100,000 Gangsters in Iraq
An official with the international Red Cross/ Red Crescent in Amman told al-Sharq al-Awsat on Saturday that the 100,000 members of criminal gangs constituted the second largest army in the country. (This number would be larger than the British contingent, but smaller than the 130,000 or so US troops). He said they are well armed, well organized, and have big SUVs. So far the Anglo-American forces have seen the criminal gangs as ‘not part of the mission’ and have left Iraqis to suffer with a massive crime wave. But if the gangs are as well armed and organized as this official suggests, then they are clearly a security risk to the coalition. Indeed, there is some indication that some of the attacks on US troops are done by mercenaries paid up to $5000 for each American killed. Until the gangsters are brought under control, there will be no peace in Iraq.