Weekly Intelligence Notes #24-03
21 June 2003

WIN 24-03 dtd 21 June 2003
Weekly Intelligence Notes (WINs) are produced and edited by Roy Jonkers for non-profit educational uses by AFIO members and WIN subscribers.




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DCI Takes Charge of Iraq WMD Search

          Iran Intelligence



Personal Data Collection Systems Blossoming in US

          Mexico Refocusing Intelligence Agency



Secret Service Cyber Crime Force

          DoD Facial Recognition Program

          Pilot Program for International Cargo Security

Surveillance Oversight Act Proposed



Sleeping With the Devil

          Charlie Wilson's War

          House Compendium of Intelligence Laws

          Iraqi WMD Intel Document



CI Centre Spy Cruise

          AFIO Summer Luncheon 24 June 03



Andre M. Writes About Moscow Spy Tour





DCI TAKES CHARGE OF IRAQ WMD SEARCH -- DCI George J. Tenet on 11 June announced the appointment of Dr. David Kay as Special Advisor for Strategy regarding Iraqi Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Programs. Kay, 63, will be based in Iraq and will be in charge of refining the overall approach for the search for Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. Notably, DoD's recently deployed 1,400 strong Iraq Survey Group, run by DIA, will provide direct support to the Special Advisor.    Dr. Kay, working for IAEA and UNSCOM, led three arms inspection missions as chief nuclear weapons inspector in Iraq during 1991-92. He is a recipient of the IAEA’s Distinguished Service Award and the U.S. Secretary of State’s Commendation. In announcing the appointment Director Tenet said: “David Kay’s experience and background make him the ideal person for this new role. His understanding of the history of the Iraqi programs and knowledge of past Iraqi efforts to hide WMD will be of inestimable help in determining the current status of Saddam Hussein’s illicit weapons.” (Jonkers) (CIA Website, 11 June '03)


IRAN INTELLIGENCE -- The National Security Presidential Directive on Iran has gone through several competing drafts over the past two years, but reportedly has not yet been approved. In spite of this, Iran's government, described earlier by President Bush as part of the "axis of evil," is increasingly apparent as the next US target to maintain the operational momentum, now that Iraq has been conquered. The White House has pronounced Iran's alleged pursuit of WMD as "not acceptable, " has protested the alleged movement of al-Qaeda operatives in Iran, and has accused Iran of stirring up trouble among the Shiites in southern Iraq. This list covers the required Administration political justification for implementing the next stage of its strategy.

            Iran has been constructing a nuclear civil power program for some years. It could become operational and start generating electricity for the national power grid by 2005. However, the extent and sophistication of the nuclear plants have raised fears of a risk that they could be used for covert nuclear weapons development. The International Atomic Energy Agency report points to discrepancies in what Iran has officially disclosed about its program. "Teheran has failed to report certain nuclear material and activities."  Iran has recently rejected US and UK demands that IAEA inspectors should be allowed full access to all 14 nuclear sites in Iran, also accusing the US/UK of fomenting anti-government student unrest. Iran proclaimed itself in favor of a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, a notion which would include Israel.

The State Department is currently proceeding with increased diplomatic pressure, implementing statements by the President, to include stimulating actions by international agencies (i.e. IAEA) and national actors (i.e. Russia and the EU). Behind these opening moves stands the US ability to commence an active destabilization campaign, involving the whole spectrum of information war and clandestine operations, culminating in possible "pre-emptive" strikes or operations against Iran's nuclear power-generating plants.  Bombing strikes would be dangerous in their effect of spreading nuclear debris over a wide area, but cannot be ruled out. Sophisticated special operations are more likely. Active destabilization and covert attacks on Iran would require a Presidential authorization.

