AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #20-08 dated 19 May 2008

The Institute of World Politics Open House
Wednesday, 28 May 2008, 5:30-8:00 pm. - Washington, DC
IWP is an accredited graduate school of national security, intelligence,
and international affairs. They cordially invite AFIO members to attend their next Open House
Come learn more about their programs in intelligence, national security, and foreign affairs, meet their faculty of scholar-practitioners, and enjoy light supper refreshments with the staff, students, and alumni. They are located at 1521 16th St NW, Washington, DC. On street parking is available close by. Metro riders are encouraged to take the Red Line to Dupont Circle; IWP is three blocks east off of P Street from Dupont Circle.
Please RSVP to or by calling 202-462-2101 ext. 319. Reservations can also be made using the IWP home page: and by clicking on Open House links.

The Boston Pops at the Wolf Trap Park in Vienna, Virginia!
Tuesday, 19 August 2008 – Vienna, VA

This year we have moved the annual social from Boston's Symphony Hall to the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts.
The concert choice will once again be the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra.
Contact Mr. Wass at and use "AFIO Social" in subject line if you would like to attend the pre-concert AFIO social at Wolf Trap.  Reservations are now being taken however since we have limited seats available, we recommend contacting us before purchasing your concert tickets.
For those who plan on attending the concert and social at Wolf Trap [located at 1645 Trap Rd, Vienna, Virginia 22182], you must purchase concert tickets directly through Wolf Trap for seating choices.  We are not doing group reserved seating this year except the sets of tickets that are offered on the AFIO Auction website

RSVP requested before July 19.  Wolf Trap Box Office - (703) 255-1868 to purchase tickets. No portion of your purchase constitutes a donation to AFIO; therefore this is strictly a social event.

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All have contributed one or more stories used in this issue. 









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Spy-Agency Revision Triggers Turf War. The White House is in the final stages of the first executive rewrite of spy-agency powers in more than 25 years, aiming to solidify the authorities of the new director of national intelligence as the administration winds down.

The revision has spawned bureaucratic showdowns with many of the 16 intelligence agencies. The main source of contention has been a move by the director of national intelligence, Mike McConnell, to ensure he has the power of the purse as well as over personnel, according to current and former officials.

The yearlong process reopened a number of the contentious battles stirred up by the 2004 intelligence-reform bill, which first created the new post of an intelligence director to oversee all the U.S. spy agencies. The Pentagon sees in the process an effort to take power from some of its biggest intelligence agencies, while the Central Intelligence Agency worries about excessive meddling in its activities, current and former officials said.

The new order could be completed as early as this week, but may take a few more weeks to finalize, according to current and former intelligence officials.

The new authorities, to be laid out in a revised version of a Reagan-era presidential order known as Executive Order 12333, aim to carve out a clear role for the director, particularly in the area of hiring and firing agency heads and controlling program acquisitions, an administration official said. The new order isn't seeking to significantly change the intelligence director's authority over the budget beyond those made in 2004, officials said.

Agencies have used the executive order, which dates back to 1981, to argue against complying with requests from the director of national intelligence. The new order aims to remove "some of those barriers," the administration official said.

The details haven't been finalized, but the broad goal of the rewrite is to state clearly which agency is responsible for foreign intelligence, domestic intelligence, as well as human spying. These areas have been hotly contested among agencies including the CIA, the Pentagon, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Homeland Security.

The new director's effort would exert more control over agencies the Pentagon has traditionally monitored, for example. Pentagon intelligence operations serve the military but also collect intelligence for national policy makers.

The Pentagon has its own set of rewrites underway to update the charters of the intelligence agencies under its roof, which an administration official said would assert more Pentagon authority over them. The intelligence director would like to make his mark first, the administration official said.

The new order has inflamed tensions between the new director and the CIA. For example, the new director is seeking to be the primary contact for foreign intelligence officials instead of the CIA, officials said.

Defenders of the CIA say that arrangement would create confusion for foreign governments. They also worry about interference from above, especially because a recent version of the order gives cabinet secretaries authority over intelligence operations within their departments. That could leave the CIA as the sole direct focus of the DNI. [Gorman/WallStreetJournal/12May2008] 

Chavez Agreed To Arm Rebels, Files Indicate. U.S. intelligence officials said that members of the Venezuelan government have tried to "facilitate the shipment of arms" to Colombian rebels.

The charge follows a published report that documents from a captured laptop computer show Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez agreed to help arm the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). The documents appear to be authentic, U.S. intelligence officials said.

Venezuelan officials maintain that Bogota is manipulating the truth.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the files recovered from the computer indicate Venezuela has offered to arm the rebels, possibly with rocket-propelled grenades and ground-to-air missiles, and offered FARC the use of a port to receive arms shipments.

The U.S. intelligence official said it was "entirely possible" that the Venezuelan government has already transferred weapons to the rebels, who seek to overthrow the Columbian government.

The documents reveal that the connection to FARC goes beyond Mr. Chavez and that there has "been some serious thought on the part of the Venezuelan government," the U.S. intelligence official said. The official declined to identify any other Venezuelan officials who might be involved.

The data was found on a computer belonging to Raul Reyes, who was killed March 1 during a raid by Colombian forces on a FARC camp inside Ecuador. Another top FARC commander, Ivan Rios, was shot and killed by his security chief a few days later.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe, since assuming office in 2002, has orchestrated a crackdown on FARC that has decimated its ranks. Though leftist rebels have been fighting Colombian forces for more than 40 years, the Colombian military - backed by billions of dollars in U.S. aid, have arrested or killed several high-ranking members in recent years.

