AFIO Intelligence Notes Issue 30
10 August 1998
AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are a 1998 initiative to
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WINs are produced by Editor Roy Jonkers, and includes adaptations
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AFIO LUNCHEON 14 SEPTEMBER
Fort Myers Officers Club, Arlington Virginia
Speakers: Major General (USA ret) Jack Singlaub (Operation
and Dr. Hamilton Merritt, Nobel Prize Nominee (Tragic Mountains,
Luncheon Chairman: Mr. Theodore
Send check for $26 (members and guests) or $29 (non-members) to
AFIO SYMPOSIUM AND CONVENTION 12, 13, 14 NOVEMBER
Symposium Chairman: Peter Earnest,
Further Information Coming soon.
SECTION I - INTELLIGENCE COMMENTARIES & BRIEFS
EAST AFRICA - Bomb blasts damaging the US embassies in Dar
es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya, on 7 August, are under
investigation by teams of FBI, CIA, State and USMC anti-terrorist
professionals, along with British and Israeli experts. (By current
law, the FBI has jurisdiction over cases of terrorist attacks on US
citizens worldwide). Both bombs were delivered by truck. US officials
have stated that they will keep an open mind as to the culprits based
on the evidence at hand.
An obscure - some say unknown - organization, the Islamic Army for
the Liberation of Holy Places, has stepped forward to claim
responsibility for the bombing. In a telephone call placed in London,
the group claimed that the Nairobi attack was carried on by two of
their members from Mecca, and the Dar es Salaam attack by an
A Qatar television station carried an account by group
representatives saying that "Islamic holy warriors from all countries
of the world" are determined to drive US troops out of Saudi Arabia
and other Muslim countries, and to "strike at American interests in
all places until all its objectives are met."
Speculation in the media has included a typically convoluted tale
of the possible involvement of the Egyptian branch of Islamic Jihad,
a successor to the group that assassinated Anwar Sadat, and banned in
Egypt. The Islamic Jihad made recent threats against Americans in
retaliation for the US role in persuading the Albanian government to
arrest three Jihad fighters in Northern Albania and to extradite them
to Egypt, where at least one of the three is under a death sentence.
Islamic Jihad is headed by Ayman Zawaheri (transliterated as Imam
Zowaheri), who used to reside in Khartoum, but was pressured to leave
in 1996. He now resides in Afghanistan, where he is linked to Osama
bin Laden, an exiled Saudi multi-millionaire, also resident there.
The latter uses his money to finance a campaign against the Saudi
rulers and US presence in Saudi Arabia. Two months ago, bin Laden
warned of new guerrilla action planned against the US. The
Chicago-based Emergency Response and Research Institute quoted bin
Laden as saying that "we had thought that the Riyadh and Khobar
blasts were a sufficient signal to sensible US decisionmakers to
avert a real battle between the Islamic nation and US forces, but it
seems that they did not understand the signal."
On balance, based on initial information and contextual
speculation, several conclusions present themselves as of this date.
Firstly, the timing of the simultaneous attack in two countries, the
relative lack of precedent for this type of action in the context of
"normal" African indigenous political violence, and the claim of
responsibility by an Islamic organization, suggest that motives and
organizations responsible have little or nothing nothing to do with
Africa or the host countries.
Secondly, the nature of the attacks and their success point to an
experienced "professional" terrorist operation. The US Intelligence
Community has thwarted several attacks on US embassies in recent
years (according to published testimony by the DCI), through
intercepted communications and "moles," but the terrorist
organization in this attack was able to cope with our capabilities.
Thirdly, there is the probability that the bombing is another
manifestation of a long-running political war of Islamic religious
fundamentalists (extremists) against Western infidels (headed by the
US) and their ("corrupted") Islamic allies.
Fourthly, the claimed responsibility - whether real or not -
points up connections to growing instability in Saudi Arabia, a cause
for considerable concern.
And fifthly, in a coldly self-interested way, it may be that this
event, terrible as it is, provides added Congressional and public
support to US intelligence agencies and capabilities as well as
increased funding for Embassy security. Anti-terrorism is a slam-dunk
for politicians. House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the bombings are a
"reminder to all of us that it is a dangerous world as we enter the
21st century. We need much better human intelligence, much more
sophisticated efforts to go after terrorists and others." (WT &
WP 8 - 10 August 98) (RJ)
YUGOSLAVIA - KOSSOVO - Germany's security agencies are
investigating criminal links between the Kossovo Liberation Army
(KLA) guerrillas and their funding from Germany. Criminal networks
may be involved in sending laundered money through dubious travel
agencies to the KLA. Albanian gangs in Germany are said to be
involved in drug trafficking, serial break-in's and illegal
immigration. Islamic extremist financing of Moslem terrorists (
including Islamic extremist mercenaries) in Bosnia was condoned by
the US and NATO, but the policy towards the Muslim guerrillas in
Kossovo appears to be more circumspect.
