Publication: North Caucasus Weekly Volume: 4 Issue: 13

In an April 12 article by one of its war correspondents in Iraq, the Times of London reports that the regime of Saddam Hussein “imported hundreds of well trained Islamic guerrillas before the war to spearhead his fight against American and British forces.” The article concentrated mostly on “documents and captives seized by British troops” relating to volunteers from Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, Morocco, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. But it also included a very brief mention of Chechnya. The single sentence reads: “The Americans say they have also captured Chechens fighting with Fedayin units close to Baghdad.”

On April 14, Jamestown contacted the press office of the U.S. Department of Defense by both telephone and e-mail, requesting further information: “How many Chechens, what are their names, where are they being held, did they themselves admit to being Chechens, what are their connections with the separatist rebellion in Chechnya?” Jamestown requested the phone number of anyone in the Pentagon who “might be knowledgeable about this.” As of the evening of April 15, we had yet to receive a reply.