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US Probes Insurgency Funding

well funded

Washington DC (UPI) Aug 02, 2005
With the Iraq insurgency showing no signs of weakening, a joint meeting of the House Armed Services Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, and the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations subcommittee was called to find out who was funding them on last Thursday.

Early in the hearing, Rep. Sue Kelly, R-NY, Chair of the House Armed Services Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities subcommittee, held up a poster from Italy, depicting an American soldier being shot in front of the Iraqi flag.

The poster, Kelly explained, was part of a leftist European campaign dubbed "Ten Euros for the Resistance," which offers aid to insurgency forces aiming to destabilize the Iraqi government and the U.S. Military's presence in Iraq.

"For this we invite anyone has to heart the cause of the liberation of Iraq to support the campaign to favor of the Iraqi Resistance," said the website of Iraq Libero (Free Iraq), an Italian leftist group.

Yet those testifying before the subcommittees did not believe insurgency funding was dependent on any one source.

Caleb Temple, Director of Operations, Joint Intelligence Task Force for Combating Terrorism, Defense Intelligence Agency, testified that the insurgency had a "robust, diverse, and resilient set of funding." Among the potential sources mentioned were former elements from Saddam Hussein's regime, the Commercial Bank of Syria, and charities.

"The real challenge in working with allies is separating bad people from good charities," Temple said.

Daniel Glaser, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes, cited the lack of money laundering laws in Syria, as well as the lack of financial intelligence units in Jordan - facts which has often urged the Syrians and Jordanians to change.

"I think that there is a significant amount of funds coming from Europe," Glaser said, indicating the money could be being laundered in Syria and Jordan.

Glaser also testified that Saudi Arabia had "long been a concern" in the area of insurgency funding, but would not go into classified details in the open portion of the session.

Progress had been made, according to Glaser, in tracking down those who fund the insurgency, citing that "quite a few people" had been identified, and that they had been put "in a financial box."

United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1483, signed in May 2003, lifted sanctions on Iraq which had been in place for 13 years. It is thought that the lifting of these sanctions opened up the flow of money for causes both good and bad in Iraq. It should be noted that Syria did not vote on UNSCR 1483.

The need for the ceasing of insurgency funding was made more apparent on Thursday, when Marines killed nine insurgents, five of which were Syrians, in a battle in Cykla, a small town in western Iraq.

The open portion of the joint subcommittee meeting did not get any hard answers as to where the insurgency funding came from. However, Temple acknowledged during his testimony that as long as those funding sources remain, "terrorist activity will continue indefinitely."

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Finding The Exit In Iraq
Washington DC (UPI) Aug 02, 2005
Despite repeated statements that progress is being made in Iraq, the fact is, it really ain't. Indications seem to point that the Bush administration is now starting to look into ways of ending the Iraq campaign and to bring U.S. troops home sooner rather than later.

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