Iraq National Congress (INC)
This INC is an umbrella group of Iraqi opposition groups that since the Gulf War has received the lion's share of U.S. funding allocated to anti-Saddam organizations. INC leaders have expressed optimism about opposition groups' ability to topple the Iraqi leader. The Iraq Liberation Act, passed by U.S. Congress in 1998, stated U.S. support for regime change in Iraq and singled out the INC as the likely leader of that effort. The State Department pledged another $8 million to the INC this summer.
Founded in 1992, the INC plotted a failed attempt to assassinate Saddam in 1995. The next year, an attack by Saddam's forces, then allied with the Kurdish Democratic Party, led to the deaths of hundreds and spurred the departure of many INC leaders. The group is currently based in London.
LEADER: Ahmad Chalabi. The U.S.-educated Chalabi is a Shi'ite Muslim -- the majority in Iraq, although Saddam and leading government and military figures are Sunni Muslims.
STRENGTH: The INC has around 1,000 members (not including all members of its allied dissident groups). Some in the Bush administration see the INC as a key partner in helping arm opposition factions, while other administration officials see the group as a valuable means of spreading propaganda but not a solid military force. In July, exiled Iraqi military officers elected a 15-member "military council" to discuss how to oust the Iraqi leader.