Weekly Intelligence Notes
WIN 32-02 dtd 12 August 2002
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members, ISIS associates and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
ED. NOTE: Mrs. Gretchen Campbell was deeply thankful for all those who have sent her well wishes and prayers. She is too weak to respond, so I convey her appreciation. She cried. AFIO has been her life for many years. Thank you. (RJ)
CONTENTS of this WIN
[HTML version recipients - Click title to jump to story or section, Click Article Title to return to Contents] [This feature does not work for Plaintext Edition recipients. If you wish to change to HTML format, let us know at mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org. If you use AOL, you would need AOL version 6.0 or higher to receive HTML messages, and have that feature turned on.]
IMAGERY SATELLITES EXPOSE U.S. MOVES IN MID-EAST -- Images taken by the commercial satellite company Digital Globe show that between January and June of this year, the US al-Udeid airbase in Qatar has been quietly expanded and hardened to support war operations. The runway has been enlarged to 13,000 ft to handle heavy bombers, and ammunition dumps, aircraft shelters and storage buildings for tanks have been constructed. The photos also reveal what appears to be a sophisticated command and control center. The Global Security think tank has published an extensive analysis of the latest satellite imagery on the firm's Internet Web site.
The al-Udeid base is one of a handful of bases in the Persian Gulf region where extensive work is being done in advance of military operations against Iraq. Massive expansion and equipment pre-positioning is also taking place at a secret base in southern Kuwait as well as a NATO base in Incirlik, Turkey.
All this is in the commercial public domain. What is available commercially is also available to the many states that have satellite imaging capabilities, including Japan, China, India, Israel, France etc. etc. It cannot be pleasing to military planners to have to operate in a fishbowl, even if the target is a relatively easy one, like Iraq. It is also a factor in special operations, the current phase of the war.
As noted in an earlier WIN, world news reporting indicate that the intelligence and clandestine operations war against Iraq are already ongoing. Information war is part of that package. Statements about US war plans, attack schedules or methods, must be seen in the context of the necessary propaganda, cover and deception operations. Barring an Act of God, the war's result - the overthrow of Saddam, at the very minimum - are foregone conclusions. (Jonkers) (NY Post 6 Aug 02 // N. Lathem) http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/54164.htm www.globalsecurity.org (PJK)
CIA SECURITY ROLE IN OCCUPIED PALESTINE -- The Palestinian Authority's Minister of the Interior, Abdel Razak Yehiyeh, a former Syrian Army officer who replaced Yasser Arafat at the helm of the security forces in June, had discussions with DCI George Tenet last Saturday ( 9 August) for one and a half hours. Yehiyeh reportedly told the DCI that Palestinian internal security structures had been wrecked by Israel. Security posts and buildings have been destroyed. Remaining Palestinian policemen trying to do their job were facing arrest or worse at the hands of Israeli soldiers. The 23-hour daily curfews on the population paralyzed Palestinian civil society and has created conditions of a widespread humanitarian disaster.
Minister Yehiyeh then presented the DCI with a Palestinian Security Plan. He told the DCI that he was trying to revamp and rebuild an internal Palestinian security capability and had been dismissing suspect, incompetent or corrupt policemen. Proposed reforms include a merger of the various branches of the Palestinian Authority 's security services to make them more accountable and able to rein in Islamic militants responsible for attacks on Israelis. Egypt and Jordan were said to have proposed to train the members of the new police force.
The United States last month showed Israel a plan for reforms that would be followed by an Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian cities reoccupied in June. The CIA has trained and equipped Palestinian security forces in the past as part of efforts to help Palestinians keep order among themselves and to avert militant attacks.
The DCI is said to be moving deliberately, consulting with Israel and the Palestinians on technical security matters, and awaiting a report by the CIA assessment team that was in the region last week. Diplomatic officials said Friday that Tenet and other senior CIA officials are not convinced the situation is ripe for a new security effort by the United States. President Bush has accused Arafat and the Palestinian Authority of assisting, rather than opposing, suicide terrorists who strike at Israeli civil society from the West Bank and Gaza.
The Palestinian militants are reportedly motivated by a quest for revenge, or by the belief that they are defending their people or advancing their cause of freedom. They are mistaken. The terror attacks silence the humanist portion of the Israeli population and political leaders, and instead strengthen the aggressive hardliners; the tempo of Israeli colonization of the occupied territories has been greatly increased ; US financial subsidies and materiel and intelligence support to Israel, historically unprecedented in total amount over the years, is higher than ever; the misery of the Palestinians is reaching desperation levels, and nobody (at least in the US) gives a damn for them. It is an old story, of conquest and subjugation, of surrender or resistance, replicated in one form or another many times in many places, all over the globe. But it is more sharply profiled in this area, of historic interest to all three Abrahamic religions, and disputed for thousands of years of recorded history. The CIA role is important, but it is only a bit player in this larger game. (Jonkers) (AP 11 August 02 // Yahoo 12 Aug 02)
EASING OF TERRORIST DATA COLLECTION PROPOSED -- Lawyer representatives of the Justice Department, CIA and FBI recently testified before a Senate committee in support of legislation to lower the standards of evidence required to obtain court approval for secret wiretaps in investigations of foreign terrorists and spies.
Under the proposed legislation, Justice would no longer have to convince a special court that a suspect was an agent of a foreign power or a member of an international terrorist organization to obtain a wiretap under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The change would ease standards of evidence that are already considered lower than those required in regular criminal cases.
Impetus for the change stems from the experience in the Moussaoui case in which FBI did not seek court approval for a warrant under the law because the headquarters officials did not believe the agents in the field had enough evidence. After 11 September, searches uncovered evidence that, according to Senator Schumer, "...may have been the thread which, if pulled, would have unraveled the terrorists' plans. And one reason the FBI didn't seek that warrant is that the bar for getting those warrants is set too high."
The proposals to ease the standards for wiretaps and search warrants follow the enactment of the USA-Patriot Act, which has already expanded the ability of the intelligence community to collect and distribute information on suspected terrorists operating in the United States. That act made it far easier for the FBI and Justice to share information obtained from domestic investigations with the CIA, which is legally barred from conducting domestic espionage. The CIA deputy counsel told the Senate committee that CIA's access to material gathered from domestic wiretaps has dramatically increased since the Patriot Act was made law. Civil liberties groups have already registered concern despite the fact that the lower standards [assuming they become law] apply to aliens, not citizens.(Harvey) (AP 8 Aug 02) (http://apnews.excite.com/article/20020808/D7L96HN00.html)
SAUDI ARABIA AND THE 'STAR OF EVIL' -- The Defense Science Board was recently briefed by a Rand Corporation analyst who declared that Saudi Arabia is "the kernel of evil," a designation popular in contemporary Washington's quasi-religious evangelical approach to peace and war. The incendiary 'star of evil' label put on the Saudis in the "closed" briefing was immediately leaked. It put the Washington media in a tizzy, and evoked a protest note from the Saudi Government.
Is the designation confirmed by intelligence? The Saudi government sits uneasily on a base of Islamic fundamentalism (Wahhabi sect)and urban economic stagnation, while dealing with controversial Western policies in the region, including the corrosive Israeli /Palestinian problem, within a general ferment of the clash of Western culture and traditional values. In this context Saudi citizens and organizations have provided financing, directly and wittingly, as well as indirectly and unwittingly, to various Islamic causes, including terrorists and anti-Saudi government dissidents. Bin Laden is such a Saudi dissident and terrorist. His Islamic fundamentalist organization's primary objectives are (1) to overthrow the current Saudi government (accused of corruption), (2) to remove the US military bases and presence from Saudi Arabia (deemed to be defiling Islam's holy places), and (3) to install a 'pure' form of Islamic society (without modern Western values regarded as corrupt).
The aerial attacks on the US defense establishment (Pentagon) and a US financial center in New York were carried out by Saudi nationals implementing bin Laden's objectives. If the "star of evil" is to be pinned on anyone, it is on the Saudi dissident terrorists, but not so easily on the Saudi government trying to survive in a volatile Middle East environment - -unless there is evidence to the contrary held in Intelligence channels.
