Weekly Intelligence Notes #06-03
AFIO WIN 06-03 dtd 11 Feb 03
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers. RADM (ret) Don Harvey contributes articles to selected WINs.
CONTENTS of this WIN
IRAQ INTELLIGENCE - Secretary of State Colin Powell disclosed a considerable amount of intelligence information in his address to the United Nations on 5 February. It put on display the substantial array of US intelligence capabilities, including signals intercepts, satellite imagery, reports from captives, defectors and from in-country agents from ten foreign intelligence services. The latter suggested that, in one way or another, the US and its allies are operating within Iraq.
To prevent compromising future sources damaging capabilities, a special 'sources and methods' committee was convened weighing the risk of disclosing each piece of information.
The presentation was widely evaluated as credible, even if reportedly not justifying immediate war according to Allied critics. The latter consideration split the US from some of its longtime major allies, who are dealing with major domestic opposition to the war in their countries. There is an apparent split in NATO, but this is not the first time, and others have been overcome in time by adaptation to new realities. Juvenile name-calling is unhelpful. Mature professionalism is.
Critics mentioned a report cited by the Secretary of State that turned out to be a ten-year old research paper by a graduate student, undermining credibility. Dick Baer, a former CIA professional active in the Middle East against Saddam, noted that he could not trust the agents' information cited without seeing the whole context. "In the absence of that you just have to trust the administration." If the human intelligence is so good, he added, why haven't the UN inspectors found a mobile chemical laboratory? One possible answer to this must be that US intelligence is not tipping their hand on the targets to be hit - very soon now.
The potential impact of the presentation on the Iraqis is increased psychological pressure. It said to them, 'if you talk, we're going to listen in; if you move, we'll know when and where.' When reading the Arab media sources of meetings of Saddam with his senior staff one is struck, however, by the primitiveness of their discussions and approach. The commanders are advised not to show themselves until the enemy is within range of their guns. Rifles and food have been distributed to then population. There are many bombastic statements. But there is nothing to indicate that the invasion will be anything other than a duck-shoot, akin to the Israeli tanks and helicopters and missiles against the rifles of the Palestinians. This includes the latest announcement from bin Laden, calling Saddam an infidel, but urging the Iraqi masses to resist the Americans in the name of Islam. The impact is unlikely to be great, except that we must expect some pinpricks in the form of terrorist incidents here or abroad. (Jonkers) (WashPost 6 Feb 03, p. A23 //D. Priest)
NATIONAL THREAT WARNING -- The National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC) has increased the Homeland Security Threat Level to ORANGE. Recommended measures fall into three categories, including General Protective Measures, Specific Protective measures for Infrastructure Owners and Operators, and Potential Indicators of weapons of mass destruction.
DCI George Tenet stated in testimony delivered to the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence that this increased threat warning is based on multiple sources. "The information we have points to plots aimed at targets on two fronts, in the United States and on the Arabian peninsula.... The intelligence is not idle chatter on the part of terrorists ... It is the most specific we have seen. " (Full text of DCI remarks, see CIA Website www.cia.gov). Full text of FBI/ NIPC Warning, see Information Bulletin 03-002, 7 Feb 03, http://www.fbi.gov/contact/fo/fo.htm, Special Agent G. Harter, email@example.com)
COUNTER-TERRORISM OPERATIONS. Based on the potential contingency that Saddam Hussein will respond to a US invasion by ordering attacks against American targets in either the United States or in foreign countries, an intelligence official noted that "we and our allies are bracing for a terrorist offensive." The CIA and its counterparts from several allies around the world are prepared to arrest Iraqi agents, their associates and known anti-American terrorists to prevent attacks against US citizens, embassies or other facilities according to "senior administration officials." Foreign intelligence services are already tracking individuals known to be in touch with Iraqi agents and some have been interrogated. The US and allies are also on the alert for indications that Saddam Hussein has sent agents abroad to arm Iraqis or terrorist groups with conventional, chemical or biological weapons. The FBI has been searching for several thousand illegal Iraqi immigrants who have gone missing while visiting the United States. Although the majority are probably sympathetic to the United States, a few could be Iraqi agents or allied with terrorist groups.
