Published On: Sat, Mar 23rd, 2013

International Recruiting of Syria Mercenaries in Africa and Asia by Al-Qaeda continues

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Tunisian fighers in Syria nsnbc archivesChristof Lehmann (nsnbc),- The Tunisian e-newspaper Al-Jarida reports that about 2,000 Tunisians are currently fighting in Syria among the armed groups which have been fighting to topple the Syrian government since early 2011. The latest report is one of many reports which reveal that Africans from the Maghreb are systematically being targeted for recruitment as mercenaries for the foreign backed subversion.

Abo Qasai , a Tunisian who fought in Syria told Al.Jarida, that the Tunisian fighters are of varying ages, including students, workers and unemployed who see the deployment as a chance to earn a living. The mercenary, who was lucky to return alive, informed the newspaper that there is a direct recruitment line for Syria in the Libyan city of Bengazi and referred to a terrorist group called the al-Darneh Battallions which arrived in Syria about two weeks before he fled Syria. Abo Qusai reports that the Tunisian mercenaries are being treated as slaves by the terrorist groups in which ranks he was fighting, which made him return to Tunisia.

The report of the Al-Jarida e-newspaper is consistent with previous reports, which indicate that organized recruiting is taking place, targeting especially the socio-economically under privileged youth and unemployed in the Maghreb, but also in Asia.

15 February, Tunisians were shocked when Tunisian Radio and TV reported about 132 Tunisian insurgents who had been killed in and around the city of Aleppo. Statements by an insurgent group who released photos of two of the fallen mercenaries, promising that photos of all the slain mercenaries would be sent to their leaders in Tunisia for identification purposes, revealed that organized recruiting and deployment is taking place. (1

On 25 February nsnbc published a report about an Irish teen who had been killed in Syria. The Irish teen, whose family originated from Libya, had disappeared during a vacation in Libya where he had been recruited for fighting in Libya. Also in this incident, there were strong indications of systematic and organized recruiting taking place. During investigations of the case of the killed Irish teen it transpired, that the Embassy of Qatar seems to be directly involved in recruitment efforts in Libya. (2

A Mauritanian journalist recently informed nsnbc, that he had observed efforts to recruit young, socio-economically under privileged Mauritanian youth for “employment in Libya”, and that there is good reason to believe, that many of those who are taking up on the offers end up being recruited for mercenary military service in Syria.

The report of Abo Qusai, about recruitment in Bengazi and his statement about the Derna Battallions are consistent with a West Point terrorism study, according to which the Libyan cities of Derna and Bengazi as well as Libya as a whole, were the greatest per capita contributors of Al-Qaeda´s foreign fighters in Iraq, subsequent to the US invasion of the country. (3

On 8 February nsnbc reported about the arrest of a former Malaysian military officer and his female associate in a Kuala Lumpur suburb. The couple was charged with recruiting Malaysian youth for “holy war” in Syria. Beside the fact that the former Malaysian military officer and his female associate were recruiting youth, the former officer, Yazzid Sufaat has previously been charged with working for Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and helping the terrorist network with the development of chemical weapons capabilities. ( 4

A common denominator in all of the above mentioned cases is, that the recruiting is taking place through Al-Qaeda operatives, and that the Al-Qaeda operatives have ties to governments.

The predominant Libyan Al-Qaeda group in the Libyan cities of Derna and Bengazi is the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group, whose commander, Abdelhakim Belhadj is known for his close cooperation with the British Foreign Intelligence Service MI6 as well as with NATO. The case of the Irish teenager has unearthed information, that indicated the involvement of Qatar´s embassy. Mauritanians who are being sent to Libya for employment would most likely end up in Derna or Bengazi. Yazzid Sufaat, the Malaysian Al-Qaeda associate has reportedly contacts to Al-Qaeda operatives who are functioning as double agents for both Al-Qaeda and the CIA.

While reports continue streaming into the worlds media´s editorial offices, there has nor yet been any report that would indicate, that the International Criminal Court would begin investigating the apparently involved governments functionaries for violations of the Convention against the Use of Mercenaries, or for violations of the Geneva Conventions for the forced military service of prisoners.

Notes:

1) Syria: 132 Tunisian Insurgents Killed in Aleppo, Tunisia developing into Salafist Hot-Bed

2) Irish Teen killed in Syria. Classified Document reveals, Qatar´s Embassy recruits Mercenaries

3) Al Qa´ida´s Foreign Fighters in Iraq

4) Malaysia charges former army captain and woman for terrorism and for recruiting mercenaries for Syria

About the Author

- Dr. Christof Lehmann is the founder and editor of nsnbc. He is a psychologist and independent political consultant on conflict and conflict resolution and a wide range of other political issues. His work with traumatized victims of conflict has led him to also pursue the work as political consultant. He is a lifelong activist for peace and justice, human rights, Palestinians rights to self-determination in Palestine, and he is working on the establishment of international institutions for the prosecution of all war crimes, also those committed by privileged nations. On 28 August 2011 he started his blog nsnbc, appalled by misrepresentations of the aggression against Libya and Syria. In March 2013 he turned nsnbc into a daily, independent, international on-line newspaper. He can be contacted at nsnbc international at nsnbc.wordpress@gmail.com

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