Weekly Intelligence Notes
WIN 36-02 dtd 9 September 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: An Agenda and Registration package of the AFIO National Intelligence War Symposium 2002 has been sent by email to all current members and subscribers. A printed version will be mailed next week for those who wish to respond by U.S. mail. I urge you to sign up early. It will help us. We plan another great, expanded, symposium, at a very moderate price, thanks to numerous contributing volunteers. AFIO members will have a few weeks for priority registration, before other professional intelligence associations are also invited. Our capacity is 250 attendees. If you cannot locate the prior e-mailed edition, let us know at Symp2002@afio.com and a set of these messages will be sent to you pronto.
CONTENTS of this WIN
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IRAQ WAR -- PREPARATIONS & THREAT ASSESSMENT -- The U.S. Central Command announced the move of its headquarters from Florida to the Gulf state of Qatar, starting on Friday September 13th. Gen. Tommy Franks, Commander USCENTCOM, said last November that he was considering moving his headquarters closer to Afghanistan.
The Al Udeid base in the Qatari desert, 28 miles west of the capital Doha, has been transformed into a state-of-the-art facility with one of the longest runways in the Middle East, some 14,760 feet. The base, equipped with command facilities and satellite links that can control thousands of air strikes daily, offers Washington a supplemental or alternative capability to its Prince Sultan base in Saudi Arabia. Al Udeid stands next to a sprawling arms warehouse complex, where Central Command has stored tanks, armored personnel carriers, and enough weapons to equip at least a brigade.
As the military campaign against Iraq increases in scope and tempo, the command center will play a key role. It may be noted in this regard that the US/UK clandestine intelligence campaign has been carried on for a long time, that the US/UK political and war propaganda campaign is mounting to a crescendo, that the US/UK air campaign is steadily increasing in tempo with hundreds of sorties reported against Iraqi air defense sites in recent days, and that the US/UK war materiel buildup and deployments, as reported in the media, are apparently going into high gear.
The US objective, based on the President's election campaign pronouncements, remains Iraqi regime change and demilitarization. In the context of national grand strategy, after Iraq's defeat, powerful attention will be paid to Iran, and then perhaps Pakistan will get another look. The Muslim world then will be given a chance to settle down under US hegemony without posing nuclear or other unacceptable weapons risks to us, and will be providing unimpeded access to oil and gas, so essential for our contemporary economic machines. The urgency of the Iraq / Iran etc. timetable appears to be set more by the terms of office of our elected leaders than by the imminence of actual or postulated potential threats made public. Iraq is a fractured country of 25 million under great economic and social stress, of which only the 5 million Sunni Arabs centered on Baghdad are our declared targets. The 5 million Kurds in the northern part of the country have received our support, the 15 million Shi'ite Arabs in the south are said to be disaffected. Neighbor Iran (also Shi'ite) is a bitter enemy. Saddam is also regarded by Al Qaeda (Sunni fundamentalist) as an enemy. Leader bin Laden reportedly regards Saddam as a secular apostate. In addition, Iraq has been under the tightest US/UK intelligence watch for many years, and subject to persistent US/UK offensive clandestine operations, both within and outside of the intrusive UNSCOM inspection routines. Saddam's rule is based on fear, favors and his clan and tribal connections. It can, and will, fracture under sufficient US pressure and power - quite likely more quickly and easily than is imagined - if it is done smartly. There is no reason to doubt that it will be done smartly. (Jonkers) (Reuters 11 Sep 02) (NY Review of Books, T. Judah & T. Powers).
SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN's VIEWS -- . Senator Bob Graham, Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, recently expressed concern that the US was becoming "bogged down" in an unproductive manhunt in Afghanistan and needed an "aggressive war plan" to strike at terrorist organizations. [His discussion did not include what that aggressive war plan might include, but he did feel Iraq was a distraction to the antiterrorism campaign.] The Senator said the antiterrorism effort should focus on countries that had a significant al Qaeda presence or terrorist training camps. "Those are primarily in Syria, in the Syrian-controlled areas of Lebanon and in Iran," he said.
In regard to the joint House and Senate panel inquiry into the 9/11 attacks and what changes are needed, he said the panel had not found evidence that gave a clue to the type of attack that ultimately was carried out by the al Qaeda. He believes the US is more secure than it was a year ago, but the United States must not "fall into the trap of waiting until a vulnerability has actually been assaulted before we start to harden against that assault."
The Chairman believes the intelligence community is going to have to change from the heavy reliance on technology and satellites. "In this war on terrorism, it is going to be back to the old human factor," he said in noting that the nation's intelligence collection has improved already. He continued, "We are going to have spies, either those that are our direct agents or people that we have hired for a particular job who can get inside these international terrorist organizations, find out what they are planning to do and give us enough lead time that other law enforcement and even military units can disrupt the terrorists before they can strike." The thrust of the Senator's comments toward more emphasis on HUMINT would seem to indicate that the committee understands that developing HUMINT sources and acquiring proficiency in the field generally is not an overnight endeavor. One knowledgeable commentator has predicted as much as ten years is needed.
