Weekly Intelligence Notes #45-01
19 November 2001

WIN 45 - dated 19 November 01

Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) contain items of interest and commentaries selected, edited, written and produced by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. Associate Editor Don Harvey contributes articles to the WINs.

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AFGHANISTAN INTELLIGENCE -- With Taliban forces in retreat from most cities, Air Force EC-130E "Commando Solo" flights are reported to have increased radio broadcasts and leaflet drops offering a $25 million reward for bin Laden, while U.S. operatives supplied weapons, ammunition, food and clothing to anti-Taliban Pashtun guerrillas in the south of the country. During the war's next phase the emphasis will presumably be on unmanned reconnaissance aircraft and other intelligence-gathering tools to search for bin Laden and Omar.
     Pashtun tribal leaders are positioning themselves to get the best deal for their tribes in the post-Taliban Afghanistan. Media reports indicate that both military special operations forces and CIA personnel are in touch with local anti-Taliban insurgents and are collecting intelligence, mounting search operations and acting as agents of influence. (Jonkers) (WashPost 15Nov01 p.A35 //Loeb/Graham)

BIN LADEN's GUILT -- We are wading more deeply in the war of words, of propaganda and counter-propaganda, an indispensable aspect of war providing the rationale and license to kill. The British Government released a report it attributed to yet another (as yet unseen) videotape by bin Laden, allegedly distributed among al Qaeda members on October 20th. According to the British government document, an interviewer asked bin Laden about the attacks on New York and Washington, and the Saudi exile replied: "It is what we instigated, for a while, in self-defense. And it was revenge for our people killed in Palestine and Iraq.. . . Bush and Blair . . . don't understand any language but the language of force . . . Every time they kill us, we will kill them, so the balance of terror can be achieved."
     According to Prime Minister Tony Blair, addressing Parliament, bin Laden, in the video, described the Sept. 11th attacks as 'good terrorism,' saying "The bad terror is what America and Israel are practicing against our people. . . . What we are practicing is the good terror that will stop them doing what they are doing. . . . The battle has been moved inside America, and we shall continue until we win this battle, or die in the cause and meet our maker." The Prime Minister cited the latest video as he expanded on his previous statements on October 4th in building a public case for bin Laden's guilt, concluding by saying "there is no doubt whatever of the guilt of bin Laden and his associates."
     London's Sunday Telegraph also quoted bin Laden from the as yet unseen video. "The twin towers were legitimate targets, they were supporting U.S. economic power," the newspaper quoted bin Laden as saying. "What was destroyed were not only the towers, but the towers of morale in that country. The towers were filled with supporters of the economical powers of the United States who are abusing the world. We are treating them like they treated us."
     Since Sept. 11, the U.S. government also has blamed bin Laden for the attacks but has not released evidence showing that he directly planned or ordered them. In various videotaped statements that have been broadcast internationally, bin Laden has not claimed direct responsibility.
     In an attempt to counter skepticism about bin Laden's involvement in the attack on New York, particularly in the Muslim world, Prime Minister Blair has functioned as the chief prosecutor for the U.S.-led anti-terrorism coalition, often releasing more explicit information than U.S. officials. The Prime Minister's statement was published not only in English, but also in Arabic and Urdu, the main language of Pakistan.
     British officials said they did not have a copy of the video but received information about it from intelligence sources. Without detracting from the validity of the statements, those who have read case histories of war justifications and propaganda in previous wars (or have lived through wars, as this editor has, from WWII onward), are condemned to remember them. Whatever, it doesn't detract from the validity of the present objective. (Jonkers) (Wash Post Nov 15, 2001, Pg. 29 //T. Reid) (London Telegraph 11Nov01)

AL QAEDA BUYING "BLOOD" DIAMONDS IN SIERRA LEONE -- Individuals identified by the FBI as operatives from al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations have been buying millions of dollars worth of "blood" diamonds from the brutal Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone at below-market prices, selling them for profits in Europe estimated in the millions. Since July, however, the al Qaeda buyers are reported to have been purchasing far more diamonds than usual and paying premium prices. This change in tactics has led to the speculation that al Qaeda, anticipating that its accounts would be frozen after the September 11 attacks, has been protecting its money by sinking it into gemstones, a commodity that can be easily hidden, holds its value and remains almost untraceable.
     The volume and detail of the story raise a strong suspicion that the reporter profited from a complete file dump by the official investigators. He cited US and European intelligence sources and at least two directly-involved sources who had first hand knowledge of the transactions. The detail included such items as the names of the Antwerp diamond dealers, descriptions of the people who staff the safe house, the dates of significant meetings, etc. South Africa has attempted for the past 18 months to bring the 38 diamond-producing and trading nations together to eliminate the "bloody gems" from Sierra Leone from the legitimate diamond trade, but the US has stalled and refused to cooperate with the procedures being negotiated - demanding discretion in applying the law and refusing to "name and shame" countries that continue to trade in blood diamonds. The detailed account on the front page would appear to have changed the playing field, especially in light of the intense drive to dry up the al Qaeda funding sources. (Harvey) (WashPost 2 Nov01 p.1 & 6 Nov p. A23 // /D. Farah & H. Burkhalter)


