Former Iraqi Defense Intelligence Chief Requests Resettlement, Comments On Ba’th Party And Aqi

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¶1. (S) Emboff met on April 3 with retired Iraqi Lt. General
Khalid al-Jibouri, chief of Iraqi military intelligence from
1991-1995, at the latter’s request. Jibouri explained that
he came to Jordan from Syria in November, 2006, after leaving
Baghdad due to repeated death threats. Noting that he worked
with the U.S. Army during the CPA period, Jibouri claimed to
have kept aloof from most of his senior Ba,th and ex-army
contacts since leaving Baghdad. He noted that the Iraq’s
Ba,th party is undergoing a process of gradual renewal after
a period of near collapse at the time of the war. He
characterized the recent Ba,thist party split between Izzat
Ibrahim al-Duri and Mohammed Yunus al-Ahmed as a personality
and regional-based division being manipulated by the SARQ.
Jibouri opined that the al-Duri faction is actually headed by
a shadowy group using al-Duri as a symbol, and is still on
top. Jibouri claimed that both Ba,thist and
non-Ba,thist-oriented insurgents increasingly recognize AQI
as a major threat to their interests, and predicted that AQI
will ultimately lose any intra-Sunni struggle. Jibouri
recommended that the USG continue to improve its
understanding of Iraq’s traditional regional political
diversity, and adjust its diplomatic strategies accordingly.

¶2. (S) Citing his previous work with U.S. forces as the
cause for the death threats, Jibouri requested assistance in
obtaining resettlement for himself and his family in the
United States or the UK. End Summary.

Meeting with Former Iraqi Military Intelligence Chief
——————————————— ——-

¶3. (S) Emboff met on April 3 in Amman with former
(1991-1995) head of Iraqi military intelligence, Lt. General
Khalid Mohammed Abbas al-Jibouri, at the latter’s request.
Jibouri was referred to Emboff by a mutual friend, the
London-based Lt. General Mohammad Bara’a al-Rubaie, who was a
“finalist” for selection as Minister of Defense in the Maliki
government. Like Rubaie, Jibouri is a Sandhurst graduate and
has substantial experience working with western military
organizations. According to Jibouri, he was Iraq’s military
attach in West Germany in the 1970,s, and served as the
senior official liaison between the USG and Iraqi military
intelligence during the Iran-Iraq war. He speaks fluent
English.

Retired Three Times
——————-

¶4. (S) The Baghdad-born Jibouri claimed that he has always
been a professional military officer and “not a politician.”
After serving as senior staff officer at military
intelligence headquarters, Jibouri says he was abruptly
retired in 1989, but brought back into active service six
months later. He became acting Director of Intelligence in
1991, but was removed from this position in June 1993,
retired, and degraded to the rank of Brigadier General.
Notwithstanding this disgrace, Jibouri said that he was
returned to active duty as Director of Military Intelligence
and given the rank of Lt. General in December, 1993. Jibouri
was retired for the third and final time (this time with full
honors) in 1995. Jibouri attributed this erratic career path
to a conflict between Saddam,s “suspicion of military
professionals,” and his pragmatic recognition of a need for
them. In 2005, Jibouri was granted a Ph.D. in Arab history
by the Arab League Union of Arab Historians.

Alleged Post-war Work with U.S. Army
————————————

¶5. (S) Jibouri claimed that he actively cooperated with U.S.
military organizations from late 2003 until June 2004, after
which he said he lost touch with his USG contacts. He
provided a copy of a letter from a DOD official working in
the Information Collection Program dated 22 November 2003
attesting that his “assistance and friendship” to the U.S.
government “is directly responsible for preventing attacks
against coalition forces and saving lives.” Jibouri said
that from February to June 2004 he worked with Dr. Mohammed

al-Mashadani as an advisor on contract to the U.S. Army, and
prepared many written analyses for the USG while in this
position. He provided a copy of a U.S. army certificate from
that time that authorized him to possess an AK-47 and a 9mm
pistol. Amman DAO Comment: Jibouri was entry #142 on the DIA
Blacklist. The Blacklist, which is no longer maintained, was
a list of individuals targeted for detention/questioning
following the war because of their position in the former
regime. Jibouri submitted a letter in 2003 asking to be
removed from the list given his cooperation with Coalition
forces. End DAO Amman Comment.

Flight from Baghdad
——————–

¶6. (S) Because of this service and other perceived
cooperation with coalition forces, Jibouri claimed that he
received “three credible death threats” from Iraqi insurgent
elements during 2005 and 2006, leading him to move his family
from Baghdad to Syria in June 2006, and from Syria to Jordan
in November 2006. Jibouri does not have a Jordanian
residency permit, and said that he is ready to work for the
U.S. government as an analyst, teacher, or in another
capacity, and requested assistance in resettlement in the
United States or the U.K. for himself and his family (one
wife and two children). Emboff promised to relay this
message.