Meanwhile within Kossovo, Yugoslav military units overran the
headquarters of the KLA and are in process of reestablishing control
over its territory. The foreign-financed insurgents engaging in
terrorism against minorities in the local population (largely
unreported in the US press) and guerrilla warfare in pursuit of their
goal of Kossovo independence (population 2 million), have now
allegedly thrown their support to the Kossovo-Albanian majority
faction headed by Ibrahim Rugova, who advocates a nonviolent
solution. The US has expressed support for Rugova's policy, but just
in case, NATO has contingency plans for intervention, and hundreds
of US Marines will participate in NATO military exercises in Albania
and Macedonia this Fall. (Jane's Newsbrief, 4 Aug 98, Part II; WT 9
Aug 98) (RJ)
ISRAELI SPY RING IN LEBANON - Over 75 members of a large
spy ring working for Unit 504 of Israeli military intelligence were
indicted by the Lebanon Government on charges of providing
information on Lebanese and Syrian troop movements as well as
activities of resistance fighters to the Israelis. Unit 504 operates
agents in Arab states that border on Israel.
Israeli papers carrying reports from Beirut carried two different
versions on how the ring was cracked. One said a Druze named Raja
Ward, a senior intelligence officer in the Israeli-backed Southern
Lebanon Army (SLA) had turned himself in after fleeing occupied south
Lebanon. Another version said Lebanese security forces penetrated a
group attempting to blow up the US embassy in Beirut.
Lebanese officials suspect the Israeli spy ring is also
responsible for terrorist attacks inside Lebanon. One of the ring's
missions, as quoted from the Lebanese prosecutor general, was to
generate unrest in Lebanon.
Gideon Ezra, former chief of Shin Bet's northern district,
commented on Israeli army radio that it is difficult to believe in
the operation of an Israeli espionage network of that size - "one of
the basic principles in intelligence is not to reveal the identity of
one man to another. You have to maintain compartmentalization." But,
he said, it could also indicate a failure in planning and
implementation. (Jerusalem Pst 10Jul; Arabic News.com 10Jul98; The
(Lebanon) Daily Star, 9 Jul98) (RJ)
RUSSIA - NEW FSB CHIEF APPOINTED - President Boris Yeltsin
initially dismantled the Soviet system and the KGB. Now he is looking
to strengthen his control, including a buildup of the Federal
Security Service, the successor to the KGB. Earlier this year he
brought Russia's Border Guards divisions under FSB control, thereby
giving it broader jurisdiction and increased clout in domestic
security. On 25 July '98 he appointed Vladimir Putin, a former KGB
member, as director of the FSB. This appointment, according to Prime
Minister Sergei Kiriyenko, was aimed at "strengthening the service,
as well as returning some of its unfairly lost authority." It is
noteworthy that the new director's task will be to concentrate on
domestic economic espionage and illegal capital flight, reflecting
current priorities and Russian economic problems (WT 28 Jul 98, page
RECONNAISSANCE AND OTHER US MILITARY COMMERCIAL VENTURES -
A Naval Orion P-3 reconnaissance aircraft recently took off on a
special mission, not to hunt for submarines, but to use its
surveillance sensors to hunt blueberries -- under contract with the
State of Maine, which has extensive plans to use the plane's sensors
for a variety of environmental and economic purposes. The recent
rapid growth in commercial contract work by the Department of Defense
is based on Congressional laws that encourage the military to share
its technology with private industry. Needing a new post-Cold War
mission, and with demand for military work declining, Defense
Laboratories in particular have grasped the opportunity to "go in
business." Supporting the private sector under contract both
maintains and subsidizes the laboratories. (WP 8 Aug 98, p. B1)
CHINESE ARMY ORDERED TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS - The PLA
plunged into business more than a decade ago, and now owns, besides
armament factories, commercial ventures and conglomerates that
produce from $1B to $3 Billion in annual profits. The Peking
Government is seeking to privatize part of the Army's holdings to
stop the corruption and smuggling by PLA-linked black marketeers and
the undermining of government central control and planning.
PLA-backed smuggling of autos, chemicals, steel and other products
destabilizes domestic producers and puts pressure on the currency
exchange rates.Weapons smuggling impacts on Government foreign
policy. Military units are subverting government plans for managing
the development of telecom and automobile sectors; extensive PLA real
estate holdings have added to China's real estate glut; and the PLA
is in open defiance of securities regulators and law enforcement
In an economy under severe pressure, with the possibility of
millions of unemployed looming large, President Jiang Zemin issued a
decree in July to get the PLA out of business. In parallel, the
Government is trying to wrest control of the PLA away from the
Communist Party. If Jiang succeeds, the PLA may become more focused
on boosting its fighting capability on behalf of Chinese national
defense. (Bsns Wk 10 Aug p.36) (RJ)
EMAIL SECURITY INTELLIGENCE - Internet users are put on
notice that a flaw in electronic mail (email) software can permit a
hacker to attach a file that looks like a harmless link to an
internet site, but when opened, attacks computer data. Email
programs, including Qualcom's EUDORA (versions 4, 4.0.1, and 4.1),
Microsoft, and Netscape Communicator, all are said to contain
programming errors that could be exploited. The risk of compromise is
greatest for those who use email to send not just text messages but
multi-media documents and computer programs.
The Eudora problems relate to its connection with Microsoft's
Internet Explorer browser software. To remedy the problem, Qualcom
will release a free patch on its web site (<hhttp://eudora.qualcom.com/security.html>).
This event is a reminder that nothing, including software (or
intelligence), is perfect, or perfectly secure. (WP 8 Aug 98, page
SECTION II - BOOKS & PUBLICATIONS
- CORPORATE GRAY ONLINE is a free military to
civilian career transition guide at <http://www.bluetogray.com>
The sites includes job opportunities, and information for making
informed career decisions.
- EDWARD LANSDALE:THE UNQUIET AMERICAN - by Cecil B
Currey, 1998. Brassey;s, Washington (ISBN 1-57488-176-0) with a
forewaord by William Colby. The subject is a retired Air Force
general officer who earned his commision as a Reserve Officer from
ROTC in 1931, and spent the pre-war years in the advertising
business. During WW II he worked for OSS under cover of Army military
intelligence, and later worked for the CIA, playing important roles
in the Phillipines and Vietnam. The essence of Lansdale can be found
in a dialogue he had with SecDEF McNamara on Vietnam. Lansdale
advised the Secretary always to keep in mind that the struggle went
far beyond the material things. "It takes ... ideas and ideals."
McNamara scorned Lansdale's advice, more interested in 'statistical
indicators' of success (e.g. body counts) to mark American progress -
a mistake for which the nation would pay dearly. Based on interviews
with Lansdale shortly before his death, this book provides both an
important contribution to literature of the Vietnam war as well as a
monument to a legend. (RJ)
SECTION III CALENDAR
14 September - AFIO LUNCHEON, Fort Myers Officers Club,
1030 - 1400. Speakers: Major General (USA ret) Jack Singlaub
(Operation Tailwind) and Dr. Hamilton Merritt, Nobel Prize Nominee
(Tragic Mountains -- The War in Laos).
Luncheon Chairman: Mr. Theodore Shackley
Registration: AFIO members $26, Non-members $29. Send check with name
and address to AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Ste 303A, McLean VA
12-14 November AFIO National Symposium
and Convention. CHALLENGES FOR INTELLIGENCE: THE FUTURE IS
Thursday - late afternoon - member meetings and hospitality
Friday - Symposium sessions at CIA Headquarters
Friday evening - AFIO Awards Banquet
Saturday - Convention sessions, presentations and meetings.
Registration information will be disseminated shortly.
7 December - NOTE: The AFIO luncheon originally scheduled for 7
December 98 has been postponed until January 1999. The Board meeting
is also postponed.
SECTION IV - BULLETIN BOARD
The U-2: A Revolution in Intelligence. A one-day conference
sponsored by CIA, NRO, DOD and USAF at the National defense
University on 17 September 98. Call CIA Center for Study of
Intelligence (703) 613 1753.
PCIC EXPO - Career Development for Intelligence
Professionals - will be held 11-12 November, 1998, Tysons Corner
Marriott, 8028 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, Va. Included will be workshops,
seminars and exhibits, along with Government and Industry talent
scouts. The last one was a bellringer - outstanding! AFIO endorsed.
Check <email@example.com> or call Lori Tugman at 703 379 8400 for
attendance, exhibiting or advertising.
TAPS - John Seabury Thomson, an expert on China, and former
Navy and OSS veteran as well as College professor and CIA
intelligence analyst, died August 3 at the age of 77, after finishing
a solo canoe run on the Potomac river. He gained special fame for
canoeing to work across the Potomac from Washington every day during
his employment at CIA until he retired in 1976. He lived life to the
full - leading, teaching, giving time and talent to worthy causes as
well as being a top canoeing expert and admirer of the outdoors.
NEW CHAPTER - The newly organized AFIO Northeast Florida
Chapter will hold its first organizational Dinner Meeting on Friday
11 September 1998 at the holiday Inn, Palatka, at 5:00 pm. For
reservations or information, contact Col Barney Barco (352) 475 2351,
or email <firstname.lastname@example.org.
JOB WANTED - Individual with twenty years experience in
Army and Army Reserve, SCI clearances, background as computer
programmer, software tester, information technical writer, trainer
and web author is looking for full-time career opportunity in
development of intelligence products and systems. Contact AFIO
<email@example.com> for referral.
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