FRENCH CI PERSPECTIVES ON TERRORISM -- Jean-Jacques Pascal, chief of the French counterintelligence agency, the DST ( Direction of Surveillance of the Territory), recently held his first on-the-record interview with foreign journalists in his "bland" office on a quiet street near the Eiffel Tower. According to the reporter, Pascal and the DST receive very high marks from US intelligence officers despite the prickly diplomatic attitude of the French toward America. Pascal indicated he began to notice a pattern as early as 1997 of what he calls "neo-Afghans," Algerians [and presumably others] traveling to Osama bin Laden's training camps in Afghanistan. After learning "heavy" terrorist techniques and practices in the camps, these neo-Afghans -- not rough street kids from the ghettos of Marseilles but drawn from an educated and seemingly assimilated milieu -- settled back into the European landscape as "sleepers."
     The DST issued a first intelligence report warning about this neo-Afghan threat in 1998. Pascal recounted European intelligence authorities' successes in disrupting planned al Qaeda operations such as a planned bombing of World Cup soccer matches in France, an attack on the European parliament in Strasbourg, and a plot to blow up the US embassy in Paris.
     Pascal believes bin Laden's network is a loosely organized confederation of terrorist groups rather than a tightly disciplined movement, calling it "mouvance" meaning "sphere of influence." He described the network as a loose spine, with some tough lieutenants and liaison officers who plan operations and give orders. Until the recent crackdown on al Qaeda finances, the inner core received covert funding while the dozens of small, semi-independent cells financed their operations by petty crime, such as document forgery. He warned that new theaters for terrorist attacks could emerge from Indonesia, the Philippines, Kashmir and the Uighur regions of western China. He reportedly was skeptical of press reports of Iraqi links to bin Laden and possible bin Laden possession of nuclear or biological weapons. It is refreshing to read a professional counterintelligence practitioner's views in midst the current flood of media and other amateur opinions.(Harvey) (WashPost 18 Nov01, p. B7 //D. Ignatius)


NEW GOVNET UNDER CONSIDERATION -- The Administration is considering the creation of a secure new government communications network, separate from the Internet, that would be less vulnerable to attack and efforts to disrupt critical federal activities.  The idea for such a system, called GovNet, is the brainchild of Richard A. Clarke, whom President Bush recently named his Special Adviser for Cyberspace Security. Clark noted that the attacks of September 11th showed that it is imperative to imagine the ways terrorists could disrupt the nation's information infrastructure and the computer networks that control telecommunications, the electric grid, water supplies and air traffic. The administration has asked the industry to submit information about how such a system might work and what it would cost. Once the industry information comes in, the ideas will be studied by a team of government experts as well as outside academics.
     Assessing the possibility of a separate computer network for the government is just one example of how the administration is looking toward technological advances to bolster homeland security. After examining devices for sensing radiation and chemical and biological agents, Tom Ridge, the director of homeland security, said this week that technology would be "at the heart of strategy" for making the nation more secure. (Jonkers) (NYT 17Nov01// A. Mitchell) http://www.nytimes.com/2001/11/17/technology/17INTE.html?ex=1007002815&ei=1&en=af424639636118c6
(T. Hart)


RUSSIAN WEAPONS ENCYCLOPEDIA RELEASE - Russia's Ministry of Defense has released Volume #3 - "NAVAL WEAPONS," of the highly acclaimed 'Arms and Technologies 21st Century' Encyclopedia series. The encyclopedia gives exhaustive information on various types of modern weapons systems and defense Technologies, presented by Russia's leading defense manufacturers and research organizations. This series is available exclusively through Tommax, Inc. tommax64@worldnet.att.net; http://tommax-military.com

(1) British Government publication of an updated version of its report on "Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 11 2001," which outlines on an unclassified basis the case against Usama bin Laden and Al Qaida. http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2001/11/ukreport.html

(2) U.S. State Department published a comparable report of its own on "The Network of Terrorism" which is glossier but no more substantive than the UK report. http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/terrornet/

(3) The Library of Congress has prepared a helpful compilation of "Legislation Related to the Attack of September 11, 2001" of which there has been quite a bit. http://rs9.loc.gov/home/terrorleg.htm

(4) National Security Archive Update, November 15, 2001 -- "The September 11th Source Books, Volume V, Anthrax at Sverdlovsk, 1979: U.S. Intelligence on the Deadliest Modern Outbreak." Contains declassified documents from the Central Intelligence Agency, Defense Intelligence Agency and State Department on the deadliest modern outbreak of anthrax - the 1979 release of anthrax spores from a Soviet biological warfare facility in Sverdlovsk. (T. Hart, 15 Nov01) http://www.nsarchive.org/NSAEBB/NSAEBB61


Larry S. writes, in reference to WIN #44 on the changes at DoJ and FBI --

Here's my 2� worth: There is a crying need for national security agencies to share information with - and receive information from - local law enforcement and grand jury investigations. Such deficiencies may well have been disastrous in the pre-9/11 period when intelligence from terrorist court cases was held close, or denied, by the DoJ & the FBI. There are some indications that the deficiency is being addressed by the Administration, but the strong perception at the local law enforcement level is that, to put it plainly, the FBI does not share.

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