But Colombia's progress against the FARC and other armed groups has not been without consequence. Last month's killing of Reyes one mile into Ecuadorian territory set off a political firestorm that prompted both Ecuador and Venezuela to sever relations with Colombia and send troops to their respective borders with that country.

Official relations were eventually restored but the diplomatic friction between Quito and Bogota continues.

Meanwhile, weapons experts and Colombia analysts contend that FARC could be preparing to retaliate violently for its recent losses of Reyes and Rios.

Numerous sources and U.S. intelligence officials said Colombian leftist rebels are interested in purchasing sophisticated weaponry such as anti-aircraft guns, shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles and even larger weapons. [Carter&Gentile/WashingtonTimes/10May2008] 

Pentagon Official Barred from Aiding War-Crime Prosecution. A military judge has disqualified a Pentagon general who has been centrally involved in overseeing Guant�namo war crimes tribunals from any role in the first case headed for trial. The judge said the general was too closely aligned with the prosecution, raising questions about whether he could carry out his role with neutrality and objectivity.

Military defense lawyers said that although the ruling was limited to one case, they expected the issue to be raised in other cases, potentially delaying prosecutions, including the death-penalty prosecution of six detainees at Guant�namo Bay, Cuba, in connection with the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The judge, Captain Keith Allred of the U.S. Navy, directed that Brigadier General Thomas Hartmann of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, a senior Pentagon official of the Office of Military Commissions, which runs the war crimes system, have no further role in the first prosecution, scheduled for trial this month.

Hartmann, whose title is legal adviser, has been at the center of a bitter dispute involving the former chief Guant�namo military prosecutor, Colonel Morris Davis of the U.S. Air Force. Davis has said the general interfered in the work of the military prosecution office, pushed for secret proceedings and pressed to rely on evidence obtained through waterboarding.

Hartmann, who has been a controversial figure since his appointment last summer, is the legal adviser to the Pentagon official with broad powers over the war crimes system, Susan Crawford. She has the military title of convening authority of the Guant�namo war crimes cases.

Ruling on a defense lawyers' request that said Hartmann had exerted unlawful influence over the prosecution, Allred said that public concern about the fairness of the cases was "deeply disturbing" and that he could not find that the general "retains the required independence from the prosecution."

Pentagon officials could ask the judge to reconsider, could appeal to a special military appeals court created to hear Guant�namo cases or could replace Hartmann.

Hartmann has denied Davis's assertions and said the commission system would "follow the rule of law." 

Allred's ruling followed a hearing in Guant�namo on April 28 at which Davis said Hartmann pressured him in deciding what cases to prosecute and what evidence to use. The judge called the hearing after lawyers for a detainee, Salim Hamdan, said his charges were unlawfully influenced. [Glaberson/IHT/10May2008] 

Pakistan Seeks Spy Planes from Australia. Pakistani officials have expressed interest in purchasing equipment, including unmanned surveillance aircraft, from Australia to help patrol Pakistan's mountainous and porous border with Afghanistan.

Pakistani personnel asked Australian Defense Force chief Angus Houston to provide equipment and training in sophisticated counter-terrorism techniques and a range of security equipment used by the ADF.

Pakistan shares a 2400- kilometre border with Afghanistan and is increasingly seen as a key to success in the war being waged by NATO forces against insurgents from the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

Pakistani officers reportedly are particularly interested in obtaining the Scan Eagle pilotless reconnaissance aircraft Boeing builds in Australia. The tiny aircraft is fitted with cameras that can be used by night or day and has proven successful when used by Australian troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Air Chief Marshal Houston said that because Afghanistan is landlocked, Australia relies heavily on sea, air and land access through Pakistan for its troops and equipment. [Nicholson/TheAge/12May2008] 

Suspected German Spy to Go on Trial. A German engineer who worked for EADS's Eurocopter unit will go on trial June 9 on charges of selling information to a Russian intelligence agent.

The suspect - identified only as Werner Franz G. - is accused of providing "predominantly civil but also military" information to an "agent of a Russian intelligence service," according to the Munich state court.

The mechanical engineer is accused of receiving 13,000 euros ($20,000) in exchange for documents, handbooks and other information for "technical products," the court said, adding that the information concerned "primarily civilian-use helicopters."

He is accused of repeated meetings with the intelligence contact in Germany and Austria arranged primarily through anonymous e-mail accounts. Prosecutors charged the man with activity as a foreign agent on March 3 and at the time said he had admitted to the charges. [MoscowTimes/12May2008] 

Judge Lists Berlusconi as Witness in CIA "Rendition" Trial. A Milan judge ruled that Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi and his predecessor Romano Prodi, can be called as witnesses in a trial on the alleged abduction of a terrorism suspect by agents of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Berlusconi, who returned to office as premier last week, was in power in 2003 when an Egyptian imam, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr - better known in Italy as Abu Omar - was allegedly snatched from a Milan street.

Italian prosecutors have charged a total of 33 defendants, including 26 CIA officers and several top Italian intelligence officials, with kidnapping Omar. The prosecutors say the defendants acted with the complicity of Italy's military intelligence agency, SISMI. 

The trial began in June 2007, but was suspended that same month to allow Italy's constitutional court to rule on allegations by Prodi's centre-left government that prosecutors had violated state secrets in gathering evidence.

In March, presiding judge Oscar Magi ruled the trial should resume while the constitutional court considered the case, to avoid expiration of the statute of limitations for prosecution. 

Berlusconi has denied knowledge of any kidnap operation and has defended SISMI against wrongdoing. He has also criticized the trial on the grounds it could hurt Italy's ability to cooperate with Western intelligence agencies in combating terrorism.

