The Adventures of Chester: MEMRI: Captured Terror Leader Admits Syria and Iran Ties
MEMRI is on a roll. This is a transcript of the confession of "Muayed Al-Nasseri, who commandedSaddam Hussein's "Army of Muhammad" throughout 2004." A video of the confession, as it was broadcast in Iraq, is available at the site for download. Highlights:
Interrogator: "How is the Army of Muhammad related to the Ba'th party?"On Syria:
Muayed Al-Nasseri: "The Army of Muhammad is militarily independent. After Saddam Hussein's capture in December 2003, for a period [of] four months, the Army of Muhammad had no connections with the party, but after April 2003, there was a meeting with the party and we are currently coordinating with them.
"In addition, Saddam Hussein distributed a communique via the party, back then, instructing all his supporters or whoever wants to fight the Jihad for the sake of Allah, to join the Army of Muhammad because it is the army of the leadership."
Interrogator: "Who are the leaders of the Ba'th Party in Iraq?"On Iran:
Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Today, the leader of the party is 'Izzat Ibrahim. He is the leader of the party in Iraq. Next in line is Fadhl Al-Mashhadani, who is responsible for the local organizations within Iraq. Then, there is Muhammad Yunis Al-Ahamd, who is responsible for the organization outside Iraq. He is currently in Syria."
Interrogator: "Did you get support from the countries of the region?"And:
Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Yes, sir... Many factions of the resistance are receiving aid from the neighboring countries. We in the Army of Muhammad - the fighting has been going on for almost two years now, and there must be aid, and this aid came from the neighboring countries. We got aid primarily from Iran. The truth is that Iran has played a significant role in supporting the Army of Muhammad and many factions of the resistance. I have some units, especially in southern Iraq, which receive Iranian aid in the form of arms and equipment."
Interrogator: "You're referring to units of the Army of Muhammad?"
Muayed Al-Nasseri: "Yes. They received money and weapons."
Muayed Al-Nasseri: "As for other factions of the resistance, I have reliable information regarding the National Islamic resistance, which is one of the factions of resistance, led by Colonel 'Asi Al Hadithi. He sent a delegation to Iran from among the people of the faction, including General Halaf and General Khdayyer. They were sent to Iran in April or May and met with Iranian intelligence and with a number of Iranian leaders and even with Khamenei."Finally, this bombshell:
Interrogator: "You mean they personally met with Khamenei?"
Muayed Al-Nasseri: "According to my information, they met with him personally, and they were given one million dollars and two cars full of weapons. They still have a very close relationship with Iran. They receive money, cars, weapons, and many things. According to my information, they even got car bombs."
"Through the Ba'th party - the Arab Socialist Ba'th Party operates in Syria with complete freedom. It maintains its relations and organizes the Ba'th members outside Iraq. The Syrian government is fully aware of this, and the Syrian intelligence cooperates fully, as well as the Ba'th Party, in Syria.Some thoughts:
1. Whether this is all true or not, it has now been broadcast in Iraq for Iraqi viewing. While some of it seems sensationalized -- and a colonel under interrogation certainly knows many tricks to shift blame -- it still clicks with other reporting streams examined on this site. In the video he does not appear to be under extreme stress -- he speaks without prompting -- or it has been edited -- and he seems at ease, considering the circumstances.
2. While possible US action in Syria is always examined from the perspective of US interests, little thought is given to the interests of the Iraqis in seeing the end of the insurgency. Soon, there will be an elected Iraqi parliament, not a sovereign appointed by the US. The elected parliament members will find themselves in the security accountability hotseat very quickly. There will be pressure for *Iraqi* action against any perceived Syrian involvement in the insurgency.
3. The US will not let that action happen without its help, whether US policy-makers would prefer to act in Syria or not. Syria therefore remains an excellent candidate for low-level raids, infiltrations, intelligence-gathering activities by combined US and Iraqi forces.
Posted by Chester on January 19, 2005 12:09 AM to The Adventures of Chester