Unpleasant Sojourn in Syria
—————————

¶7. (S) Jibouri claimed that he was under steady surveillance
while in Syria, and required to check in frequently with
Syrian police authorities who expressed suspicion that he was
an “American infiltrator.” He described Iraqi migr life
in Syria as dominated by Iraqi Ba,thists whom he said
exercise a heavy hand over much of the Iraqi community there.
“If you don’t cooperate with them your life (in the Iraqi
migr community) is very difficult,” he said.

¶8. (S) He contrasted this situation with the Iraqi community
in Jordan, which he described as much freer and apolitical in
its interactions. Jibouri conceded that he had some “chance
encounters” with senior ex-Iraqi military and Ba,thist
individuals in Syria and Jordan, but stressed that he has
avoided regular contact with them, both out of personal
preference and because he did not want to encourage suspicion
of his activities by the host governments. Nonetheless, he
offered his “personal opinion” on some issues related to
current Ba,thist infighting, attitudes towards al-Qaeda in
Iraq (AQI), and other issues.

Comments on Ba,thists
———————

¶9. (S) Jibouri said that Iraq’s Ba,th party was in a “state
of shock” at the end of the war. He recalled that in the
1960,s the Ba,th was a tightly organized vanguard group
that was able to outmaneuver both the similarly organized
Communists and the Nasserites. However, he claimed, Saddam
moved against the old cadres and favored “quantity over
quality” in terms of party membership, with the result that
the party lost most of its institutional dynamic and
integrity. Ironically, he asserted, the aftermath of the war
has given the Iraqi Ba,th party a new lease on life. He
opined that it is both “modernizing” (in the sense of
recognizing that it will no longer be able to rule Iraq as a
sole, dictatorial party) and “returning to its roots” by
becoming better organized and nationalistic in its approach.
Jibouri speculated that a renewed Ba,th party would likely
do well if and when it participates in free democratic
elections in Iraq.

Al-Duri Faction Still on Top
—————————-

¶10. (S) With regard to the recent party split between Izzat
al-Duri and Mohammad Yunus al-Ahmed, Jibouri claimed that the
recent Aleppo conference which “deposed” Duri was largely a
manipulation by the SARG, and thought that the Duri faction
still has the loyalty of most Iraqi Ba,thists. He portrayed
the real split as probably more personality and regional
(Mosul versus Salah-ad-Din) than ideologically-based. He
said that he knows Yunus al-Ahmed well, and called him “very

honest and very inflexible.” His impression is that Duri is
essentially a symbolic figure, and opined that there is a
powerful shadow group of personnel behind him who really
constitute the operational leadership of his faction.
Despite their military ranks, both Duri and Yunus al-Ahmed
have always been political figures with little military
training, according to Jibouri, who added that they are not
seen by army professionals as “real military men.”

Ba,thists and AQI
—————–

¶11. (S) Jibouri speculated that Iraq’s Ba,thist
establishment may be currently more concerned about AQI as an
immediate threat than it is about the Shi,ite parties and
the GOI. Jibouri said that, if it ever was, AQI has “ceased
to be useful” to the Ba,th and is increasingly viewed as
potentially threatening to Ba,thist and ex-army nationalist
interests and to the integrity of Iraq. He repeated comments
from others that AQI generally pays its fighters much better
than anyone else. That being said, he predicted that AQI
will ultimately lose out in any intra-Iraqi power struggle in
Sunni areas because of its anti-nationalism, its lack of a
tribal base, and its rejection of tribal politics.

Iraq’s Regional Political Structures
————————————

¶12. (S) Jibouri remarked that Iraq’s regional political
structure is very diverse, and claimed that political
leadership is exercised quite differently in different areas
of Iraq. For example, he said, Sunni areas in general have
historically been dominated by tribal politics (with tribal
sheikhs as the leadership class), while politics in the
Shi,ite south has been traditionally dominated by clerical
figures. In the South, he claimed, no tribal Sheikh could
ever be successful politically without backing from some
prominent clerics, while in the West clerics generally had
little true political influence. He said that the Baghdad
area has yet another political tradition, which it retains to
this day “apart from Sadr city,” which he said is more
similar to the South. Jibouri argued that the USG should
continue efforts to improve its understanding of Iraq’s
differing regional political traditions, and tailor its
diplomatic strategies accordingly.

¶13. (S) Jibouri agreed to remain in close touch with Emboff,
and provided a hand-written resume of his career which has
been provided to State offices as well as DAO and Regional
Affairs, along with copies of the other documents he
presented.

¶14. (S) Action request for Washington agencies: Please
provide guidance on further questions for Jibouri, if
desired, and on his request for assistance in resettlement in
the United States and possible USG employment. Embassy Amman
will ensure that he can be considered for access to the U.S.
Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP).

¶15. (U) This cable was cleared by Embassy Baghdad.
HALE
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