The deliberate pace of the panel has come under criticism by some, but the committee is expected to convene the first public meeting in mid-September and to continue the meetings twice weekly until Congress adjourns in October. (Harvey) (NY Times 10 Sep 02 //C. Hulse)
NEW PFIAB MEMBER -- President Bush announced the appointment of William Brody as the newest member of the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board, the White House body that advises on intelligence policy and performance. Dr. Brody is President of Johns Hopkins University. (Secrecy News 10 Sep 02)(White House
TARGETING AL QAEDA'S MIDDLE MANAGEMENT-- Washington reportedly is now focusing on locating and picking up the terrorists that have been identified as al Qaeda functionaries just below bin Laden. It is believed that six or seven men are responsible for the network's major operations, and would be the logical ones to lead future attacks on the United States. "When you go down the list of the major attacks around the world, you always come back to these guys," one DoD official said. This operational middle management includes: Abu Mohammad al-Masri, an Egyptian believed to be the senior planner of the 1998 attacks on the two US embassies in Africa; Saif al-Adel, an Egyptian who helped mastermind the 2000 attack on the USS Cole; Tawfiq Attash Khallal, a Saudi of Yemeni descent suspected of plotting the Cole bombing; and Abu Musab Zarqawi, a Jordanian linked to Hezbollah and believed to have helped plan suicide bombings in Israel.
Reportedly the covert strategy includes a military plan and rules of engagement for "black" special operations to carry out snatch-and-grab missions against al Qaeda leaders around the world. Because other approaches have had minimal returns, the strategy has the support of higher-ups [not further identified]. Some experts believe that the administration now has a free hand legally to deal with the terrorist threat using covert military force inside sovereign countries. "If you interpret covert operations as part of responding to attacks on the US, you can argue that the Department of Defense already has the authority to do so," said Dr. Richard Shultz of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy [the nation's first graduate school on international relations]. Reportedly, no country has yet been approached about allowing covert military raids within its borders.
If such operations are to be launched, it is hoped the operational security is better than has usually been the case in the past. It could even be hoped that public chest-beating could be avoided by the political types until several of the operations had been successfully effected.
(Harvey) ( U.S. News & World Report 26 Aug '02 // by M. Mazzetti)
CYBERWAR THREATS-- In a recent interview, Richard A. Clarke, Special Advisor to the President for Cyberspace Security and Chairman of the President's Critical Infrastructure Protection Board, said the government now regards nation-states rather than terrorist groups as the most dangerous threat to US computer security. "There are terrorist groups that are interested. We now know that al Qaeda was interested. But the real major threat is from the information-warfare brigade or squadron of five or six countries," Clarke said. [The countries were not specified.] This conclusion apparently stems from several incidents; one of these in 1999 and 2000 in which unidentified hackers downloaded scores of "sensitive but unclassified" internal documents from the Los Alamos and Livermore labs and the DoD. The trail led back to an unnamed foreign country whose officials denied being involved, but the intrusions suddenly stopped. US officials also believe it is possible that a foreign government helped create the Code Red virus that took control of 314,000 servers last year and directed them to attack White House computers. More and more countries are coming to see the advantage of cyberwarfare over traditional warfare, advantages such as much less expense and easier concealment.
Mr. Clarke will very shortly unveil a government plan that will involve the government, private companies and average citizens in defending against future attacks. One recommendation will be that Internet service providers for cable and DSL companies package their services with "firewalls" or security software that repels outside intrusion and monitors what is sent out to the Internet.
Currently, an Air Force (Cyber) Aggressor Squadron, formed in 2000 to comb the Internet for nuggets of potentially compromising information with just the use of commercial telephone lines and civilian computer programs, has discovered easily available data potentially of great value to hostile forces. Mr. Clarke believes some progress has been made in shoring up defenses since September 11, but it will be years before the numerous vulnerabilities can be fixed. Some critical computers might have to be disconnected from the Internet or run on a private network. (Harvey) ( Colorado Springs Gazette 11 Aug '02, pg.1 // J.n Diedrich)( Wash. Post 22 Aug '02, p.2 // A. Eunjung Cha and J. Krim)
SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED INFORMATION -- The White House Office of Homeland Security has asked the Office of Management and Budget to develop new policy guidance on so-called "sensitive but unclassified" (SBU) information. The intended purpose of the SBU category is to preserve confidentiality without formal classification, in such a way as to permit the sharing of such sensitive information with federal and
local law enforcement or emergency response personnel who do not hold security clearances. OMB is expected to publish the pending guidance on sensitive but unclassified information for public comment prior to adoption, probably in a few months. (Secrecy News 3 Sep 02)
NEW RESOURCES ON POLISH, CZECH INTELLIGENCE -- Newly reformed Eastern European intelligence services continue to develop in interesting ways, and with more publicity than might have been anticipated. In June 2002, a significant reorganization of Polish intelligence services was enacted. The background to this action and its meaning were assessed by Polish journalist David M. Dastych in a new paper called "No Zero Option But a Shake Up: The Reform of the Polish Secret Services." That paper and related resources are available here: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/poland/index.html
The Czech Security Information Service recently published its 2001 annual report, providing a U.S. reader with an interesting parallax view of global security matters. A link to that new report, along with related background information on Czech intelligence, may be found here: http://www.fas.org/irp/world/czech/index.html (Secrecy News 3 Sep 02)
FOIA CASES ONLINE -- Citations and summaries of all Freedom of Information Act judicial decisions for the past five years are now available online, thanks to the Department of Justice Office of Information and Privacy. See the August 30 announcement, "Compilations of FOIA Decisions Now Reach Back Five Years," here:
http://www.usdoj.gov/oip/foiapost/2002foiapost19.htm (Secrecy News 3 Sep 02)
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