UN Report Finds That Iraq War Causing Increase in Islamic Extremism

Following the recent National Intelligence Estimate, there is yet another report showing that the Iraq war is making the threat from terrorism worse:

A U.N. report released on Wednesday said the Iraq war provided al Qaeda with a training centre and recruits, reinforcing a U.S. intelligence study blaming the conflict for a surge in Islamic extremism.

The report by terrorism experts working for the U.N. Security Council said al Qaeda was playing a central role in the fighting in Iraq as well as inspiring a Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan, several hundred miles (km) away.

“New explosive devices are now used in Afghanistan within a month of their first appearing in Iraq,” said the report. “And while the Taliban have not been found fighting outside Afghanistan/Pakistan, there have been reports of them training in both Iraq and Somalia.”

Al Qaeda, it said, “has gained by continuing to play a central role in the fighting (in Iraq) and in encouraging the growth of sectarian violence, and Iraq has provided many recruits and an excellent training ground,” it said.

The report said that al Qaeda’s influence may soon wane in Iraq, citing some fighters’ complaints that they were unhappy to learn upon arriving in the country that they would have to kill fellow Muslims rather than foreign fighters or could serve their cause only as suicide bombers.

The report was prepared by a team of experts set up to monitor the effectiveness of Security Council sanctions imposed on the Taliban and al Qaeda shortly after the September 11 attacks on the United States.

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