiguity in the data, it is likely that all of the fighters listed in the Sinjar Records crossed into Iraq from Syria. The Sinjar Records' existence was first reported by The New York Times' Richard Oppel, who was provided a partial summary of the data. The Combating Terrorism Center is pleased to make the Sinjar Records publicly available for the first time. The purpose of this initial assessment of the Sinjar Records is to provide scholars access to this unique data, in the hope that their scholarship will complement and compete with our own.

Descriptors :   *IRAQ, *RECORDS, *TERRORISM, SYRIA, FOREIGN, DOCUMENTS, POLITICAL PARTIES, RECRUITERS, TRANSLATIONS, ISLAM, MILITARY OPERATIONS

Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE