Ongoing analysis of documents and other materials captured at the Ansar al-Islam stronghold in northern Iraq has turned up materials for manufacturing both chlorine gas and ricin, lists of Islamofascists in both Europe and the U.S., and evidence of ongoing contacts between Ansar and al Qaeda.
Captured documents indicate that Ansar members came from Yemen, Turkey, Palestine, Pakistan, Algeria and Iran, and that they received assistance from Iran. Most Ansar members apparently fled to Iran; the Iranian government has captured several and agreed to turn them over.
This episode illustrates a couple of things, I think. First, while it is operationally useful to identify different Islamist organizations and distinguish among them, there are ultimately no clear lines separating one such organization from another. The theory that we should go after al Qaeda only, and leave the others alone, misperceives the basic nature of the threat. And second, as long as there are any state sponsors of terrorism, the Islamofascists will be able to find a home somewhere. Draining the Iraqi swamp is a start, but we must deprive the terrorists of havens in Iran and other countries.
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