A detailed guide for the prospective mujahid to enter Iraq by way of Syria was recently posted to an al-Qaeda affiliated message board, titled: The Way to the Land of Two Rivers; Jihad and Glory.? The author divides the guide into two parts: the first, explicates the geography of the border area between Syria and Iraq, and provides eleven reasons why the mid-region of the border is the ?most frequently crossed through by the mujahideen;? the second part delineates several points that the prospective mujahid should follow to ensure safe passage, including suggestions for personal items to be carried on the person, and proper physical appearance so as not to arouse suspicion from Syrian authorities.
The author believes that the mujahideen frequently traverse the border between Syria and Iraq, via the Syrian city of Albukmal and Iraqi city, al-Qaim, which is ?completely controlled by the resistance,? due to the relatively short distance between the cities compared to other regions. According to the guide, the inhabitants of the middle-region of the border ?have deep feelings for the mujahideen,? and some of their sons ?go away for jihad for one month and go back to their family for the next month, and so on.? Conversely, the author suggests that the hatred towards the Syrian regime exhibited by the inhabitants also plays a role in the ease with which a mujahid can travel to jihad in Iraq.
If the mujahid decides to cross the border, the author suggests that the person make the trip in two stages: an exploratory stage and then travel, and to carry ?music cassettes and cartons of cigarettes,? and not to show any ?Salafist appearance,? as this may make Syrian authorities suspicious. In addition, the guide explains that no mosque Imam may be trusted in Syria, and if the mujahid wishes to get in touch with Salafist young men, they should do so outside of a mosque. The author also advises to carry extra money: ?one of the Iraqi mujahideen was compelled to sell his weapon because of lack of money, so please do not forget them if possible.?
A full translation of the guide is provided to our Intel Service members.