At the outset of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, an Iraqi intelligence agency attempted unsuccessfully to carry out terrorist bombings against US embassies and other facilities, including targets in Manila, Bangkok and Jakarta. Pairs of agents were sent to many countries where they were to pick up explosives or weapons that had already been sent abroad. "...these teams were picked up; they were interrogated; they were arrested where there was cause to do so; and when there were no legal grounds for arrest, they were deported," former CIA director William Webster said. Underlining the intelligence estimate, the Iraqi Vice President recently threatened to send "thousands of suicide attackers" against US targets outside Iraq. In predicting that Hussein would try again to dispatch terrorist agents, one intelligence official said, "...we can't expect to be as successful this time as we were in 1991. We were lucky then and their agents can't be as inept as they were then." (Harvey, WashPost 4 Feb 03, p. 17 //W. Pincus)
TERRORISM IN FRANCE -- Islamic extremists are winning recruits in Europe because of tensions over Iraq and a war could trigger terror attacks, according to Judge Jean-Louis Bruguiere, one of Europe's most prominent anti-terrorism fighters. He noted that recruiting by Islamic militants in Europe is increasing and that the risk of terrorist attacks 'will be one of the costs' of war against Iraq. "It cannot be excluded that in the next few months there will be a chemical attack, with hundreds of dead," said Bruguiere, who has broad powers of investigation and arrest and is well-known for tracking down the infamous Venezuelan-born killer Carlos the Jackal.
Bruguiere said that arrests made last month in France had almost certainly already prevented attacks, possibly involving chemical weapons. French authorities have said that suspected Islamic militants arrested in suburban Paris in December were planning bomb or toxic gas attacks, with possible targets including Russia's Embassy in Paris. France's Interior Ministry said the cell had ties to Chechen rebels and the al-Qaida terror network. France's anti-terrorist challenges and prosecution are a small reality check for those strutting about calling the French wimps. (Jonkers) (AP/NYTimes 29 Jan 03 & TIME 03 Feb 03) ( http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/international/AP-Europe-Terrorism.html)
TOTAL INFORMATION AWARENESS PROGRAM CONTROL -- The Defense Department has created new 'inside' and 'outside' Advisory Committees to curb Congressional and public fears about DoD's domestic 'data-mining' Total Information Awareness (TIA) program. TIA, a DARPA system now being tested, has as its purpose the search for terrorists by scanning individuals' Internet mail and combing through commercial and financial databases, including those of health, financial and travel companies here and abroad. RADM (ret) John M. Poindexter is in charge of developing the program, under the auspices of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Edward (Pete) Aldridge. The new committees are meant to reassure Congress that the system being developed will not threaten privacy, and to prevent burdensome Congressional oversight. The 'outside' advisory committee chairman is Newton N. Minnow (whose name is hopefully not indicative of the committee's clout). The other members are former attorney general Griffin B. Bell, former Stanford University president Gerhard Casper, former White House counsel Lloyd N. Cutler, and William T. Coleman III, former head of BEA, an application infrastructure software company. The internal board, composed of various department officials, will make sure that the data mining system is used in accordance with existing privacy laws and policies and would establish protocols for transferring it to other agencies for their use. In January the Senate unanimously passed an amendment to the omnibus spending bill that would bar deployment and limit research of the project. That provision is now before a House-Senate conference committee. One senator noted that "Congress on a bipartisan basis is going to continue to demand accountability, oversight and legally established safeguards." Debate to maintain the proper balance between liberty and security is a good thing. (Jonkers) (NYTimes 8Feb 2003 //A. Clymer)
SAUDI POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE -- Saudi Arabia's leaders, reacting to domestic and external pressures, and over the opposition of several senior ministers, have made far-reaching decisions to prepare for an era of military disengagement from the United States, to enact what Saudi officials call the first significant democratic reforms at home, and to rein in the conservative clergy that has shared power in the kingdom. It is expected that Crown Prince Abdullah will ask President Bush to withdraw all American armed forces from the kingdom -- as soon as the campaign to disarm Iraq has concluded. The decisions have not been publicly announced. The presence of American forces on Saudi soil since the Persian Gulf war of 1991 has been a contentious issue within Saudi Arabia, and has spurred the terrorism of Osama bin Laden, the now disowned scion of one of the kingdom's wealthiest families, and his followers in Al Qaeda. If the US complies, it would address and remove the original cause espoused by bin Laden ( the removal of "infidel" US forces from Saudi Arabia). It could lessen the terrorists' fervor by removing a cause of terrorism rather than hammering the symptoms. Even after American troops left, Saudi and American officials said, security cooperation would probably continue, and they noted that the US soldiers could return if the Saudi rulers faced a new threat. The senior prince said, "After the last shot is fired in Iraq, it will be a good time to say that we have won, and that we both agree there is no longer any need for American forces." But he said that "the real politics of this is to win the hearts and minds of a majority of the people" in Saudi Arabia, adding, "That is the way to really fight terrorism and the bad guys."
