A Committed Terrorist Discusses Syria's Role & Assistance
By Andrew Cochran
MEMRI has released a transcript of an interview with Shehada Jawhar, formerly the Al-Qaeda terrorist in charge of training in Iraq, which aired on Al-Arabiya TV on December 7, 2007. It is a bloodcurdling look into the mind of a shameless, evil murderer, and every American should read it. For me, two of the key points in the transcript deal with the role of Syria in assisting and promoting terrorism, including an attempt by official Syrian intelligence agents to support Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before U.S. forces killed him. U.S. government officials who (inexplicably) hang onto the dream of drawing Syria into a "grand bargain" for Mideast peace should keep these segments in mind. His statements appear credible in light of his obvious pride in his success in killing Americans and those Iraqis working for peace.
Jawhar described how he passed easily from Lebanon through Syria and into Iraq to join al-Zarqawi's forces, something which could not be done without acquiescence or active support from the Assad regime:
"From the Syrian border, a Syrian guy took us...The smuggler was Syrian, and he took us to some place I don't know in Damascus, and then a van came and took us to the heart of Damascus. Then one of the brothers in charge of receiving [the mujahideen] came. All this was coordinated in advance. It's not like when you go on a trip. Everything was coordinated - from here to Shtura, from Shtura to Damascus, and from Damascus to Iraq. Everything was coordinated by the brothers in charge of this stuff. They receive brothers and send them on. It's all organized. Nothing is improvised."
Jawhar also discussed the attempt of Syrian intelligence to actively assist al-Zarqawi:
"People from Syrian intelligence came, and asked to meet with Shiekh Abu Mus'ab. They said to him: 'Brother, what weapons do you need?' They wanted to help, but [Al-Zarqawi] said: 'No, we've got everything we need.' He wouldn't take anything from them, even though we were in dire need of weapons. We didn't want to take anything from the Syrians, so it wouldn't be said the next day that we cooperated with them. This was the position of Sheikh Abu Mus'ab. He was in need of every single bullet, and was offered whatever he wanted. He said: 'I'm fighting the Americans, with or without you. Why should I fight the Americans on your behalf'?"
Interviewer: "How could Syrian intelligence get to Abu Mus'ab Al-Zarqawi? What was their purpose? What did Syrian intelligence want?"
Jawhar: "It is not in the Syrians' interest for Iraq to remain calm even for a moment. They benefit from this. The more Iraq is destroyed, the more pleased they are, because if the Americans feel comfortable in Iraq, they will move on to many other places.
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