Iraq has been attracting foreign fighters for the Sunni revolt. Officials said Western and other nationals were flowing into Iraq to join the Al Qaida-led Sunni revolt in Iraq.
The officials cited recruitment by Al Qaida’s Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has seized large areas of Iraq’s largest province, Anbar.
“As we look forward, what we face may be even more challenging, which is why the time to act is now,” Interpol secretary-general Ronald Noble said.
In an address to a security conference in Baghdad on March 12, Noble said Interpol was tracking the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq.
He said many of the foreigners were recruited for suicide bombings in Anbar and Baghdad.
“There is enough evidence to suggest that those targeting cities in Iraq are foreign fighters coming from across the globe — America, Europe, North Africa, Asia and the Middle East,” Noble said.
Noble did not say how many foreign fighters were operating in Iraq. He warned that many of them would return to the native countries and could be recruited for mass-casualty strikes.
“Interpol will continue to facilitate exchanges between our member countries to compile and compare information and identifiers of suspected foreign fighters, but this must be complemented by efforts on the ground,” Noble said.
Noble met Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al Maliki, who accused Saudi Arabia of supporting the Sunni revolt in Anbar. Al Maliki said Saudi Arabia and Qatar were financing ISIL, which also operates in Lebanon and Syria.
“Some states do not want ISIL, especially on their territory, but they want ISIL in Iraq,” Al Maliki said. “We know the details of ISIL and its foreign ties and the ties of states to it, and the funding that comes to it.”