            On balance one must expect greatly increased US intelligence priority for Iran involving not only analysis but operations, increased "information war' black and white propaganda and a variety of other destabilization measures, and, with a Presidential finding or Directive, increased clandestine 'special' operations -- or possibly selective bombing attacks -- against and within Iran over the next year. (Jonkers) (WashPost 15 June 03, p. A20 //M./ Dobbs) (UK Evening Standard, 17 June 2003 //R. Fox --courtesy G. O'Hara)





PERSONAL DATA COLLECTION SYSTEMS BLOSSOMING IN US -- In the 20 months since Sept. 11, 2001, the number of government and commercial databases that track the movements and backgrounds of everyday Americans have steadily increased. A multitude of government agencies and private companies are building massive, easily searched databases on a broad range of people, in the name of the war on terror. And while these databases are being developed, the definition of who is a "terrorist" is apparently already becoming fungible and expanding (a familiar development in law enforcement and prosecutions, e.g. use of the Ricoh act). Some examples:


(1) The FBI is working with outside contractors to build a 'Terrorism and Intelligence Data Information Sharing Data Mart'.  By importing data from other federal agencies and linking to local police intelligence databases, the data mart will get instant access to a broad range of people. "Text-mining" software will then scan for common elements in more than a billion documents from FBI field offices across the country.


(2) The Department of Homeland Security, intending to block suspected terrorists from flying or killing tourists, is collecting passenger manifests from airlines and cruise lines for every international trip to and from the U.S. It puts information about U.S. citizens traveling abroad into easily searchable form in a system called CAPS, an airline-passenger profiling system.


(3) The Defense Department, of course, is developing its much-critiqued Total Information Awareness System, now re-named the 'Terrorist Information Awareness' program, aimed at detecting patterns of terrorist activity.


(4) An FBI database called the Violent Gang and Terrorist Organization File is expanding rapidly. When it was launched in 1995, VGTOF was mainly used to track violent urban street gangs. Early last year, its purpose was quietly expanded to include all subjects of FBI domestic or international terrorist investigations. A February 2002 memo citing the 2002 Winter Olympics shows how the FBI's definition of potential terrorists has broadened.  It now encompasses such categories as "anarchists," "militia," "white supremacist," "black extremist," "animal rights extremist," "environmental extremist," "radical Islamic extremist" and "European origin extremist."


(5) A police intelligence network called RISSNET has emerged as a national bulletin board for police about people suspected, but not necessarily convicted, of criminal activity. Since October, the Justice Department has been connecting Rissnet to other networks so that information on people of interest to local law enforcement -- including protest groups suspected of crimes, motorcycle gangs and members of organized crime -- can be cross-checked by federal investigators. As an example, the Denver police department recently released documents in response to a lawsuit. They show that the police intelligence unit had built a database full of personal details about people active in various political groups. They ranged from a Quaker peace-advocacy group to right-wing causes such as the pro-gun lobby. Challenging one's inclusion is hard, because most agencies won't confirm that individuals are on a watch list. And privacy laws contain many exemptions for national security.


(6) Commercial organizations are also compiling data from as many sources as they can find. Regulatory DataCorp International was set up by a consortium of banks to comply with Patriot Act requirements forbidding transactions with terrorists. It has gathered lists of arms dealers, people mentioned in the media as being under investigation or indictment, people sanctioned by regulators, and foreign rulers and their aides, friends and families. Their database contains 1.5 million names and is growing.


Developed as counter-terrorism tools, the systems are aimed at bridging gaps in information that let the 9/11 hijackers slip past law enforcement. Conceptually and basically they accomplish a needed function. But the coming flipside dangers are clear, inherent in bureaucracy, prosecution zeal, and in the tendency to expand the definition of "terrorist." In the short run there still are technical inefficiencies -- a General Accounting Office report last month cited incompatible computer languages and operating systems as a hurdle to merging the dozens of watch lists kept by various agencies. In the longer run we must place our confidence in the Constitution and the courage of our citizens in upholding it to keep security and freedom in balance. (Jonkers) (Wall St. Journal 22 May 03//A. Davis)


MEXICO REFOCUSING INTELLIGENCE AGENCY -- The Mexican 'Center for Investigations and National Security' (CISEN) has the reputation of being a secretive espionage arm of government used by presidents and political strongmen to intimidate opponents, watch over the media and maintain power. More recently, however, President Vicente Fox has reportedly focused CISEN's formidable "human assets" also on the task of "guarding" America's southern flank in the war on terrorism -- and more importantly, to prevent any anti-American plots from being hatched or succeeding within Mexico. In the past CISEN has worked with U.S. intelligence services, especially during the late stages of the Cold War. But only recently have its international intelligence-gathering abilities come to be trusted by American agents, according to a US official. "There is much more of a political will from the top, whether it is from President Fox or Director Creel, to share information with us on everything from drug trafficking to terrorism. . . However, only time will erase the doubts of the past. You can't just change attitudes and mind-sets overnight."