The departure of American soldiers would set the stage for an announcement that Saudis would begin electing representatives to provincial assemblies and then to a national assembly. The religious authorities will probably resist reforms. They practice one of Islam's most conservative interpretations based on the teachings of Sheik Muhammad bin Abd al-Wahhab, commonly referred to as Wahhabism. It appears the Crown Prince may maneuver around the most conservative elements of the clergy by appealing to the influential Saudi business establishment, the military and tribal leaders. The aim, Saudi officials said, is to create an Islamic parliament that would be able to wrest some control over social policy - even basic questions like whether women can drive - away from the puritanical religious establishment.
One may observe that political reform in Saudi Arabia is like publishing the Kama Sutra in the Victorian Age, and previous attempts have faltered. Nevertheless, moves toward increased democracy and lessened influence by religious extremists are goals supported by US policy. (Jonkers) (NYTimes 9 Feb 03, p.1 //P. Tyler)
MILITARY INTELLIGENCE REPORT - A Rand report on lessons learned from the Afghanistan conflict being circulated for comment in the Pentagon would evoke mixed reactions from older intelligence officers. The report concludes that the military Intelligence function has become too wedded to Operations staffs, and as a result some needed Intelligence functions have been eroded. Rand concludes that the closeness of the J-2 (Intelligence) and J-3 (Operations), coupled with the demand for understanding what's happening on the battlefield, has led to slighting the function of longer-term predictive intelligence. Older practicioners, while welcoming the belated recognition by Operations officers that Intelligence is a relevant and useful partner, have long been acquainted with the tendency of current intelligence to overwhelm longer-term reporting.
Rand also notes the need for Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) to produce knowledge the 'warfighter' can use, and not merely pump out data. The amount of data being produced is overwhelming, and they want the emphasis to change to understanding -- to provide KNOWLEDGE instead of DATA. One of the report's suggestions is to provide more powerful 'fusion "engines' at the operational level. An example given is a program that uses real-time information from several sources to locate and identify moving targets on the battlefield. The newspaper account did not state if this is being done successfully, or how many years intelligence people have struggled to do just that. The second suggestion was that more interpretation of intelligence should be done at the source - at the level an ISR sensor or platform first gathers data - so that communications links needed to produce fusion in a system are less crowded with unneeded information.
As portrayed in the newspaper account, the report appears to reach conclusions which have been painfully apparent to intelligence officers for decades. (Harvey) (Aviation Week and Space Technology, 27 Jan03, p. 38 //D. Fulghum)
NIPC WARNING ON CYBER SECURITY -- Global hacking may increase as the US pressure and invasion of Iraq proceeds. Illegal cyber activity, including spamming, web defacements, denial of service attacks, etc., may be expected. As tensions rise, it is prudent to be aware of, and prepare for this type of illegal activity. All users should be aware that malicious code (e.g., worms and viruses) can be introduced to spread rapidly by using patriotic or otherwise catchy titles, encouraging users to click on a document, picture, word, etc., which automatically spreads the damaging code.
The FBI NIPC reiterates that any such activity is illegal and punishable as a felony. Note also that the U.S. Government does not condone so-called "patriotic hacking" on its behalf.
For additional security checklists, please refer to the following sites:
(FBI NIPC Advisory 03-002, 11 Feb 03, firstname.lastname@example.org).
