There has been a lot of excitement about the documents and tapes that were captured in Afghanistan and Iraq, and are now being made available for review and, in some instances, translation. The first batch contained some very interesting items, but nothing, in my opinion, that was new, important and reliable. With one exception: An eight-page document in English, printed off the web site of the Federation of American Scientists, with a cover page and notes in Arabic. As we pointed out here, the contents of the FAS analysis of Iraq’s intelligence agency, the Mukhabarat, are extremely interesting; the question is, are they accurate?
Here are some of the key items from the text of the English document:
Directorate 4. Secret Service. The Secret Service Directorate is located inside the headquarters complex of the Mukhabarat. Its activities take place both in Iraq and abroad, with agents of D4 infiltrated into Iraqi Government departments, the Baath Party, associations, unions and organizations, Iraqi embassies and opposition. … The Directorate includes a number of offices specializing in the collection against a specific country or region, including offices for Southern Asia, Turkey, Iran, America (North and South), Europe, Arab states, Africa and the former Soviet Union. D4 works in co-ordination with D3, D5, D9, D12, D14, D18.
Directorate 8. Technical Affairs. Located in the headquarters complex of the Mukhabarat, the Eight Directorate is responsible for development of materials needed for covert offensive operations. It contains advanced laboratories for testing and production of weapons, poisons, and explosives, as well as facilities for finger printing all Mukhabarat members.
Directorate 9. Secret Operations. The Ninth Directorate is one of the most important directorates in the Mukhabarat. Most of its work is outside Iraq in coordination with other Directorates, focusing on operations of sabotage and assassination.
Office 16. This Office conducts training of agents for clandestine operations abroad. Agents attend a special school near Baghdad which provides language courses and orientation concerning the country to which they will be assigned. The Office also provides training for the operation itself. Special six-week courses in the use of terror techniques are provided at a camp in Radwaniyah.
The importance of these observations is obvious; but to know whether they are true or not, we needed a translation of the Arabic cover page. Someone in Iraqi intelligence downloaded the FAS summary and put it in the Mukhabarat’s files, with comments. The key question is whether the cover memo says, “How did these people know all about us?” or “Where do foreigners get such crazy ideas?”
We’ve now received a translation of the cover sheet from the proprietors of ThreatsWatch. It appears that the Iraqis considererd the FAS summary of their intelligence operations to be accurate. Here is the translated cover memo:
Formations of the Intelligence Apparatus on the Internet.
You will find below some relevant information about the Intelligence published on the internet. It is clear that the information is somewhat old, but nevertheless it contains some important and accurate details and it lists names such as the following:
1- The late RAFI’ Daham (deceased)
2- Mr. Mana’ Abdul Rashid
3- Mr. Iad al-Douri – Crossed out
4- Muthanna al-Takriti (a relative of No. 2 above according to the report)
5- General Abdul Aziz al-Kurkhan
6- Mohamad Yassin Al-Shamri from Mosul
7- Dr. Mohamad Al-masri – Director of Directorate No.8
8- General Abdul Hamid Khalaf al-Bayati – Director of Directorate no. 9
9- Colonel Hussein Abdul Khaliq al-Douri
10- Saadoun Ali al-Takriti from Alouja
11- Ahmad al-Dulaimi
12- General Abdul Hamid Yassin al-Ghorairi from al-Haditha
13- Ibrahim Al-Ani
14- Saadoun Mohamad al-Mashhadani (almash-hadani)
15- Colonel Kamel Qirtas al-Janabi
16- Mohamad al-Douri / Abu Nihad
17- Subhi Ibrahim al-Jabouri from Biji
18- Sayyid Ihsan – (about the Iranian Group Mojahideen al-Khalq) i.e. fighters on behalf of the Iranian people.
19- Jamal Omar al-Rawi
I would suggest that the internet is monitored, as this is important for selecting suitable operatives to work abroad in future.
(signed) Abu Muhammad
(signature name not clear)
Most of the handwritten notes on the attached document are just Arabic translations of the English original, but the ones that are not translations are also informative. One such note follows the description of Directorate 14:
Directorate 14. Special Operations.
The Special Operations (14th) Directorate, located in Salman Pak 20 km south-east of Baghdad, is one of the most important and largest in Mukhabarat. This directorate undertakes the most secret and sensitive special operations outside the country. They were responsible for the attempted assassination against President Bush, and the assassination of Talib Al Suheil. It conducts joint operations with the Mujahideen Khalq Organization, and undertakes training of specially selected officers for this type of operation. The current Director is Brig Nouri Al Douri (Abu Ibrahim).
The Arabic note underneath this paragraph reads:
Responsible for training at Salman Pak and is responsible for the attempted assassination of BUSH and the killing of Taleb al-Suhail.
The Salman Pak facility, by the way, is the one that had a passenger airplane used to train terrorists in airplane hijacking techniques. After the last entry on the final page of the document, the Arabic note reads:
The information is considered out of date and updated 97-11-26.
While the Arabic notes do not necessarily indicate that Iraqi intelligence confirmed every aspect of the FAS analysis, they do say that the document “contains some important and accurate details,” and no statements in the English document are specifically disputed. The information appears to date from approximately the mid-1990s.
While it would be a mistake to put too much weight on any single document, the Mukhabarat’s seeming endorsement of FAS’s description of its activities would appear to confirm, among other things, Iraq’s production of poisons for use in “covert offensive operations,” and its training of terrorists for “clandestine operations abroad.”