Omar was on his way to Milan's main mosque when he disappeared on February 17, 2003. At the time, he was being investigated by Italian prosecutors on terrorism charges.

According to prosecutors, after he was abducted in Milan, Omar was flown to Germany and eventually "rendered" by the United States to his native Egypt, where he claims to have been tortured while in prison in a cell near Cairo. [TrendNews/14May2008] 

Senate Panel Again Advocates Creation of Space Intel Shop. Senators are pushing for the creation of a new office that would coordinate operations for space-based intelligence platforms, according to the Senate version of the fiscal year 2009 intelligence authorization bill. The proposed National Space Intelligence Office (NSIO) would be headed up by the science and technology directorate under the director of national intelligence.

The mission of the NSIO shop "will be to coordinate and provide policy direction for the management of space-related intelligence assets as well as to prioritize collection activities consistent with the DNI's National Intelligence Collection Priorities," according to a report accompanying the bill. 

There is no similar space office proposal in the version of the bill approved May 8 by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The two panels will have to settle their differences during the conference process.

The proposal for the NSIO stems from senators' concern that space-based capabilities within the intelligence community have atrophied in recent years.

Two directorates within the Defense Department have already been created to assess space-based threats and capabilities. The Air Force heads up the National Air and Space Intelligence Center (NASIC), which "produces integrated, predictive air, space and specialized intelligence to enable military operations, force modernization and policymaking," according to a service fact sheet.

The other space intelligence shop, dubbed the Missile and Space Intelligence Center (MSIC), is headed up by the Defense Intelligence Agency and is headquartered at the Army's Redstone Arsenal, AL.

The proposed NSIO would not circumvent DOD's authority at the NASIC or MSIC, but would "augment" DOD's existing efforts, the panel writes. [DefenseNewsStand/12May2008]

U.S. Increases Estimate Of N. Korean Plutonium. U.S. intelligence analysts have prepared a fresh estimate of the size of North Korea's stockpile of plutonium - larger than previous assessments - that will be compared with the information contained in 18,822 pages of reactor production records recently turned over by North Korea, according to U.S. officials.

North Korean officials have said about 30 kilograms of plutonium was produced at their five-megawatt reactor at Yongbyon, at the low end of most private and government estimates. The new U.S. estimate is expected to be from 35 to 40 or 50 to 60 kilograms, though sources would not detail how much it had increased from the last government estimate.

A kilogram is 2.2 pounds, and about four to six kilograms are needed for a nuclear weapon. That means the gap between U.S. and North Korean tallies could reflect enough for one or more weapons.

The higher estimate could complicate the State Department's desire to verify North Korea's claims, a key test before President Bush lifts two key sanctions against Pyongyang. North Korea, as part of its nuclear declaration, is supposed to disclose its stockpile of plutonium, and also acknowledge U.S. concerns and evidence on nuclear dealings with Syria and a suspected uranium enrichment program.

Sung Kim, the State Department's director for Korean affairs, told reporters yesterday that reactor documents "are an important first step in terms of verifying North Korea's declaration," which will ultimately include "access to their facilities, sampling, interviews with personnel involved in their programs."

The U.S. government has never made public an official estimate of North Korea's plutonium stockpile. In 2006, the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based research organization, estimated that the North Korean facility had discharged 43 to 61 kilograms, but it recovered only 20 to 53 kilograms because of waste and inefficiency.

A key factor in the estimates is whether North Korea had separated as much as 10 kilograms of plutonium before 1992, an issue that has divided the intelligence community. The institute reached the lower end of its estimate by assuming North Korea did not recover the plutonium in that period. [Kessler/WashingtonPost/14May2008] 

Japan Legalizes Spy Sats. The Japanese government is passing a law to allow it to manufacture and put into orbit military-grade reconnaissance satellites. The current law in Japan forbids the nation from any military use of space. That includes putting military grade spy satellites in orbit. The "spy satellites" Japan now has up there are actually civilian type survey (weather, crops, ecology, etc) satellites that are being used for military purposes. 

Observers believe one reason for the change is North Korea's development of long range ballistic missiles. North Korea test fired some of them in the direction of Japan. The Chinese also developed similar missiles. [StrategyPages/13May2008] 

Britain's FBI Called a Dismal Failure. Britain's former director-general for law enforcement has branded England's answer to the FBI, the Serious Organized Crime Agency (Soca), a disaster. 

Terry Byrne, former director-general for law enforcement at Customs & Excise who proposed establishing SOCA, said the agency was failing and its performance was "dismal." Byrne said it is inexcusable that it took Soca almost two years to identify that some of its 130 prime targets were dead, incarcerated, or low-level criminals doing little damage. 

Soca, which was launched in 2006, took over responsibilities from the National Crime Squad, Customs, MI5 and the National Criminal Intelligence Service. 

The current director-general of Soca, Bill Hughes, has dismissed criticism of its lack of high-profile success, saying it was in "a marathon, not a sprint". [Lashmar/Independent/18May2008] 

Russia Catches Georgian Spy. Russia's security forces have reportedly arrested a Russian citizen who is accused of spying for Georgia. Georgia denies the allegation and calls the information a "provocation".

Russia's Interfax news agency quotes an undisclosed source in the Federal Security Service (FSB) which says the man - named as Georgian-born Ramzan Turkoshvili - was trying to establish contact between Tbilisi and groups of militants in the North Caucasus.