CISEN has far to go before it sheds its dark past: It was formed in the mid-1980s from the ashes of the despised Federal Security Department. That secret police agency was implicated in everything from the "dirty war" against opponents of the former ruling party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, in the 1960s and 1970s, to the assassination of Enrique "Kiki" Camarena of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

A large part of the CISEN's work recently has been rooting out government corruption -- such as the cleanup of Mexico's systemically corrupt Customs Service.  What continues to inhibit CISEN's work is said to be Mexico's "decrepit judicial system" -- a system thought to be too corrupt to implement the work of Mexican security agencies. Aside from CISEN's domestic work, the agency's help in defending the United States against terrorism has marked its new international profile.

Information (intelligence) is CISEN's only game. Its agents are unarmed and carry no badges – nothing identifying their station. Said a Mexican security analyst, "This government, this president (Fox), has pushed this agency to be what it was originally intended to be -- an honest guard against internal and external security threats." (Jonkers) (The Dallas Morning News, 22 May 03 //R. Sandoval & A. Corchado




SECRET SERVICE CYBER CRIME FORCE -- The U.S. Secret Service announced Monday that it will form an Electronic Crimes Task Force in its Dallas bureau to combat regional computer-based crimes, including fraud, identity theft and cyber terrorism. Officials said 15 agents would work with the private sector, academia and local law enforcement to investigate computer-based crimes, expanding the capability to battle hackers that attack universities, businesses and government computer systems. "No one has the inside track on cybercrimes. We are hoping that corporations and academia will look to us as forensic experts," said Michael James, special agent in charge of the Dallas district. "Our mission is protecting critical infrastructure and informational systems and minimizing the potential weaknesses we all face." (Levine 17 June 03) http://www.dallasnews.com/localnews/stories/061703dnmetcrimes.ac9cb.html  


DOD FACIAL RECOGNITION PROGRAM -- The use of facial recognition solutions is rapidly gaining steam in the Defense Department, as evidenced by the recent award of two contracts to further develop the technology. Contracts were awarded by DOD's Technical Support Working Group and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). (Levine 18 June 03) http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003/0616/web-face-06-18-03.asp  


PILOT PROGRAM FOR INTERNATIONAL CARGO SECURITY -- Boeing Co. has received a $4.2 million contract for a pilot project that will demonstrate cargo container security systems by tracking shipments from foreign ports to the United States. Boeing officials announced the pilot contract today while attending the Paris Air Show. The contract is for the Port of Los Angeles, one of the ports designated by Congress to test new technologies for securing containers. (Levine 17 June 03) http://www.fcw.com/fcw/articles/2003/0616/web-boeing-06-17-03.asp  


SURVEILLANCE OVERSIGHT ACT PROPOSED -- Reflecting lawmakers' growing unease with the Justice Department's use of expanded surveillance powers, the Surveillance Oversight and Disclosure Act (SODA) was introduced in the House of Representatives. It would require the Department of Justice to publish an annual report counting and categorizing the number of surveillance orders issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in the previous year. (Levine 13 June 03) http://www.securityfocus.com/news/5772





SLEEPING WITH THE DEVIL: HOW WASHINGTON SOLD OUR SOUL FOR SAUDI CRUDE, by Robert Baer. [Crown/Random House, July 15, 2003; ISBN 1-4000-5021-9). Former CIA Operations Officer Bob Baer (author of the NYTimes bestseller "See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism") takes on America's once sedate and now rocky and unstable relationship with Saudi Arabia. Baer argues that the "harmony of interests" on which the post-1973 Arab oil embargo is based has left the U.S. vulnerable to economic disaster, damaged our position in the Middle East, and put America at risk for further acts of terrorism. The rot at the core of our “friendship” with them was dramatically revealed when it became apparent that fifteen of the nineteen September 11 hijackers proved to be Saudi citizens. Baer makes a strong case that Saudi Arabia -- with skyrocketing birth rates, growing unemployment, a falling per capita income and a corrupt ruling family draining the public coffers -- is a powder keg waiting to explode. “Saudi Arabia is more and more an irrational state -- a place that spawns global terrorism even as it succumbs to an ancient and deeply seated isolationism, a kingdom led by a royal family that can’t get out of the way of its own greed. Is this the fulcrum we want the global economy to balance on?” Baer's solution: "An invasion and a revolution might be the only things that can save the industrial West from a prolonged, wrenching depression."

