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Debunking CSIS Obaid Myth Saudi Foreign Fighters in Iraq

November 16, 2006

Nawaf Obaid is a Saudi national security and intelligence consultant based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia“. In September 2005 he coauthored a CSIS reporting saying that only 12 percent of foreign fighters in Iraq were Saudi. The CSIS source is a report by Obaid from what seems to be a Saudi entity. Obaid’s job as a consultant to Saudi intelligence is to write reports that say Saudi Arabia is not linked to terrorism?
Lisa Myers at NBC on June 20, 2005 and Susan B. Glasser Washington Post on May 15, 2005 reported that over 50 percent of the foreign fighters in Iraq were Saudi. See bottom for more on this. This Obaid CSIS “study” is disinformation to try to get the MSM to drop its own careful reporting.

Nawaf Obaid Adjunct Fellow, Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy “Nawaf Obaid is a Saudi national security and intelligence consultant based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is currently the managing director of the Saudi National Security Assessment Project.”

The Obaid CSIS report is titled:

Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom’s Response
Saudi Militants in Iraq: Assessment and Kingdom’s Response -pdf
It cites the “Saudi National Security Assessment Project” as its source. Obaid is the managing director of the Saudi National Security Assessment Project.
Nawaf Obaid is a Saudi national security and intelligence consultant based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He is currently the managing director of the Saudi National Security Assessment Project.”

The title of the CSIS report sounds like a Saudi employee or consultant of the Saudi government wrote it.

It seems likely that Obaid’s job for Saudi intelligence as a consultant is to convince the West that Saudi Arabia is not linked to terrorism. So he writes a CSIS report under CSIS, which is linked to Carlyle group, and he cites his own Saudi National Security Assessment Project as the source of the analysis.

It in turn analyzed data from Saudi intelligence according to page 5 of the above report. It appears Obaid is the one who was paid by Saudi intelligence to do this data analysis of Saudi intelligence non-public data. The result according to Obaid is that only 12 percent of foreign fighters in Iraq are Saudi.

Saudi National Security Assessment Project

CSIS Publications 2005.

posted September 23, 2005 at 10:30 a.m.

search Saudi foreign fighters Iraq

search myth Saudi foreign fighters Iraq

The ‘myth’ of Iraq’s foreign fighters
Report by US think tank says only ‘4 to 10’ percent of insurgents are foreigners.
By Tom Regan |

Report attacks ‘myth’ of foreign fighters

Brian Whitaker and Ewen MacAskill
Friday September 23, 2005
The Guardian

Frank Carlucci

“Mr. Carlucci has been a managing director of the Carlyle Group since 1989, chairman since 1993, and chairman emeritus since 2003.” “Mr. Carlucci graduated from Princeton University and attended Harvard Business School.”

Saudi intelligence reports sent through Saudi entities to the CSIS are like “salted peanuts” to the Washington establishment. The 9-11 Commission of Kean Hamilton that ignored the 2003 Congressional report finding links between the Saudis and the 9-11 hijacker was one big jar of “salted peanuts”.

Boston Globe article including Obaid research before Sep 2005 report.

“However, interrogations of nearly 300 Saudis captured while trying to sneak into Iraq and case studies of more than three dozen others who blew themselves up in suicide attacks show that most were heeding the calls from clerics and activists to drive infidels out of Arab land, according to a study by Saudi investigator Nawaf Obaid, a US-trained analyst who was commissioned by the Saudi government and given access to Saudi officials and intelligence.”

== News Reports that foreign fighters are Saudi
“NBC 55 percent Foreign Fighers Saudi in Iraq”
“By Lisa Myers & the NBC Investigative Unit Updated: 8:39 p.m. ET June 20, 2005 Who are the foreign fighters in Iraq? An NBC News analysis finds 55 percent hail from Saudi Arabia Lisa Myers Senior investigative correspondent

• Profile An NBC News analysis of hundreds of foreign fighters who died in Iraq over the last two years reveals that a majority came from the same country as most of the 9/11 hijackers — Saudi Arabia.””

“By far the nationality that comes up over and over again is Saudi Arabia,” says Evan Kohlmann, an NBC News terrorism expert.