It says he was working under the guidance of a terrorist leader hiding in the Pankisi Gorge in Georgia. The alleged spy is said to have received remuneration in U.S. dollars for his services. [RussiaToday/16May2008] 

Germany Accuses Russia of Espionage. The German intelligence service has accused Russia and China of using spies and Internet technology to acquire industrial secrets that could seriously damage Europe's largest economy. The Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the German counterintelligence service, states in its 2007 report to German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schauble that foreign intelligence agents are interested in a wide range of industrial targets, as well scientific and technological institutes. The report states that, besides special services agents, Russia uses "nonprofessional spies" - students and scientists.

Foreign intelligence targets not only large companies, but a large number of small, innovative companies as well, according to the report. Such small companies, which are often family-run, are the basis of the German economy. The counterintelligence office promises in its report to make greater efforts to help those companies protect themselves.

This is not the first time that Germany has made such accusations. Last year, Germany accused China of frequent cyber-attacks aimed at obtaining state and industrial information. Beijing has denied those accusations.

On June 9 of this year, the trial will begin of an employee of European Aeronautic Defence & Space Co. accused of providing Russian special services with information between May 2004 and December 2006 in exchange for money. That information, although intended for peaceful purposes, could be used for military goals as well. The suspect has confessed to the spying charges. [Kommersant/14May2008] 


Top Taliban Leader Vows Revenge on America. A top Taliban leader vowed on 12 May to target the U.S. after an alleged missile strike killed several people in northwest Pakistan, a threat that could undermine the new government's efforts to negotiate peace deals with militants.

Blasts destroyed a compound on 11 May in Damadola village, a militant stronghold in the Bajur tribal region near the Afghanistan border. A similar attack in 2006 reportedly missed al-Qaida's No. 2 leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.

The governor of the turbulent North West Frontier Province condemned the incident as an "attack on the sovereignty of Pakistan" that would hamper the country's efforts against terrorism. He said the dead included an 8-year-old boy.

Residents said they saw a U.S. aircraft flying in the area before two explosions rocked the village. The U.S., which has not commented on the incident, is believed to operate unmanned drones out of Afghanistan.

Faqir Mohammed, a cleric and deputy leader of Pakistan's Taliban movement, vowed revenge after attending a funeral for seven men who were said to have been killed.

Later Thursday, several thousand protesters attended rallies called by Islamist political parties in Damadola and Khar, Bajur's main town. Demonstrators chanted "Death to America" and slogans against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

The alleged missile strike could embarrass Pakistan's new government, which is trying to pursue peace deals with militants. The negotiations have stirred alarm in the U.S., which long backed Musharraf's more forceful tactics. Western officials worry that such deals may simply give militants time to regroup and plan attacks in Afghanistan and the West.

Maulvi Umar, a Taliban spokesman, has said the movement will continue fighting in Afghanistan despite any peace deal it might reach in Pakistan. Both countries have suffered from a series of militant attacks.

Responding to the latest incident, Umar said "we will avenge this but will continue talks with the government."

The explosions were thought to be the first such attack since the new government took power six weeks ago. A spate of strikes in March killed at least 25 people in the border region, fueling speculation that Musharraf, whose allies then led the government, gave tacit approval to U.S. forces targeting foreign militants inside Pakistan.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Mohammed Sadiq said Thursday he was "not aware" of any such approval. Pakistan insists it does not allow U.S. forces to operate on its territory.

Pakistan's military spokesman declined to comment Thursday. The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad deferred comments to officials in Washington, who could not be immediately reached. [Khan/AP/14May2008] 


Purchases Linked N. Korean To Syria. In 2002, German customs police discovered that North Korean businessman Ho Jin Yun had been crisscrossing Central Europe, amassing a bafflingly diverse collection of materials and high-tech gadgets: gas masks, electric timers, steel pipes, vacuum pumps, transformers and aluminum tubes cut to precise dimensions.

Most of these wares Yun had shipped to his company's offices in China and North Korea. But some of the goods, U.S. and European officials now say, were evidently intended for a secret project in Syria: a nuclear reactor that would be built with North Korean help, allegedly to produce plutonium for eventual use in nuclear weapons.

According to U.S. officials, European intelligence officials and diplomats, Yun's firm - Namchongang Trading, known as NCG - provided the critical link between Pyongyang and Damascus, acquiring key materials from vendors in China and probably from Europe, and secretly transferring them to a desert construction site near the Syrian town of Al Kibar.

It was the company's suspicious buying habits and the branch office it opened in Damascus that inadvertently contributed to the alleged reactor's discovery and later destruction in a Sept. 6 Israeli bombing raid, U.S. officials say. 

Alerted to NCG's suspect purchases in Europe, Western spy agencies were able to track the movement of NCG employees and purchases to Syria in 2003, where the outlines of the reactor scheme eventually became apparent. The site was closely scrutinized by Western intelligence officials for months before it was destroyed by Israel. During that period, U.S. officials collected aerial images and acquired interior photos that showed apparent reactor components.

Syria has maintained that the facility was always non-nuclear, but U.S. officials say that as the government cleared the site of debris after the bombing, some telltale reactor components that had been deliberately hidden became visible.

Syria acknowledges "a working relationship" with North Korea, but Syrian Embassy spokesman Ahmed Salkini said it does not defy any international law. 

U.S. officials say the Pyongyang-based NCG used an office in Beijing as a base for procuring materials and as a distribution center for items that could not be legally routed through North Korea because of trade sanctions.

A spokesperson at the Chinese Embassy denied any knowledge of the company and its activities.

Proliferation experts say NCG used many methods to conceal the intended use of the items it was acquiring.

NCG has acted "as a trading agent or middleman, buying items through Chinese trading companies or directly from foreign companies," said David Albright, president of the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security and an expert on the international black market for nuclear technology.

