Who Are The Insurgents?

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Every day in Iraq over the past week, American and Iraqi troops see at least a dozen Insurgent attacks. CBS News Correspondent Dan Rather asks: "Who are these insurgents?"

"It looks like insurgent activity, but a lot of it is actually motivated by greed," Maj. Clint Nussberger,

. "It's thievery, and car jackings were a big problem."

Nussberger, the intelligence chief from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, agreed with the classification of "insurgents" as "home-grown thugs."

Nussberger says of the 1,000 Iraqis arrested by the Marines in North Babil province, most don't fit the average terrorist profile.

"Many on them are unemployed, some of them are just doing it for money," Nussberger explained.

When an Iraqi has lost his job in a munitions or tank factory here is unemployed, an offer of $100 to do a roadside bomb might come along.

"Somewhere in that nature, we've used figures we've learned from anywhere little as $20 for an operation up to $200," Nussberger said.

Criminals may demand more for a car bomb job than a smaller roadside bomb. And each of them has a specialty, the Marines' commander says, each has something to sell.

"I may buy those artillery shells from one, I may buy the detonators from another and I might even hire another man who would place it for me," Col. Ron Johnson, commander of the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit said, explaining the mindset of an insurgent mastermind. "Totally different guys who only know each other by loose association."

At a briefing, Nussberger displayed that about a third of the Iraqis arrested are unemployed. And there is an equal number of common criminals.

Between 30 and 35 percent are crooks or criminals. And the other third is split, the Marines say, between former Baath Party members and military personnel, what they call ethno-religious fighters and a small number of foreign fighters.

"The vast majority of the folks we've dealt with are Iraqis," rather than expatriate Iranians, Syrians, Jordanians or Lebanese, Nussberger said.

The Marines do concede that there may be more foreign fighters operating elsewhere in Iraq.



Iraqi Insurgents

A breakdown of estimates by the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit

Unemployed, Poor 30 percent

Criminals, Thugs 30 - 35 percent

Former Baath Party
or Military Personnel 20 percent

Ethno-religious Fighters 10 percent

Foreign Fighters 5 percent