Insurgents captured in Fallujah have told Iraqi military interrogators that most of those fighting in Fallujah were former security officers for the regime of Saddam Hussein.
The insurgents said Saddam organized special operations units, starting in 2001, to counter any foreign invasion in Iraq. Most of those units, the insurgents said, are still active in the Sunni Triangle.
Officials said the Sunni insurgency was being directed from Syria. They said Saddam loyalists were receiving funding and orders from senior aides of the former Saddam regime based in Damascus, including ex-Vice President Izzet Ibrahim Al Douri.
Al Naqib identified Mohammed Yunus Ahmad as the key liasion and coordinator between Saddam loyalists in Syria and Iraqi insurgents. Ahmad had been a minister and a senior official in Iraq's ruling Baath Party.
Al Naqib also said Saddam formed an Islamic insurgency group Jaysh Mohammed, composed of former special operations officers. The minister said the leader of the group, identified as Moayad Yassin Ahmed, was arrested on Nov. 15. Ahmed, also known as Abu Ahmed, was identified as a former officer in the Iraqi Air Defense Command.
Ahmed was said to have met former Iraqi minister Al Ahmed in Syria to coordinate the Sunni insurgency in Iraq. Al Naqib said Saddam established Jaysh Mohammed as the military wing of the Baath Party in April 2003 after the fall of the regime.
Officials said the Iraqi resistance appears to have changed tactics and no longer seeks a head-on clash with the U.S. military for the control of major cities. Instead, Saddam loyalists and foreign volunteers have launched attacks on police stations and other facilities meant to intimidate security forces and seize weapons and material.