Because of its branch office in China, NCG can buy equipment from suppliers throughout the world, even in Europe and possibly in the United States, particularly if the companies have subsidiaries in China, Albright said. Moreover, export controls in China are poorly implemented and simple to evade.

Other North Korean companies with offices outside the country have bought militarily sensitive equipment from commercial vendors, including parts for making ballistic missiles, nuclear bombs and other advanced weapons, U.S. officials say. Over the years, they have bought metals used in uranium enrichment and chemical precursors for highly lethal nerve agents, the officials said.

A U.S. counterproliferation official said in an interview that North Korea typically uses "one, two or more layers" of front companies so it can plausibly deny knowledge of actual intended use. "Sometimes they can fool the supplier by saying the goods are intended for another country altogether. North Korea does this very well," said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because U.S. investigations remain classified.

Over the past decade, NCG's activities have been the target of investigations spanning two continents. Its attempt to purchase hundreds of high-strength tubes from European businesses attracted the attention of the German government in 2003. The tubes were made of a highly specialized type of aluminum used in making centrifuges for uranium enrichment, but Yun, the NCG businessman, told German companies that they were destined for an aircraft factory in China, according to court documents.

Eventually, Yun - who earlier served as the head of North Korea's United Nations delegation in Vienna, the home of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency - struck a deal with a Bavarian company to obtain 22 tons of British-made tubes. They were placed on an Asia-bound ship in April 2003 and made it as far as the Suez Canal before German authorities ordered the cargo seized.

A subsequent investigation by nuclear weapons experts, including several at the International Atomic Energy Agency, concluded that the tubes were not suited for aircraft. The Chinese company named by NCG as the intended user denied ordering such tubes, U.S. and European investigators said.

In court documents and interviews, German officials alleged that NCG had operated as a front company for years and had sought to buy a wide range of sensitive equipment from European firms, including oscilloscopes and other electronic gear used in making and testing nuclear detonators.

Neither Yun nor NCG was charged with wrongdoing in Germany, but the owner of the company that sold the tubes was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in the sale.

The discovery of a series of attempted purchases prompted the CIA to predict that North Korea could have an operational uranium enrichment facility by 2005. But no such facility has ever been identified, and North Korea insists the tubes were meant for other programs, including missile production. North Korea has allowed U.S. officials to take smelted aluminum it purchased from other countries back to the United States for analysis. [Wright&Warrick/WashingtonPost/11May2008] 

National Intelligence Estimates. A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) represents the U.S. intelligence community's most authoritative and coordinated written assessment of a specific national-security issue. The concept of an "estimative" intelligence report was established by the National Security Act of 1947, following the surprise invasion of South Korea by North Korean troops. Since its creation, the NIE process has undergone a series of overhauls to increase interagency collaboration. Today as many as seventeen government agencies and departments participate in drafting the documents.

But as former intelligence officer Robert L. Suettinger notes in his history of the NIE, intelligence estimates are by definition controversial products. "In discussing large or complex topics," Suettinger writes, "National Intelligence Estimates necessarily have to delve into a realm of speculation." 

Intelligence estimates are coordinated by the National Intelligence Council (NIC), which reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and is the intelligence community's "center for mid-term and long-term strategic thinking." The NIC employs thirteen National Intelligence Officers - senior experts drawn from agencies of the intelligence community and from outside the government - who, among their other responsibilities, head up the NIE writing process. The current chairman of the NIC is Thomas Fingar, who also serves as deputy director of national intelligence for analysis.

The NIE process from inception to completion progresses as follows:

* A senior executive branch official, a committee chair of the House or Senate, or a senior military official can request an NIE. An estimate can also be initiated independently by the National Intelligence Council. The request is authorized by the Director of National Intelligence.

* The NIC prepares the terms of reference, an outline of the key issues, and questions to be covered in the estimate.

* Before an NIE is drafted the intelligence officer produces a terms of reference paper, or TOR, meant to define the key questions the NIE is to address; sets drafting responsibilities; and establishes a publication schedule. The TOR is circulated throughout the intelligence community for comment.

* The intelligence officer selects a lead drafter of the NIE or directs another intelligence analyst or outside expert to do so. The draft is typically reviewed by the NIC before it is sent to the U.S. government agencies that are members of the intelligence community, or compile national intelligence on the relevant issue.

* Agency experts review the draft and prepare comments.

* Agency representatives meet and discuss the report at an interagency coordination session.

* Intelligence is vetted by the National Clandestine Service within the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to eliminate potentially questionable or unreliable sources. 

* A final draft is distributed for final review to intelligence community experts for their review. In addition, the NIE often includes a summary of the opinions of experts outside the government.

* The NIC reviews the final draft and then forwards it to the National Intelligence Board (PDF). The board is composed of senior representatives of the intelligence community and is chaired by the DNI.

* Once an NIE is approved by the National Intelligence Board it is delivered to the requester as well as the president, senior policymakers, and relevant members of Congress. 

Up to seventeen agencies and departments are generally involved in the process. They include:

* Office of the Director of National Intelligence
* The Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps intelligence organizations
* The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
* Coast Guard Intelligence
* The Defense Intelligence Agency
* The Department of Energy
* The Department of Homeland Security
* The Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR)
* The Department of the Treasury
* U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
* The Federal Bureau of Investigation
* The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (formerly the National Imagery and Mapping Agency)
* The National Reconnaissance Office
* The National Security Agency

Before the 2002 Iraq estimate prompted changes in NIE drafting guidelines, the time frame for completion varied widely. The July 2004 Senate report describes three rough time frames for drafting: a "fast track" of two to three weeks, a "normal track" of four to eight weeks, and a "long track" of two months or more. But out time for recent intelligence estimates has increased significantly. The NIE on Iran's nuclear capabilities, for instance, took seventeen months to finalize and underwent a last-minute review after new intelligence was received by analysts in June 2007.