Bob Baer was a case officer in CIA's Directorate of Operations from 1976 to 1997. His overseas assignments included stints in Northern Iraq, Dushanbe, Rabat, Paris, Beirut, Khartoum, New Delhi, and elsewhere, handling agents that infiltrated Hizballah, PFLP-GC, PSF, Libyan intelligence, Fatah-Hawari, and al Qaeda. Fluent in Arabic, Farsi, French, and German, he divides his time between Washington, D.C., and France. This 'unread' (by us) book will be published shortly. Synopsis is based on fly-leaf text and a variety of early reviews. (EAB)



Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story of how CIA armed the Afghan Mujahideen in the battle against the Soviets, and what became the Agency's largest and most successful campaign in history. It profiles the men who conceived it and the journey they took to see it through. At its core, it tells of an unorthodox alliance -- of a scandal-prone Texas Congressman named Charlie Wilson -- an outsized, swaggering East Texas Congressman -- and an out-of-favor CIA operative named Gust Avrakotos who headed up a band of officers and agents that armed and sustained the Afghan jihad and turned Afghanistan into the Soviet Union’s Vietnam. In addition, TV's '60 Minutes' producer Crile provides a political assessment and account of the power structures that run parallel to, but apparently unknown by, official government authorities, resulting in a compulsively readable account of the inside workings of the CIA. (Unread, based on glowing reviews) (EAB)


HOUSE COMPENDIUM OF INTELLIGENCE LAWS -- The House Intelligence Committee has updated its periodic "Compilation of Intelligence Laws and Related Laws and Executive Orders of Interest to the National Intelligence Community." It is a very handy compendium of major and minor intelligence-related statutes, current as of March 25, 2003 and published for the first time in electronic form. 
A copy is posted here
http://www.fas.org/irp/congress/2003_rpt/laws2003.pdf (2.6 MB PDF file) (Secrecy News 06/18)


IRAQI WMD INTEL DOCUMENT -- House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Porter Goss invited members of the House of Representatives who have signed non-disclosure oaths to review certain classified intelligence documents concerning Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program and Iraqi ties to terrorist groups.  One such document was uncovered by U.S. News and World Report last week.  It is a November 2002 Defense Intelligence Agency assessment reporting that there was "no reliable information" that Iraq was producing or stockpiling chemical weapons. The assessment echoes an earlier DIA report partially declassified this month. See "Second intelligence report: 'No Reliable Information' Iraqis Stockpiling Chemical Weapons," by David E. Kaplan and Mark Mazzetti, U.S. News, 13 June 2003. (Secrecy News 06/18) http://www.usnews.com/usnews/usinfo/press/intell.htm





CI CENTRE SPY CRUISE -- QE2 Cabins Going Quickly!  The cabins on Cunard's QE2 cruise ship for the September 1-7, 2003 voyage are being sold out VERY quickly. Please make reservations as soon as possible if you plan to go on CI CENTRE's SpyCruise to London as we expect the cabins on the QE2 to be completely sold out within a week or two. Call 1-866-SPY-TREK for more information. British intelligence authors Christopher Andrew and Nigel West are confirmed as the principal speakers for our exclusive group on board the QE2. Enjoy interesting lectures on true British spy stories as you sail across the Atlantic on the world-renowned QE2.  More Information or call 1-866-SPY-TREK


AFIO SUMMER LUNCHEON 24 June 03 -- Milt Bearden, James Risen, John Prados -- outstanding cast of speakers -- just about sold out. If you forgot, perhaps we can still accommodate you -- call now!! 703-790-0320





Andre M. writes about MOSCOW SPY TOUR -- Sunday, May 25, 2003 to Wednesday, May 28, 2003.  The intelligence conference and spytour arranged by AFIO member Mr. Dan Mulvenna, a former RMCP officer currently teaching at the 'CI-Centre' in Alexandria, VA., was superb.  The attendees met at the Aerostar Hotel on Sunday, May 25th for a wine and cheese reception, and were introduced to the Russian hosts Col. Oleg Tsarev (KGB-Ret.) and Lev Koshliakov (KGB-Ret.). 

