September 28, 2005: The latest criminal racket in the Middle East is to scam money out of the families of al Qaeda terrorists that have gone to Iraq and, well, disappeared. Several thousand Saudi Arabian men have gone to Iraq to fight for al Qaeda, or at least said they did. Not surprising for the country that supplied 15 or the 19 terrorists who carried out the 911 attacks. But this has provided opportunities for crooks in Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Syria. When these fellows find out about a young man who has gone off on jihad to Iraq, they contact his parents with the news that their son is in trouble, and that money can make it all better. The story varies, from the kid getting kidnapped, orĀ arrested, in Syria or Iraq. The families, whether they approved of their lad's terrorist intentions or not, are usually eager to get him back. Money is sent, and the scammers are never heard from again. Sometimes it turns out that the kid in question has not even left Saudi Arabia yet, or got stuck in Syria, unable to get across the border. In other instances, the young fellow does get killed in Iraq, and his parents never hear anything more. It's often impossible to identify suicide bombers after they carry out their homicidal mission. The people who set them up, and set them on their way, often do not get word back to the parents. All the families have is the false hope provided by the scammers, and the hope that the money they paid will somehow, some day, pay off. For terrorists, nothing much pays off, ever.