The intelligence community drafts NIE documents covering a wide range of issues; hundreds have been written in the last six decades. Suettinger writes that 1,500 estimates were produced between 1950 and 1973 alone. Most recent NIE assessments, however, have remained classified. Intelligence estimates that do reach the public domain are typically declassified key judgments, not the entire NIE. Since 2006 DNI has released key judgments on trends in global terrorism the terrorist threat to the homeland; two NIEs on prospects for stability in Iraq; as well as the Iran nuclear NIE. The president and the director of national intelligence have the authority to declassify all or part of an NIE.

The most significant change to the NIE process following the botched Iraq WMD estimate was increasing the opportunity for interagency collaboration. Additional changes made since mid-2006 include the mandatory review of sources by the National Clandestine Service, and a concerted effort, according to the office of the DNI, "to highlight differences among agencies" and "explain the reasons for such differences." The changes reflect concerns raised by the Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction in the wake of the 2002 Iraq estimate. [Bruno&Otterman/CouncilonForeignRelations/14May2008] 

Mystery of U.N. Security Chief Deepens. Washington reportedly is concerned about the lack of transparency regarding Bruno Henn, a German national, the mysterious and reclusive chief of security at U.N. headquarters. Some officials reportedly are concerned about Mr. Henn's repeated reference to having served with "the German police service." 

Two diplomatic sources, who hail from eastern Germany, reported that the notorious East German secret police known as "Stasi," was often unofficially referred to as the German police service.

Mr. Henn, a nine-year veteran of the U.N. system, succeeded an American, Michael McCann in June 2004. Previously, Mr. Henn served as McCann's hand-picked deputy, coming from U.N. operations in the former Yugoslavia.

The chief of security at the U.N. is responsible for the safety and welfare of more than 13,000 people spread over the 45-acre headquarters and several additional buildings in New York City. The security force at the New York City campus numbers approximately 200; they are drawn from the 192 member states. It is the only non-U.S. entity allowed to carry firearms on the streets of New York.

The U.N.'s security chief is responsible for the personal protection of the secretary-general and his family wherever they travel. The chief is also the main conduit between the world body and U.S. law enforcement/security organizations.

While Mr. Henn assumed the chief's position in 2004, he wasn't officially elevated to the post for an additional 13 months. The U.N. has never explained the delay.

When his "official elevation" was announced by U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric in July 2005, the UN said Mr. Henn was a veteran of the German police service. However, the UN offered few details of Mr. Henn's employment before joining the United Nations. Mr. Henn has steadfastly refused to match any of his predecessors' or even his own boss's disclosures. This comes as U.N. secretary-general Ban Ki-moon publicly pledged to run a more transparent administration than his predecessor, Kofi Annan.

On 13 May, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq e-mailed an "update" stating that Bruno Henn worked for the German "Landespolizei." Research shows that the Landespolizei is no more than a euphemism to cover the 16 various semi-independent provincial police forces within Germany.

The U.N. ignored several follow-up queries to identify which police body Mr. Henn worked for, his dates of employment, and his rank. [Stogel/Newsmax/16May2008] 



Two Research Openings At Evidence Based Research in Virginia
Evidence Based Research is looking for junior to mid-level researchers with a range of qualifications including the following:

Research Assistant
A Research Assistant’s primary responsibility is to provide support to Research Associates and Research Analysts on the team by doing open source research on a variety of topics. The ideal Research Assistant will have: a bachelor’s degree, preferably in international affairs, political science, conflict resolution, or a related field; an interest in current events, foreign affairs, counterterrorism, and/or intelligence; foreign language skills, especially in Chinese, Arabic, and Farsi, are a strong plus; strong internet research skills; the ability to think outside the box and a creative approach to research. You must have at least a Secret security clearance.

Research Associate
A Research Associate is responsible for producing reports on a range of topics based on open source research. Research Associates should be capable of formulating effective research strategies, using those strategies to collect high-value information in the open source, and in turn organize that information into a cohesive report. Successful Research Associates will be able to complete taskings with minimal supervision or guidance. The ideal Research Assistant will have: a bachelor’s degree, preferably in international affairs, political science, conflict resolution, or a related field; one to two years of research experience; an interest in current events, foreign affairs, counterterrorism, and/or intelligence; foreign language skills, especially in Chinese, Arabic, and Farsi, are a strong plus; strong internet research skills; the ability to think outside the box and a creative approach to research. You must have at least a Secret security clearance.
To Explore or Apply contact: Carmen Matthews, HR, Director, Corporate Operations Division, Evidence Based Research, Inc., 1595 Spring Hill Rd, Ste 250, Vienna, VA 22182. 703-893-6800 Ext. 387 (Phone); 703-821-7742 (Fax);;

Thursday, 22 May 2008, 10 am - 2 pm - Arlington, VA - Security Clearance Job Fair, Up to 50 Employers! Local and Nationwide Jobs!
Meet face-to-face with Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, EG&G, U.S. Secret Service, Transportation Security Administration, Office of Naval Intelligence, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, ITT - Advanced Engineering & Science, R4, InTec, Institute for Defense Analyses, L. Robert Kimball & Associates, Oberon Associates & more!
Doubletree Hotel, Crystal City, 300 Army Navy Dr, Arlington, VA 22202-2981. Active or current security clearance of Secret or higher required. Pre-registration is encouraged through:
(By pre-registering and posting your resume, participating employers will be able to contact you in advance of the job fair) [via nortonnet]


James W. Kesler. James W. Kesler, 68, of Leesburg, died Wednesday, May 7, 2008.