      On Monday we met in a conference room at the Aerostar where we heard three lectures.  (KGB/FSB Ret.) Gen. Alexander Zdanovich discussed Cheka/OGPU Counterintelligence Operations against the British and French Secret Services. Col. Oleg Tsarev discussed Cold War Intelligence during Stalin's time. The third lecture was given by Ivan Kusmin, former Senior Analyst and current a professor at the Diplomatic Academy.  His topic was The Final Years of the Cold War: Intelligence and Decision Making. The remainder of the morning covered case briefings on Oleg Penkovsky and Peter Popov.

After lunch we got on a comfortable bus (with a bathroom!) and we visited agent meeting locations and former apartments of Penkovsky and Popov.  We also went to the Border Guards Museum where we saw the things found on U-2 pilot Gary Powers. This included the keys to his apartment. 

     Dinner was at a Moscow restaurant which was attended by former KGB officers assigned to the KGB’s London station during the Cold War.  The guests were former field officer Mikhail Lyubimov, former field officer Yuri Kobaladze and former Deputy Chief, 1st Chief Directorate Sergey Kondrashev.  Dinner was filled with toasts, short recollections of old times and informal discussions.

     The second day we were back in the conference room of the hotel.  Oleg Nechiporenko (KGB-Ret.) was to talk about Intelligence Services and Counter Terrorism, but since he is the author the Lee Harvey Oswald book “Passport to Assassination,”  the discussion focused mostly on his book.  The Colonel was assigned to the KGB station in Mexico in the 1960’s and met Oswald when Oswald was desperately trying to get a visa to go to Russia at one point. 

     (KGB-Ret) Igor Shevchuk discussed old KGB officers activities in the New Market Economy.  Many are involved in private security for businesses and in private investigations. General Zdanovich continued the morning lectures with a discussion of Stalin’s SMERSH unit, and a review of recently published books on intelligence.  All of the books discussed were in Russian only (as of now).  The morning ended with a case briefing on the Adolf Tolkachev (betrayed by Aldrich Ames).

      After lunch there were visits to intelligence sites and to the Russian Army Museum where we viewed a SMERSH exhibit and saw some of the wreckage of the U-2 Spyplane flown by Gary Powers.  We also visited the graves of famous “illegals” Rudolph Abel (Willie Fisher) and Konon Molody.

     Dinner was at a restaurant in Moscow.  The guests of honor were General Vadim Kirpichenko, Former First Deputy Chief, First Chief Directorate (Foreign Intelligence) and currently Chief Consultant to the SVR (KGB-Ret.); General Vasily Dozhadalyov, formerly of the Illegals Department and principal in the Konan Molody and Kroger/Cohen cases; former KGB officer and now business consultant Igor Shevchuk; and husband and wife Oksana Barkovskaya and Igor Prokopenko both television producers for REN-TV.  Ms. Barkovskaya from REN-TV discussed female Russian illegals and told us how she and her husband produced a series on the subject.  She invited us to the studio to view one of the episodes. 

     On Wednesday, the final day we visited the the KGB Museum where we were allowed to take pictures of some of the exhibits. This is normally forbidden.  This should have been the end of the conference-tour.  A small group of us arranged to go to the REN-TV offices to view a video documentary about Irina Alimova, an actress who worked for the KGB. Her cover name was Khatycha Sadyk and her code name was BIR. Ms. Sadyk was sent to Japan and spied there with her partner, whom she was later ordered to marry.  The producers included both SVR-provided video clips from the past and present-day footage of the former Russian spy.  Our host Ms. Barkovskaya said that Ms. Alimova cried after watching the finished documentary.

      I enjoyed this tour and experience.  Mr. Mulvenna and the CI-Centre plan another conference and tour next year. (Andre M.) (CI Centre Web Site www.cicentre.com)



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