The NBC News analysis of Web site postings found that 55 percent of foreign insurgents came from Saudi Arabia, 13 percent from Syria, 9 percent from North Africa and 3 percent from Europe.

The U.S. military also says Saudi Arabia and Syria are the leading sources of insurgents. An Army official provided a list of the top 10 countries to NBC News but would not release the numbers of foreign fighters from each. The top 10, alphabetically, are: Egypt, Iran, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian territories, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen.”

If the army had evidence that Saudis were 12 percent, they would publish it. That they don’t is consistent with “Saudi” Arabia heading the list.

Commentary on Lisa Myers NBC Report

“‘Martyrs’ In Iraq Mostly Saudis
Web Sites Track Suicide Bombings

By Susan B. Glasser
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, May 15, 2005; Page A01

“In a paper published in March, Reuven Paz, an Israeli expert on terrorism, analyzed the lists of jihadi dead. He found 154 Arabs killed over the previous six months in Iraq, 61 percent of them from Saudi Arabia, with Syrians, Iraqis and Kuwaitis together accounting for another 25 percent. He also found that 70 percent of the suicide bombers named by the Web sites were Saudi.”

The apparent predominance of Saudi fighters on the Internet lists has caused an alarmed reaction by Saudi officials, who fear a backlash from the Americans at the same time they are trying to convince the United States that they are working as allies against terrorism. While Saudi officials do not deny that Saudi citizens have taken up arms against the United States in Iraq, they argue that the long lists of Saudi dead could be a disinformation tactic or simply a recruiting tool used to lure Arab youth to Iraq by convincing them of how many others have already won a place in Paradise.

“Are there Saudis in Iraq? Yes, we know that. Absolutely. But are there the numbers being bandied about? We really don’t believe so,” said a Saudi official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the sensitivity of the subject.

“The Internet sites try to recruit people — it’s the best recruitment tool,” said Saudi security analyst Nawaf Obaid. Obaid, who has worked closely with the government, said he found 47 cases of Saudis who were dead or injured reported in the kingdom’s newspapers, far lower than Internet totals, and had concluded the overall number of Saudi jihadis in Iraq was in the hundreds. “But young guys, they read [on the Internet] we have thousands of Saudis there and think, ‘I have to go, too.’ ”

Evan F. Kohlmann, a researcher who monitors Islamic extremist Web sites, has compiled a list of more than 235 names of Iraqi dead gleaned from the Internet since last summer, with more than 50 percent on his tally from Saudi Arabia as well. In some cases, he found photos or videos of dead foreign fighters posted online. One Kuwaiti policeman who died was featured in a Zarqawi propaganda video called “Winds of Change,” while the bloodied corpse of a Turkish al Qaeda disciple, Habib Aktas, was shown on another video celebrating his “martyrdom.””

Saudis one of top 5 captured by coalition forces.

This article is hypotheses, speculation, or opinion. All other disclaimers apply.


“U.S. Deaths In Iraq Near Peak Months”

October 27, 2006

“General Cites Battle For Anbar’s Capital”

By Ellen Knickmeyer and John Ward Anderson
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, October 27, 2006; 8:34 AM
Battle phase deaths in Iraq were 200. Occupation phase deaths average 70 or more per month. We should invade Iran and leave Iraq. The lives saved in Iraq would pay for the Iran invasion. This way we get something for our deaths,denuking Iran.

We get our army in Iraq on the Pakistan border where we can surround Pakistan and make it give up its nukes and bin Laden.

We have to fight wars of strategy now while we lose 200 killed in battle phase.

The two drivers of occupation deaths in Iraq are foreign Sunni Arab fighters and Shiite Sunni historic rivarly in Iraq. Both are absent in Iran.

Saudi Arabia is funding the Taliban through Pakistan ISI against US troops in Afghanistan and al Qaeda in Iraq and Sunni resistance in Iraq. We must invade and occupy Saudi Arabia and rename it Multicultural Arabia. We should open it up to immigration for multicultural sources including illegals from the US.

America is going to discover in 25 years its an also ran from history. We have to act now while we still can to turn off what attacked us on 9-11 and has been attacking us. That comes from Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

FDR didn’t stop at Normandy and take casualties he marched into Germany and ended Fascism. We need to march into Saudi Arabia, Iran and Pakistan.

