(European) foreign fighters in Iraq

A recent report by the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point (CTC) collects interesting information about foreign fighters caught in Iraq. The report, titled Al-Qa'ida's Foreign Fighters in Iraq: A First Look at the Sinjar Records (PDF), studied 606 records of foreign fighters that were confiscated by the US Army in Sinjar, on the Syrian border. The CTC study focuses mainly on the Saudi and Libyan fighters, who make up the bulk of foreign fighters, but it also has a handful of records of European fighters and some with relatives in Europe. The records are available online both in the original Arabic (PDF) and translated into English (PDF).

Swedish newspaper SvD reports about the only Swedish fighter in the bunch. SvD also points out that he had joined the Islamic State of Iraq movement, which in Sweden is most known for promising a large reward to whoever murders Swedish artist Lars Vilks and the chief editor of Nerikes Allehanda Ulf Johansson (with a bonus for decapitation).

His record:
The Islamic State of Iraq
Name: Makram Bin Salem Al-Majri
Alias: Abu Mua'az
Address: Sweden
Telephone number: []
Birth Date: 1974
Arrival Date: //
Contribution: Watch
Valuables: / Passport/ Driver license/
Coordinator: Ashraf
Where do you know the coordinator from: In Al-Hajj
How did you arrive to Syria? Sweden/Egypt/ Syria
Stages of arrival to Iraq: ///
Who are the people you met in Syria? /
What are their descriptions? //
How did the coordinator treat you in Syria? Good
How much money did you bring with you? $2700
How much money did they take from you in Syria? All of it
How did they take the money? They said it is a donation
Do you know any mujahdeen supporters? What are their phone numbers? /
What is the extent of your relationship with them? /
Work: Fighter
Occupation at home: Clerk
Experience: /
Administrator Signature Day …….. Date ……..
[End of Translation]


Born in Tunisia in 1974, the man - who goes by the cover name Abu Mua’az - moved to Sweden in 2000. Registered at an address in the northwestern Stockholm suburb Rinkeby, he is married with three children, the youngest of whom is two years old.

In October 2006, a number of Sunni insurgent groups merged to form the Islamic State of Iraq (Dawlat al-'Iraq al-Islamiyya). Shortly after its foundation, Abu Mua'az left Sweden to join the new umbrella group.


"There is no formal, legal way to prevent people leaving the country to participate in these activities," said Mats Paulsson.

When Svenska Dagbladet's reporter tried to contact Abu Mua'az, he was informed by somebody claiming to be the man's cousin that Abu Mua'az, his wife and older brother were all currently overseas and unavailable for comment.

Source: The Local (English)

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