Mr. Kesler was a 1958 graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy, and received his bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving as an officer in the Corps of Engineers.

Mr. Kesler was an operations officer with the Central Intelligence Agency for 24 years. He served at the Agency's headquarters in Washington, D.C. [sic] and served foreign tours in Western Europe and the Middle East.

After his retirement, he spent 14 years on a part-time contract with the C.I.A., teaching younger officers, doing counterintelligence analysis, and interviewing candidates for employment.

Mr. Kessler was also a court magistrate in Leesburg for 11 years and spent five years as an emergency medical technician with the Loudoun County Volunteer Rescue Squad.

He is survived by his wife, Renny Kesler of Leesburg; two daughters, Nancy and her fianc�e Gary of Dayton, Md., and Christine and her husband Sean of Round Hill, Va.; two sons and their wives, Bob and Kimberly of Durham, N.C., and Philippe and Jenni of Englewood, Colo.; six grandchildren; two brothers, Walter W. Kesler of Fort Worth, Tex., and Andrew H. Kesler of West Hollywood, Calif.; and several nieces and nephews. [SeaCostOnline/13May2008] 


DNI Open Source Conference 2008. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence is pleased to announce the "DNI Open Source Conference 2008" to be held on Thursday, 11 September and Friday, 12 September, 2008 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington DC. 

The two-day conference will explore a wide range of open source issues and open source best practices for the Intelligence Community and its partners. We invite participants from the broader open source community of interest including academia, think tanks, private industry, federal, state, local and tribal entities, international partners, and the media to attend. 

Detailed information about the content and agenda will be available soon. Participants may register online at Conference registration can only be completed via the Web site. All registrations must be received no later than Thursday, 31 July 2008; early registration is encouraged due to space limitations and demand. 



Tuesday, 20 May 2008 - Arlington, VA - Professor Sadik Al-Azm will speak on “Islam, Secularization, and the Latitudes of Intellectual Freedom” at the National Intelligence Forum luncheon - the name for a joint project of the Defense Intelligence Alumni Association and the Defense Intel College. The event is being held at Dan & Brads, Arlington Hilton, 950 N Stafford St. Arlington, VA 22203, at Ballston METRO station (Parking at Ballston Common Mall for 3 Hours @ $1) Pay at the door with a CHECK for $26 made payable to DIAA, Inc. Social hour starts at 1130, lunch at 1215, program at 1300. Professor Sadik Al-Azm's presentation is co-sponsored by the Costandi Institute and Holland Associates. The Defense Intelligence Alumni Association and the National Defense Intelligence College Foundation sponsor jointly what is called "the National Intelligence Forum." To encourage candor, the forum does not allow media, notes, recordings, or attribution. RSVP by 14 May by email to with your name and names of guests, association, phone number, and e-mail address.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008, 11:30 a.m. - Phoenix, AZ - The AFIO Arizona Chapter luncheon will hear "Inside the Terrorist Mind: The Unconscious Reality of Those Who Would Destroy Us" by guest speaker Barry Austin Goodfield, Ph.D., Senior professor at Henley-Putnam University, an online intelligence university composed of ex-CIA and Secret Service officials. The event takes place at the Hilton Garden Inn in Phoenix, (One block West of Central Avenue on Clarendon and one block South of Indian School Road). For reservations or concerns, please call Simone Lopes at 480.368.0374

Wednesday, 21 May 2008 - Tampa, FL - The AFIO Suncoast Chapter hears from Blackwater Founder/CEO Erik D. Prince. The Chapter is hosting an ad hoc joint meeting with Armed Forces Communications & Electronics Association (AFCEA). Erik D. Prince, Founder and CEO of Blackwater, will be our guest speaker, with particularly interesting topics, so mark your calendars now. The meeting will be at the MacDill AFB Surf’s Edge Club in Tampa, Fl. For further information email

Wednesday, 28 May 2008 - Washington, DC - Institute of World Politics Open House. The IWP invites you to join them this evening for their monthly open house program to learn more about the programs and career opportunities through graduate study at IWP. Each program begins at approximately 5:30 pm and concludes by 8:00 pm. RSVPs are strongly encouraged, and preferences are easily requested by visiting the IWP home page at The Institute is located at 1521 16th Street NW, Washington, DC, eight blocks north of the White House and three blocks east of the Dupont Circle metro station (red line). IWP enrolls new students during the spring, summer, and fall terms. Make sure you're one of them.

Tuesday, 3 June 2008, 6:30PM - Washington, DC - From the Secret Files of the International Spy Museum(tm) Spycraft 101: CIA Spytech From Communism to Al-Qaeda.
Rubber airplanes, messages hidden inside dead rats, and subminiature cameras hidden inside ballpoint pens...a few of the real-life devices created by CIA's Office of Technical Service (OTS). These and other clever technical devices are featured in Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda, by the former director of OTS Bob Wallace teams up with espionage gadget collector H. Keith Melton to discuss the operations of OTS...from the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the war on terror. Rare OTS devices including concealments, microdots, and disguises will be on display.
Where: International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station
Tickets: $20; Advance Registration required. Tickets are non-refundable and do not include admission to other the Museum exhibits. To register, call Ticketmaster at 800.551.SEAT or the Museum at 202.393.7798; order online at; or purchase tickets in person at the Museum.