== Comment 2

People will volunteer to invade and occupy Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan because they know that’s a plan and a strategy for total victory over what attacked us on 9-11 and is attacking us. Bush sits in the White House with Prince Bandar making a torture pact, and then no one volunteers to bleed and die in Iraq and Afghanistan while the Saudi royal family funds the Sunni resistance in Iraq and the Taliban in Iraq.

Bush airlifts out the bin Laden family after 9-11 instead of asking for a million volunteers. Bush airlifts out Pakistan generals in Nov 2001fromKunduz Afghanistan, see Seymour Hersh, instead of arresting them. This is why no one wants to volunteer.

Bush says we are going to bleed on the beaches at Normandy forever, not march into Germany and end fascism. Bush instead meets with Hitler (Prince Bandar) and does a torture deal. Now no one volunteers to be perpetually strafed on the beach at Normandy.

Wake up Bush and be loyal to America not Prince Bandar. Why should Americans die for Prince Bandar to go on torturing people with Bush? Why should Americans die in Iraq and Afghanistan so that the Saudis can keep on funding the killing of Americans?


Bush praises the religion of peace, Saudi Arabia’s ideology, and makes torture compacts with Prince Bandar. Bush has a call to prayers broadcast at Gitmo 5 times a day. No one in America wants to fight in his war in Iraq and Afghanistan that is guaranteed to fail to defeat Saudi Arabia and occupy it.


linda.d.leibhart | Oct 27, 2006 3:23:39 PM quote I certainly hope you are being sarcastic in suggesting we invade these countries. Our troops are stretched too far as it is. end quote.

Yes, serious. We can use the army in Iraq to invade Iran and leave Iraq completely. That saves 70 lives a month in occupation deaths. Since battle phase deaths in Iraq were 200, we may end up saving lives over a 1 to 2 year period.

This also helps Iraq by taking out Iran as a source of support as well as dashing hopes of insurgents. We can swing back through Iraq later if we need to.

We should adopt a roving patrol model, not a static sentry model. We should not be a static sentry in Iran, but remove nukes, the regime, religious courts and law, and then move on to the Pakistan border.

We should also increase our military. By 1945 we had 10 million men under arms. We can restore our volunteer force to the 1991leve. If we have a real plan for people to believe in other than die in peripheral wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we can get volunteers.

Going to the sources, Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will be something people will volunteer for. Dying in peripheral wars so Bush can make torture compacts with Prince Bandar, have calls to prayer at Gitmo, build a mosque at Quantico and call what attacked us the religion of peace will not get volunteers.

This 9-11, schools celebrated and praised what attacked us, not what we believe in. That is a country that is insane and going down to defeat. Dying in Iraq and Afghanistan shows defeat.

We rarely talk about Saudi Arabia funding the insurgencies against us in Iraq and Afghanistan, even though the UK press does. Bush, the MSM and Congress are focused on peripheral wars.

Its as if in WWII, we had stopped at Normandy and then become experts there and taken German shelling. The equivalent is Saudi money today killing our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Rumsfeld was right to want to leave Iraq. We should simply knock over what harms us and leave. We lost 200 battle deaths in Iraq. We lost 50,000 inViet Nam, over 300,000 in WWII.

Because we train Chinese students in physics grad schools and not Americans, our technology lead will be gone in a few years. China will sell the same or even better weapons to Iran, Pakistan, etc. This is thanks to George Allen’sSkil Bill, as well as Bush, Kennedy, McCain, Warner, etc. who have undermined our people’s education and given away our know-how and thus our jobs, security, and advantages.

We have to strike now while we lose 200 killer or even 2000 killed per war. This advantage will be gone in a few years, because George Allen andCornyn et al are giving it to China.

They don’t think, so we have to.

This article represents hypothesis, speculation or opinion. All other disclaimers apply.

” U.S. Officials: Iraqi Security Could Be Ready in 12-18 Months”

October 24, 2006

“Ambassador Says Iraqi Political Leaders ‘Must Step Up'”

By Debbi Wilgoren and Howard Schneider
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, October 24, 2006; 11:18 AM

“Top U.S. officials in Iraq today predicted that Iraqi security forces could be largely self-sufficient within 12 to 18 months and said the Iraqi government is building a timetable for disarming militias, quieting insurgents and solving ongoing struggles for economic and political power.”

