Using a translator, NBC News spoke by telephone to the families of many other foreign fighters who were killed in Iraq. Some refused to talk to us. Others said they were instructed by their governments not to speak to the press.
Saliem Al-Ajmi of Kuwait had no such concerns. Her brother, Salem Mohammed Qamdan Al-Ajmi, was killed in October in Iraq, after he took up arms with Iraq insurgents and engaged U.S. troops near Fallujah. Al-Ajmi tells NBC that her brother was born and raised in Kuwait and had worked as an employee of the Kuwaiti government. He was fairly religious and attended the local mosque regularly. She says that al-Ajmi first traveled to Iraq in May 2004, without previously notifying any of his family members, and that he was 21 years old when he died.
NBC News spoke with Al-Ajmi's sister and his father by phone. A brief excerpt follows:
NBC: Why did he go to Iraq?
Sister: He did what any other Muslim should do.
NBC: Are you proud of him?
Father: Yes, yes, all praise be to God... What my son did was because of his religious beliefs.
NBC News also talked to the family of Faisal Said Al-Mutairi, a former Kuwaiti police officer who had recently quit his job. He is believed to have died as a suicide bomber in Iraq in June 2004, and likely had joined forces with Iraq's most-wanted terrorist, Abu Musab al-Zaraqwi.
NBC: How did your brother die?
Brother: We praise God and we believe he is a martyr.