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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
08USNATO159
2008-05-08 13:32:00
CONFIDENTIAL//NOFORN
Mission USNATO
Cable title:  

AMBASSADOR NULAND BRIEFS NAC ON FOREIGN FIGHTERS

Tags:   NATO  PBTS  PREL  PTER  IZ  SY 
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VZCZCXRO8583
PP RUEHBW
DE RUEHNO #0159 1291332
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 081332Z MAY 08
FM USMISSION USNATO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1853
INFO RUEHZG/NATO EU COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHAD/AMEMBASSY ABU DHABI PRIORITY 0126
RUEHAS/AMEMBASSY ALGIERS PRIORITY 0559
RUEHAM/AMEMBASSY AMMAN PRIORITY 0361
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0531
RUEHEG/AMEMBASSY CAIRO PRIORITY 0138
RUEHDM/AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS PRIORITY 0313
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA PRIORITY 0150
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT PRIORITY 0111
RUEHMK/AMEMBASSY MANAMA PRIORITY 0116
RUEHRH/AMEMBASSY RIYADH PRIORITY 0315
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA PRIORITY 0014
RUEHTU/AMEMBASSY TUNIS PRIORITY 0799
RUEABOL/DIA BOLLING AFB DC PRIORITY
RUCJACC/CENTCOMREAR MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USNMR SHAPE BE PRIORITY
RUEHNO/USDELMC BRUSSELS BE PRIORITY
						C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000159 

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/07/2018
TAGS: NATO PBTS PREL PTER IZ SY
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR NULAND BRIEFS NAC ON FOREIGN FIGHTERS
IN IRAQ

Classified By: DCM Richard G. Olson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)

C O N F I D E N T I A L USNATO 000159

NOFORN
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/07/2018
TAGS: NATO PBTS PREL PTER IZ SY
SUBJECT: AMBASSADOR NULAND BRIEFS NAC ON FOREIGN FIGHTERS
IN IRAQ

Classified By: DCM Richard G. Olson for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d)


1. (C) SUMMARY: In a brief to the North Atlantic Council
(NAC) on Wednesday, May 7, Ambassador Nuland presented the
NAC a Washington produced PowerPoint presentation
entitled:"Stemming the Flow of Foreign Terrorists into Iraq."
Highlighting the fact that foreign fighters account for 90
percent of the suicide attacks in Iraq, with the majority of
them transiting through Syria, she underscored the need for
Syria to improve its border security and to cooperate more
fully with governments in the region. Nuland asked Allies to
urge the Syrian government to tighten its visa procedures and
for their increased cooperation in the sharing of air
passenger information. END SUMMARY.


2. (C) Ambassador Nuland informed the NAC that foreign
terrorists are responsible for approximately 90 per cent of
all suicide attacks in Iraq, and the toll on civilians is
devastating. These suicide attacks by foreign terrorists
have also occurred in Algeria, Morocco, Jordan, and Egypt,
she reported. The Ambassador detailed the sources for the
information contained in the presentation, especially the
documents seized during a US military raid against Abu
Muthanna, the primary al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) officer
responsible for receiving foreign terrorists moving from
Syria into Iraq.

The Porous Syrian Border
--------------

3. (C) The documents obtained in the Muthanna raid indicate
that, in the last year, his cell alone facilitated the
passage of 800 terrorists from 22 countries into Iraq, 80
percent via Syria. The Ambassador noted that the U.S.
estimates that 70-80 percent of foreign terrorists travel to
Iraq via the Syria-Iraq border. She pointed out that the
Damascus International Airport is used by the majority of
foreign fighters transiting through Syria, and that once on
the ground, the terrorists cross the border into Iraq using
well established smuggling routes.

NATO Allies Can Help Stem The Flow
--------------

4. (C) The Ambassador outlined the primary transit routes of
the terrorists, (to include points in Europe), and urged
PermReps to inform their governments of the serious problem
of terrorists transiting through Syria on their way to Iraq.
She asked Allies to urge the Government of Syria to take
additional measures to stop the flow of foreign fighters into
Iraq, including increased vigilance on immigration, returning
suspicious travelers to their home country, and tightening
visa guidelines for Arabs going to Syria. Nuland continued,
Allies themselves must play a bigger role in combating
terrorist travel throughout the region, and globally, by
cooperating in the sharing of passenger information.
NULAND