WaPo Comments.

Kissinger got out another old memo, “Light at the end of the Tunnel Memo”? Kissinger is spending time at the White House, teaching Bush old tricks. Those old Kissinger memos are like salted peanuts at the White House. Too bad Kissinger doesn’t tell Bush to just roll over Iran, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia while it only costs us 200 killed in Battle Phase deaths v. 50,000 killed in Vietnam. Instead, Bush and Kissinger sit around like an SNL skit about the Oval Office, asking how can we waste America’s chance to win the big war by getting bogged down in fighting Afghanistan and Iraq while letting Pakistan, Iran and Saudi Arabia fund the wars against while we could win easy.

Kissinger should be telling Bush he’s fighting the wrong enemy in the wrong place. When you lose 200 killed in the battle phase, you should take the war to the source right away. We called it Island Hopping in WWII in the Pacific. We were going for Japan and Germany, not trying to get bogged down in peripheral places for ever.

While Kissinger way busy losing Vietnam he was also busy giving Russia more throw weight and big missiles in SALT I. Kissinger was also letting US grad schools be taken over by foreign grad students and has never spoke out about our know-how being given away. That’s why China is so powerful now and getting more so.

A Q Khan got his Ph.D. in the 1970’s in Belgium and stole centrifuge technology from a job there. We have been giving away our technology and know how and our people can’t get jobs. Kissinger is part of that give away. Bush is doing that now.

===2nd Comment

jhindson | Oct 24, 2006 12:59:23 PM quote The war has gone on longer than WWII and all the trends are bad. end quote.

WWII was over quickly because FDR decided to invade the homelands of what attacked us, Japan and Germany as fast as possible, and then he did it.

Bush decided to get bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq instead of going after Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and UAE.

When you don’t go to the source, you can’t win. They understood that in WWII.

Bush just doesn’t get it. If FDR could have knocked over a country at 200 killed in battle phase, he wouldn’t have sat down and occupied the most peripheal points he could find. But Bush does and Kissinger eggs him on.

== Comment

The US had 10 million men under arms by the end of WWII with a much smaller population.  In the last 2 years of the Bush administration, we could restore our army to the 1991 level, and invade Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and North Korea.  We could win in 2 years.  That’s what they did in WWII.  They were attacked at Pearl Harbor, and they just won.  You don’t need the permission of Blair or the UN after you are attacked.  You can just go win.  We can win in the next 2 years, or we can sit and bleed occupying Iraq and Afghanistan.  Only someone brain dead would choose to lose when they could win after they were attacked.  Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, UAE, and North Korea are tied to enough things over the last 30 years that we have evidence enough.  At this point in history, military force can win.  At the right points in history, armies have changed history and wars have changed history.  We can win now or sit back, bleed at the peripheries and let immigration defeat us.  Victory at all costs.  Just win baby.  Americans want a leader who will invade the homelands of the countries that attacked us not sit and bleed like a fool and invent stupid phrases like stay the course.  Did FDR say stay the course? No, he said Unconditional Surrender.  By the farthest point from Berlin and Tokyo? No.  He took the war to the homelands of what attacked us.  He didn’t call Fascism the religion of peace.  He didn’t set up Fascist Republics in countries he invaded.  He didn’t uphold Fascist Law and Courts, he abolished them, sent the judges packing and imposed our values.  That was popular with our people.  If you have the American people behind you, that’s all you need to win right now.  Soon, it will be too late.

We can win it all, now.  Just arm up and do it.  We don’t need to go to the UN or sit around holding Blair’s hand.  We don’t need to waste time with Europe or China talking to our enemies telling them to hold out.  We don’t have to listen to Europe, China and Russia say don’t fight now when you lose 200 killed per war, wait until its 50,000 or 500,000 in a nuclear war.  Just win now.  Roll over the whole expanded axis, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and North Korea.  Just do it.

This article is hypothesis, speculation and opinion. All other disclaimers apply.

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