EXPANDED ANTI-TERRORISM BILL PROPOSED -- A sweeping new anti-terrorism bill drafted by the Justice Department would dramatically increase government electronic surveillance and data collection abilities, and impose the first-ever federal criminal
penalties for using encryption in the U.S. A draft of the Domestic Security Enhancement Act of 2003 dated January 9th was obtained by the non-partisan Center for Public Integrity and released Friday. The 120-page proposal would further expand many of the surveillance
powers Congress granted federal law enforcement in the USA-PATRIOT Act in 2001.(Levine 02/10/03)
IDENTITY THEFT GROWING CONCERN -- A Modesto man who said he once bought more than $100,000 worth of merchandise using other people's identities offered advice Friday on how to avoid being a victim of someone like him. He explained just how easy it was for him and others to live off someone else's good credit. "We'd go through the garbage of mortgage companies and department stores because they often would throw away paperwork and receipts with customers' Social Security numbers and other personal information on it." (Levine's Newsbits 11 Feb 03) (http://www.modbee.com/local/story/6130731p-7083325c.html)
DARPA STRATEGIC PLAN -- The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency last week released a strategic plan, which includes the agency's vision for the controversial Total Information Awareness (TIA) project, as well as its top eight research areas.(Levine 02/10/03)
INTO TIBET: The CIA's First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa, by Thomas Laird, New York: Grove Press, 2002, 364 pp., photos. American author Laird has spent most of his adult life living in Nepal, a significant qualification for his wide-ranging and startling look into the activities of the agent behind the unnamed First Star on the CIA's Wall of Honor. Douglas Mackiernan was a man of considerable complexity, at one in the same time an extremely bright scientist, a patriot, ruthless, charming, a shameless user of others, brave, and a known bigamist to boot. His intellect and daring provided a wealth of invaluable intelligence to America in the late-1940s when it was virtually unattainable from any other source. Yet for all his achievements in China and Inner Asia, he ultimately fell victim to the rabid McCarthyism that stripped honor and moral courage away from so many of America's leading political figures in Washington at the time. No less disturbing than the tragedy surrounding Mackiernan's violent death is that of the corruption of America's China policy in the post-WWII era. Prodigiously researched, Into Tibet takes the reader into a world still unknown to most Intelligence historians even a half-century later . . . a thoroughly fascinating and informative read even for those of us who thought we knew the real story behind China's post-WWII invasion of Tibet. (Reviewed by AFIO member Mike Haas,)
MEDIA APPEARANCE -- Rick Francona, former US Attache in Damascus, Syria, part of US support program to Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran war, and later Arab interpreter for General Schwartzkopf during the Gulf War, will be interviewed on Iraq as follows: Thursday, 13 Feb at 3:30 pm PacificTime (PT) on CNBC CheckPoint, and Friday, 14 Feb at 6 am PT, on CNBC SquawkBox, and also Friday 14 Feb at 9 am PT on CNBC PowerLunch.
IN MEMORIAM: Walter Lionel Pforzheimer, one of a few remaining survivors to have participated in the CIA's founding, died February 10th at his home in Washington at the age of 88. He suffered with diabetes and in recent years had been incapacitated by several strokes. Walter Pforzheimer was born in Purchase, N.Y., and graduated from Yale University and Yale Law School. Early in World War II, he helped organize various operations for the Office of Strategic Services, and later served as an Army Air Forces intelligence officer in England.
He had long record of exceptional achievement. He helped draft the National Security Act of 1947, which established the Agency, and subsequently did the same for the CIA Act, which addressed logistical and housekeeping measures, in 1949. He became the Agency's first legislative counsel. In 1956, CIA Director Allen Dulles asked him to start a historical intelligence collection, and until his 1974 retirement, he served as its curator.
A true intelligence bibliophile, and blessed with an exceptionally retentive memory, he assumed an unofficial role as custodian and keeper of the agency's institutional memory after his retirement. He maintained his ties with the agency, meeting from time to time with its top officers, with whom he shared his recollections and his strongly held opinions on how intelligence and espionage operations were being managed.
Pforzheimer's collection of intelligence documents, reference works and literature is known to libraries and scholars around the world, and is said to be one of the world's greatest resources in intelligence literature. Within the intelligence community, he acquired the title of "Dean of Intelligence Literature." His private collection weighed so much that he had to reinforce the library floor of his Watergate apartment, where he had lived since 1967. When he gave the works to the libraries at Yale University in 2001, they included more than 15,000 books and 46 linear feet of manuscript material.
When the CIA celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 1997, Walter Pforzheimer was among 50 officers and former officers of the agency to receive a CIA Trailblazer award. Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet described him as "one of the CIA's founding fathers and enduring legends. He promoted the cooperation between intelligence professionals and legislators that has sustained and strengthened the agency and the intelligence community." We salute an exceptional intellect, who left his mark for posterity on intelligence laws, institutions, history and libraries. His was a productive life. (Jonkers) (WashPost 12 Feb 03, p. B6 //B. Barnes
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