In Jamestown Foundation’s Terrorism Focus (11/21/06), there are reports that “agents of the Spanish National Police in Madrid arrested four men because of their involvement in a document falsification ring that had, as its primary mission, the objective of providing documentation cover to “mujahideen” leaving Iraq and trying to enter Spain and other European countries.”
The arrest, part of Operation Suez, is one a specific evidence of fighters in Iraq returning to Europe, perhaps to start sleeper sells or find more recruits for the War in Iraq. Regardless of the exact reasons, there is now more concrete evidence of the Mujahideen network in Europe and Iraq linking up:
The ring that Operation Suez discovered illustrates the extent to which al-Qaeda satellite support rings have established themselves in Europe. This cell went undetected for two years despite Bousbaa’s previous arrest. The arrests lend more credence to pronouncements by Spanish judge Baltazar Garzon, who has led high-level inquiries into al-Qaeda in Spain, and by Pierre de Bousquet, the head of France’s domestic security service, several months ago that implied that foreign fighters in Iraq are already returning to Europe to re-establish or establish new networks to support terrorist operations in Europe.
Ultimately, Operation Suez demonstrates with hard evidence one of the consequences if Iraq slides to a failed (rather than failing) state. How long before another Madrid or London type bombing occurs brought on by groups with “Iraqi field training”?