Al Qaida and other Islamic insurgency groups in Iraq have
succeeded in attracting sufficient funding to maintain attacks on the
A report by the Washington Institute asserted that Al Qaida and aligned
groups have established cooperation to ensure funding to like-minded
insurgents who operate in Iraq. The report said the groups help each other
with logistics and the flow of money for operations.
"Money has not been a constraint on the activities of Al Qaida,
Palestinian terrorist groups, or the jihadists and Ba'athists fighting
coalition forces in Iraq," the report, authored by counter-terrorism expert
Matthew Levitt, said. "This will continue to be the case until more serious
action is taken toward restricting the financing of terrorism. Acting
against terrorist financing is one of the best ways to advance the war on
terror, the Roadmap to Israeli-Palestinian peace, and the stabilization of
The report, said the principal terrorist
threat today stems from what he termed the web of shadowy relationships
between loosely affiliated groups.
The sponsors of such groups, whether countries or other organizations,
do not preside over a network with an organizational or command structure.
But he said the funding of many of these groups might be traced to a network
of Saudi-sponsored charities based in Herndon, Va.
Al Qaida operations commander Abu Musab Al Zarqawi was cited as a prime
example of the roving international Islamic insurgent. Al Zarqawi has links
to a range of groups for which he performs services. They include Hizbullah,
Usbat Al Ansar and Palestinian insurgents. The report said Al Zarqawi
received more than $35,000 in 2001 for providing expertise and components
for suicide strikes, including a ways to infiltrate suicide bombers into
Israel and provide training on explosives, poisons, and remote-controlled
Another example was Mohammed Ali Hasan Al Moayad, a representative of
the Hamas-aligned Al Aqsa International Foundation. Al Moayad, who was Al
Aqsa's representative in Yemen, was accused of providing funds to Hamas as
well as as money, arms, communication gear, and recruits to Al Qaida.
"Militant Islamist organizations from Al Qaida to Hamas interact and
support one another in an international matrix of logistical, financial, and
sometimes operational terrorist activity," the report, based on Levitt's testimony to U.S. Senate Committee on
Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on Oct. 22, said. "Unfortunately,
two years into the war on terror, these and other groups, along with a
variety of Middle Eastern state sponsors, still receive inconsistent
attention despite a sharp rise in their activity. Inattention to any one
part of the web of militant Islamist terrorism undermines the effectiveness
of measures taken against other parts of that web."
In London, British authorities arrested Farid Hilali suspected of links
to the Madrid Al Qaida cell. Hilali, 35, also known as "Shakur" is suspected
of being involved in the train bombings which killed 191 people on March 11,
2004 in Madrid and of placing a call to the Madrid cell before the September
11 attacks in the U.S., the Times of London said Wednesday. In a tapped
phone call on Aug. 27, 2001, Hilali allegedly said that he "had entered into
the field of aviation" and "cut the throat of the eagle." Hilali also said
that he would do something in about one month to show the Spain-based
In Riyad, Saudi security forces killed Al Qaida's spiritual guide
Abdullah Mohammed Rashid Al Rashud in a shootout Wednesday. A police officer
and a second insurgent were also killed in the clash.
In Sanaa, Yemeni security forces killed Zaid ibn Ali Moslah Al Houthi,
the deputy commander of "The Believing Youth" insurgency group. Al Houthi
was killed in a raid on a mountain hideout near the northern town of Saada.
In Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell authorized an
increase in the reward from $10 million to $25 million for leading Al Qaida
operative Abu Mussab Al Zarqawi. On early Thursday, 7 Iraqis were killed
during a U.S.-led military strike on a suspected safe house of Al Zarqawi
in Fallujah. Later, two Iraqis were killed in a bomb blast in Baghdad.