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld deplored the leak and disavowed the statement,
noting that neither the presenters nor the Defense Policy Board members'
comments reflected the official views of the Department of Defense. In a further
footnote moving the whole incident to the Theater of the Absurd, the Rand
briefer is alleged to have been an associate of Lyndon Larouche. As it happens,
Larouche was reportedly cited this week in the Iranian press in support of the
thesis that the September 11 attacks were "a joint brainchild of George W. Bush
and Associates and the Zionist entity." And the band plays on. (Jonkers) (WPost
and WTimes 8 Aug02) (Secrecy News No. 74,9Aug02) (Kayhan International, Tehran,
E-BOMB MAY SEE FIRST COMBAT USE IN
Weapons designed to attack electronic systems (and not people) could see their
first combat use in a military attack on Iraq. It is widely believed that the US
is planning for an attack to overthrow Iraq's leader, Saddam Hussein, who is
accused of developing 'weapons of mass destruction.'(Levine's Newsbits 9 Au
ISRAELI ENCRYPTION DETERS ID FRAUD -- Israeli security experts have developed a way of digitally encrypting passport pictures or signatures so that they can be viewed only by customs officers. Developed by a team at Ben Gurion University, the system works by converting fingerprints or signatures into numbers that slightly alter the position of the millions of different colored dots that make up a normal color photo. (Levine 9 Aug 02) http://www.vnunet.com/News/1134231
CREATIVE CRYPTO-BREAKING METHODS -- An expert professional
encryption breaker says Moore's Law increases security risks as fast as it
boosts chip storage. In 1998 cryptographer Paul Kocher developed a method for
deducing the secret key embedded in a cryptographic smart card by monitoring
tiny fluctuations in power consumption. Three years earlier, at the tender age
of 22, he made headlines with a technique to compromise implementations of the
RSA algorithm -- not with a direct frontal assault, but by watching the amount
of time a system took to perform certain functions. (Levine 9 Aug 02)
BIOMETRIC ID TECHNOLOGY -- Researchers at Lumidigm may have
discovered that identity, like beauty, is only skin deep. The Albuquerque,
NM-based company claims that it can validate a person's ID with fingerprint-like accuracy
by shining an infrared light into a small section of skin and measuring the
reflection —a finding that may add innovative security features
to portable devices, including an accurate trigger lock for a new electronic
gun. (Levine 9 Aug 02)
MUSIC TO SPY BY --"The Secret Service / makes me nervous," wrote
Irving Berlin in a song for the Broadway musical "Mr. President," which
premiered in 1962. That forgotten Berlin number was exhumed and reissued on CD
in a new novelty collection called "Music to Spy By," compiled for the
International Spy Museum that opened in Washington last month. The CD features a
number of themes and curios, memorable and otherwise. The impressive
International Spy Museum, incidentally, is a commercial success. As noted
before, AFIO members attending the Symposium on 1 and 2 November will be treated
to a special opportunity to view the museum. (Jonkers) http://www.museummusic.com/spy.html
CIA WEBSITE UPDATES -- For new maps and the text of a
issue of Studies in Intelligence. see http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/mapspub/index.html
Also see additional job postings http://www.cia.gov/cia/employment/jobpostings/supply_chain_officer.htm
http://www.cia.gov/cia/employment/jobpostings/mm_training_full.html (C. Griffith)
SYMPOSIUM FLASH: AFIO's forthcoming National Symposium and Convention is being held 1 and 2 November 2002 at the Sheraton Premiere Hotel at 8661 Leesburg Pike, Tyson's Corner, VA. Along with the two-days of highly topical panels, speakers, and the banquet, there will be special "side" events, including a visit/tour at the new International Spy Museum. AFIO has made special arrangements this year with the Sheraton for our low convention rate to apply during your ENTIRE stay with them during this event....including those spillover days of arrival and departure. A perfect opportunity to arrive a day or so early, or leave Sunday or Monday, and see more of the D.C. area. But make your reservations now with Sheraton at (703) 448-1234 or toll-free at 1-800-325-3535 (U.S./Canada). Mention "AFIO." Best airport for this hotel: Washington Dulles International Airport -- only 15 minutes north. Symposium program specifics will be sent to you in coming weeks as speaker confirmations arrive.
WINs are protected by copyright laws and intellectual property laws, and may not be reproduced or re-sent without specific permission from the Producer. Opinions expressed in the WINs are solely those of the editor(s) or author(s) listed with each article.
AFIO Members -- Support the AFIO
Mission - sponsor new members!
CHECK THE AFIO WEBSITE at for back issues of the WINs,
information about AFIO, conference agenda and registrations materials, and
membership applications -- and much more!
© 2002, AFIO, 6723 Whittier Ave, Suite 303A, McLean, VA 22101. ; Voice: 703 790-0320; Fax: 703 991-1278.
About AFIO | Chapters & Chapter Activities | Membership | Corporate | Weekly Intelligence Notes | Event Schedule | Bulletin Board | Legislative | Careers | Donations | Book Reviews | Search | AFIO Store | Academic Exchange | Other Sites | Home Page
AFIO Central Office
6723 Whittier Avenue, Suite 303A
McLean, Virginia 22101-4533
Telephone: 703 790 0320 | Facsimile: 703 991 1278