Are Foreign Militants Leaving Iraq?

There is increasing evidence a growing number of foreign fighters are leving Iraq due to serious weakening of al-Qida forces by current military campaigns in the country. Most came to Iraq due to being encouraged to participate in a jihad against western invaders who were attempting to destroy a Muslim society. It is estimated foreign militants constitute about 10% of Al-Qaida’s strength but they may make up to 90% of suicide bombers. Acording to General Keller, a chief intelligence officer in Iraq, “We’re just starting to see more fissures in the morale and leadership of al-Qaida.” The Algerian government recently said they had reports from family members that about 20 Algerians in al-Qaida wanted out of Iraq.

Most of the foreign militants come from young men who were seeking to make their mark in life by doing something heroic. Some became disenchanted upon arrival in Iraq because instead of killing Americans they were asked to kill fellow Muslims. However, many experts warn against becoming too optimistic because most Muslim militant groups are not vertical organizations in which taking out the top leader leads to a collapse. They are resilient and other men will work their way into leadership roles.

These indications point up more vividly the importance of emphasizing economic, political and ideological weapons to combat the militants. They are seeking new avenues for success and the emergence of strong ideological leaders could more probably attract their attention.