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Cable 652: Iraqi Special Police Commander Vows to "Fight Terror With Terror"

Cable 652: Iraqi Special Police Commander Vows to "Fight Terror With Terror"

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Published by Andres
This is a 2005 US embassy report on a meeting between the US Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism and Iraqi Ministry of Interior police and intelligence officials to discuss strategy and tactics in the war on the armed insurgency in Iraq.
This is a 2005 US embassy report on a meeting between the US Coordinator for Counter-Terrorism and Iraqi Ministry of Interior police and intelligence officials to discuss strategy and tactics in the war on the armed insurgency in Iraq.

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Published by: Andres on Oct 30, 2011
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01/15/2014

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Wikileaks Note: The full text of this cable is notavailable.
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 03 BAGHDAD 005038SUBJECT: COORDINATOR FOR COUNTERTERRORISM VISITSIRAQ, MEETS WITH MINISTRY OF INTERIOR OFFICIALS
Classified By: COUNSELOR FOR POLITICAL-MILITARYAFFAIRS DAVID C. LITT F OR REASONS 1.4 (a), (b),(c). (d)¶1. (S) SUMMARY: On December 5-8, 2005, AmbassadorHenry A. Crumpton, the Coordinator for Counter-terrorism (S/CT), visited Iraq to meet withEmbassy, military, and Iraqi officials. During hisvisit Ambassador Crumpton met with Ministry ofInterior (MOI) officials responsible for counter-terrorism and election security. The DeputyMinister in charge of Police Services and thecommander of the Special Police Forces briefedAmbassador Crumpton on the role their forces playin the fight against terrorism. They expressed theview that it is necessary to "fight terror withterror" and that it is critical that their forcesbe respected and feared, as this is what isrequired in Iraqi society to command authority. Atthe same time, they recognize the need to promotehuman rights and the rule of law, and say they donot want their forces to be "brutal." AmbassadorCrumpton was also briefed by the Deputy Ministerresponsible for election security about theinteragency success he has achieved in pulling
 
together various competing organizations toformulate and successfully execute plans to protectthe security of citizens wishing to vote.Ambassador Crumpton was accompanied on his visit byS/CT Regional Affairs Officer Margaret Hawthorne.END SUMMARY.
------------------------------------------ MINISTRY OF INTERIOR SPECIAL POLICE FORCES------------------------------------------
2. (C) At the Ministry of Interior (MOI)Ambassador Crumpton was received by Major GeneralAli Ghalib, Deputy Minister for Police Services,and Major General Adnan Thabit, commander of theSpecial Police Forces, which include the PoliceCommando Brigades and the Public Order Battalions,both of which play a major role in the fightagainst terrorists. MG Ghalib explained that theMOI had come to the fight against terrorism lateand is still trying to catch up with theinsurgents, although great progress has been made.He assessed that there are three phases ofterrorism: the first is the spread within societyof the notion that the use of terror is legitimate;the second is the building of cells and thepenetration of different levels of society to allowfor movement and support; the third, and mostdifficult and dangerous phase, is the attack phase.Ghalib said that the Iraqis were still strugglingto establish a government and institutions when theterrorists were already at phase two. But in thepast six months great strides have been made. "Itwas as if they had us by the neck and our arms weretoo weak to resist. But now we have the strength
 
not only to push them away but also to begin topunish them."¶3. (C) Ghalib continued that the challenges facedby the MOI in battling the insurgency fall intomaterial needs and the inherent challenge offighting a war while trying to instill a respectfor the rule of law at the same time. On thematerial front, the MOI needs more and betterpeople who can fight the enemy. These officersrequire weapons, vehicles, radios, and tools tosearch vehicles at checkpoints. Ghalib said thepolice also need "political support" and isconfident that if the political process in Iraqsucceeds, terrorism will decline. He explained thedifficulty in balancing a strong force and, at thesame time, promoting the values of human rights andrule of law. He lamented that for the past 40years, the people of Iraq have been ruled by apowerful police force. Accordingly, in order forthis new force to be respected, it must bepowerful.
--------------------------"FIGHT TERROR WITH TERROR"--------------------------
¶4. (C) MG Thabit, who created and commands theSpecial Police Forces, is a Sunni officer whoserved time in prison for attempting to overthrowthe Saddam regime. He formed the Special Policewith a number of former regime soldiers and policewho "didn't have any blood on their hands" and hasbuilt them into an effective but feared unit.

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