In Saddam’s Archives

As Scott noted below, the government has finally begun making available a few of the many thousands of documents captured from Iraqi intelligence during and after the 2003 war. Only a handful are now available on the Foreign Military Studies Office web site, but already there are revelations that strike me as interesting. One document, CMPC-2003-006430, is accompanied by a bland synopsis: “This file contains document relevant to the Mukhabarat or Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS), it explains the structure of the IIS.” The document’s contents are more interesting than the synopsis sounds [Note update below. The English portion of the document is a description of the Mukhabarat by the Federation of American Scientists. The Arabic portion apparently hasn’t been translated. Hopefully, the Arabic cover sheet and notes will reveal whether the Mukhabarat confirmed the FAS description. Arabic speakers–please send us a translation!]:

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.

So Iraqi intelligence conducted “covert offensive operations” involving “poisons” as well as explosives, carried out “sabotage and assassination” outside of Iraq, and trained agents in “the use of terror techniques” abroad. Not bad for a single eight-page document.

UPDATE: Another document hints at a connection between Iraq and the September 11 attacks, but it’s hearsay from a Taliban official that may well have been groundless.

MORE: Several readers have written to point out that what I took to be a translation of the original document is actually just a print-out from the web site of the Federation of American Scientists. So the question is, what does the Arabic portion, which apparently hasn’t been translated, say? Presumably it comments on the FAS assessment. We’d like to hear from anyone who can translate the Arabic notes.

STILL MORE: Investors Business Daily made the same mistake I did. We should have a translation of the Arabic portion of the document posted later today (Friday).

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