Iraqi National Intel Service reformed


Book Reviewer
Good article online at Jane's Intelligence Review at (deep breath)

by Sean Boyne and Ed Blanche
C. Jane's 2005

Islamist Threat

Another major focus for INIS [Iraqi National Intelligence Service] is the threat posed inside Iraq by Islamist extremists, and it has drawn up a detailed report on the organisational structure and the personalities involved in the Al-Tawhid group led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. In September 2004 the website of the Saudi newspaper Al-Watan published details of the Iraqi intelligence report on the group, which had been passed to a "prominent European country". According to the study, the group has between 1,000 and 1,500 fighters from Iraq and other Arab and Islamic countries. They include explosives experts and fighters, expert in the use of a variety of weapons. The small inner circle around Zarqawi is composed of non-Iraqis whom the leader has known and trusted for a long time. His senior aide is named in the report and is thought to be Syrian.

The report names a prominent activist who was said to have been a rocket expert under the Saddam regime. Another named activist, an explosives expert, is said to be a former Lebanese soldier who used to reside in Denmark. The study said that Fallujah was the main headquarters of Zarqawi's group, which had divided Iraq into nine regions, each with a commander. The report estimated that there were 500 fighters concentrated in Fallujah, under the command of an activist with the pseudonym of Abu Nawas. This was written before the US-led assault on Fallujah in November. The report estimated that there were 400 fighters in Mosul; 60 in Anbar; 50 in Baghdad; 50 in Samarra; 80 in Diyali province; and 150 in the city of Al-Qaim, near the frontier with Syria, with the remainder spread through other areas and cities. Only Zarqawi and a small number of aides knew the location of various hiding places, and dumps of weapons and explosives, the report said.

Few details have been released about the inner workings of INIS as it seeks to deal with the insurgency. It would make sense for INIS to liaise with the very experienced intelligence services attached to the two main Kurdish militias in northern Iraq. It has been claimed, for instance, that Jalal Talabani's PUK organisation provided the vital intelligence that led to the capture of Saddam Hussein in a cellar hideout near his home city of Tikrit in December 2003. The PUK militia also amassed intelligence on the Islamic extremists of Ansar al Islam group that operated in northern Iraq in recent years. The other Kurdish party, the KDP, has long operated a quite sophisticated intelligence wing called Parastin. It was set up in 1966 with the aid of the Israeli Mossad, at a time when Israel was providing arms, military training and funding to the Iraqi Kurds. The first head of Parastin was Massoud Barzani, now leader of the KDP. INIS will need all the assistance it can muster in tackling a very formidable insurgency that is likely to increase in ferocity in the run-up to the Iraqi elections scheduled for the end of January 2005.


amazing what turns up on the Web......

<< Bonne Annee tous>>

Lee Shaver


Book Reviewer
doomsayer said:
I take it that you have to be a subscriber to Janes to access that URL? In which case it is not much use to the majority of us????
well, there are a number of Arrse folk who can access it
( and if you are one of them this might work for you - )

Doomsayer, my apologies if you feel miffed that you cannot.....but then I note that you haven't felt able to make an online contribution to Arrse either.....isn't it worth the price of a couple of pints ?

Happy New Year !


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