Report: CIA with aid from Jordan to train Iraqi spies
The US administration has authorized the formation of an Iraqi intelligence service to spy on groups and individuals inside Iraq that are targeting US forces and civilians working to set up a new government, the Washington Post reported, citing US government officials.
The new service will be trained, financed and equipped largely by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) with help from Jordan, the report added.
Initially, the agency will be led by Iraqi Interior Minister Nouri Badran, a secular Shiite and activist in the Jordan-based Iraqi National Accord, a former exile group that includes former Ba'ath Party military and intelligence officials.
Badran and Ayad Alawi, leader of the INA, are spending much of this week at the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia to work out the details of the new program.
Both men have worked with the CIA over the past decade in unsuccessful efforts to incite coups against ousted leader Saddam Hussein.
The agency and the two men feel they can screen former government officials to locate agents for the service and weed out those who are "unreliable or unsavory", officials said.
Although no deadline has yet been set, officials hope to have the service running by mid-February.
The US Congress had approved money for the effort in the classified annex of this year's budget. The service will focus mainly on domestic intelligence and is viewed by some administration officials as a critical step in the administration's effort to hand over the running of the country to Iraqis. (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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