Friday, April 06, 2007

General Gaskin: al-Qaeda now self-sustaining in Iraq

A Palestinian militant of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) stands next to a poster picturing al-Qaeda in Iraq leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was killed in 2006. The group consists of foreign jihadists and regligiously radicalized Sunni nationalists. The group uses targeted assassinations, kidnappings and beheadings, truck bombings, road bombs, mortar attacks, and also now conducts offensive urban guerilla-style attacks using rocket-propelled grenades and small arms.

BORDER FORT 13, Iraq: Infiltration of arms and fighters from Syria into Iraq has slowed, but a major reason is that the terrorists of al-Qaida in Iraq now need less foreign help, a senior U.S. general said Friday.

Visiting this remote outpost, just a stone's throw from the border, Marine Maj. Gen. Walter E. Gaskin said the change has made persistent infiltration of men, weapons and money less of a concern to U.S. forces here.

However, it also suggests a troubling maturation of al-Qaida in Iraq, the main terrorist organization targeted by American troops in the country.

"Al-Qaida has become self-sufficient inside the country," Gaskin said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Read the rest at the International Herald Tribune

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