John on March 22, 2008 at 7:47 pm
Time magazine interviewed at least two militants who made the journey from Iraq to Iran and back again:
Ali, whose name is an alias, told TIME that there were indeed cells of fighters drawn from the ranks of the Mahdi Army who are now operating essentially at the behest of handlers and financiers with links to Iranian intelligence services. “They are gangs working under the name of Mahdi Army,” says Ali, who joined the Mahdi Army in 2004.
Once inside Iran, U.S. officials say, Iraqi volunteers hone skills needed to use armor-piercing roadside bombs, mortars and rockets against targets in Iraq. U.S. officials say, in addition, that Quds Force trainers, working at times apparently with experienced instructors from the Lebanese militia Hizballah, also instruct Iraqi recruits in intelligence techniques, sniper shooting and kidnapping operations before transporting them back across the border. Once in Iraq again, militants who have undergone Iranian training reportedly form cells that U.S. officials now refer to as “special groups.” These cells, say U.S. officials, continue to receive funds, weapons and direction from the Quds Force as they mount attacks in Iraq against American troops.
For anyone in need of a reminder, this has been going on a long time.
Category: Islamic Jihad |