Thursday, 5 June 2008 - Washington, DC - "Seduced By Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World" by Kristie Macrakis at International Spy Museum. No Charge.
The Stasi, the East German Ministry for State Security, was one of the most effective and feared spy agencies in history. As it stole secrets from abroad and developed gadgets at home, the Stasi overestimated the power of secrets to solve problems and created an insular spy culture more intent on securing its power than protecting national security. Now for the first time, their technical methods and sources are revealed. In Seduced by Secrets, historian Kristie Macrakis recreates the Stasi's clandestine world of technology through biographies of agents, defectors, and officers and by visualizing their James Bond-like techniques and gadgets. Join the author for this eye opening look at a very frightening and very real wilderness of mirrors.
International Spy Museum, 800 F St NW, Washington, DC, Gallery Place/Chinatown Metrorail Station

7 June 2008 - Northampton, MA - AFIO New England Spring meeting features Dr. Kristie Macrakis on East German Espionage. The meeting will be held at the Hotel Northampton at 36 King Str., Northampton, MA, 413-584-3100.  A full description of services as well as directions to the hotel, are available on-line at
Our schedule is as follows: Registration & gathering, 11:00 - 1200, Luncheon at 1200 followed by our speaker, Kristie Macrakis, Ph.D. who will speak on East German Espionage, with adjournment at 2:30PM.
Note, as this meeting is a one day event we have not made any arrangements with the Hotel Northampton for a reduced room rate. For additional information contact
Luncheon reservations must be made by May 27th with: Mr. Arthur Hulnick, 216 Summit Avenue # E102, Brookline, MA 02446, 617-739-7074 or  Advance reservations are $25.00 per person, $30.00 at the door - per person.

Saturday, 7 June 2008, 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. - Gainesville, FL - AFIO North Florida Chapter meets at the Orange Park Country Club. Program still in planning stage but likely to be on topic of surveillance from the sea and discussion of the Black Sea "bumping" incidents of the 1980s as well as the USS Pueblo and USS Liberty incidents of the 1960s. Possible guest speaker from Jax Navy JAG office to talk about the law of naval operations.
Please RSVP as soon as possible to Quiel at The cost of the luncheon should be the traditional $16.00 per person, pay the country club after lunch. All spouses and guests are, as always, cordially invited -- We look forward to seeing you in June!

Wednesday, 18 June 2008, 11:30 a.m. - Phoenix, AZ - AFIO Phoenix luncheon features Victor Ostrovsky, 'former Mossad' officer -- yes or no?
Victor Ostrovsky (born in Edmonton, Alberta) is a Canadian-born Israel-raised former Mossad officer and author of 2 nonfiction books on Mossad and two fictional spy novels.
Ostrovsky was raised in Israel and joined the Israeli Defense Forces just before turning eighteen.By the time he was recruited to the Mossad, Ostrovsky was a Lieutenant commander in charge of the Navy weapon testing department. From 1982 to 1984 he was a cadet in the Mossad academy and a collections officer (katsa) from October 1984 to March 1986.
In 1990, he published By Way of Deception, his account of his time in the Mossad. Ostrovsky refused to use a pen name, stating that if he wanted to hide, he wouldn’t have written the book, which he believed was a necessary act to stop corruption within the agency.
Some critics, such as Benny Morris and author David Wise have charged that the book is essentially a novel written by a professional novelist, and that a junior employee would never have learned so many operational secrets. Some view these allegations as ill-informed speculation by outsiders. It is expected, that intelligence organizations practice strict compartmentalization of confidential, or secretive information. Rather, Ostrovsky holds in his two non-fiction books, that the Mossad consists of a very small number of case officers, who freely share information with one another. Furthermore, he claims that while at headquarters, he had liberal access to the computer system, which is not compartmentalized for "katsas".
Ostrovsky was credited as being a Mossad case officer by the Israeli government through failed, possibly inept, attempts in the Canadian and the U.S. courts to stop the publication of his book, which may have enhanced his reputation and his book's sales. According to Ostrovsky, the book pointed out mistakes and unnecessarily malicious intent in Mossad operations. And by referring to Mossad officers only by their first name and agents by code names, Ostrovsky maintains he never placed anyone in danger.
Many of Ostrovsky's claims have not been verified from other sources, nor have they been refuted. Arguments continue to rage over the credibility of his accounts.
We hope we will see many of you, and please note that this will be our last meeting of the season. We will start again in September.
Location: Hilton Garden Inn in Phoenix, (One block West of Central Avenue on Clarendon and one block South of Indian School Road). Do not miss this exciting program.
For reservations or concerns, please email Simone at or call 480.368.0374

21 June 2008 - Kennebunkport, ME - The Maine Chapter hosts Tyler Drumheller, former CIA. The Maine Chapter meets at the Kennebunk Free Library in Kennebunk at 2:00 p.m. Our speaker will be Tyler Drumheller, recently retired after a career of service to our country as a Central Intelligence Agency operations officer. For further information or to register contact David Austin at

23 - 25 June 2008 - Monterey, CA - The International Association for Intelligence Education (IAFIE) hosts 4th Annual Conference.The conference takes place at the Naval Postgraduate School. The event is sponsored by Lockheed Martin. The theme: Creating Intelligence Studies Education Programs and Academic Standards." Speakers will include: Richards Heuer, Maureen Baginski, Joe Finder, Amy Zegart, Guillermo Holtzmann, and Ernest May. Fee: $400. Checks to IAFIE Conference, POB 10508, Erie, PA 16514. Or email

For Additional Events two+ months or greater....view our online Calendar of Events


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