Defense Intell Chief Outlines World Security Climate
By Jim Garamone
of the Defense Intelligence Agency outlined the security environment
for members of the Senate Intelligence Committee during testimony
Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby said the Iraqi security situation varies
across the country.
the north and south of the country are quiet while the central
region is the scene of most anti-coalition attacks. In the north,
Kurds – under the umbrella of Operation Northern Watch,
created a quasi-autonomous state, and the economy and infrastructure
are largely intact. In the south, moderate Shia clerics and the
Shia population support coalition efforts and oppose former regime
the situation could become volatile," Jacoby warned. "Shia
backing for the coalition is based largely on expectations that
a political structure based on an elected representative government
serves their interests."
attacks in central Iraq account for the vast majority of all incidents.
"Anti-coalition activity centers in Sunni-dominated areas,
especially west of Baghdad, around Mosul and along the Baghdad-Tikrit
corridor," he said.
capture of Saddam Hussein reduced the morale and effectiveness
of some former regime elements, but many "are motivated by
Arab and Iraqi nationalism and self-interest and will continue
the resistance, opposing the foreign presence and emerging new
But much of
the Sunni population remains undecided on whether to back the
coalition or support the opposition. "The key factor is whether
stability can be established and whether viable alternatives to
the Baathists or Islamists emerge," Jacoby said.
of anti-coalition attacks has declined since the post war high
hit during November 2003, he said. However, foreign fighters are
emerging as a threat.
from numerous countries are reported to have entered Iraq,"
Jacoby said. "They are motivated by Arab nationalism, extremist
religious ideology and/or resentment of U.S. policies and beliefs.
Most are assessed to be linked to groups that hope to gain notoriety
and increased support by conducting attacks in Iraq."
attacks against coalition forces by Taliban and Hezb-e Islami
Gulbuddin terrorists continue. "The majority of the attacks
are ineffective rocket or bomb attacks," he said. "However,
recent attacks show increasing accuracy and sophistication."
are targeting humanitarian assistance and reconstruction personnel;
some organizations have suspended operations. "Upcoming political
events such as the June 2004 presidential elections may prompt
increases in violence," Jacoby told the senators.
worried about the safety of Afghan President Hamid Karzai. "Karzai’s
ability to use his growing political strength to encourage compliance
with his reform agenda may provide long term stability, but could
result in near term tensions," he said.
Hamid Karzai remains critical to stability in Afghanistan. As
a Pashtun, he remains the only individual capable of maintaining
the trust of Afghanistan’s largest ethnic group (Pashtuns) and
support of other ethnic minorities," Jacoby noted. "A
Taliban insurgency that continues to target humanitarian assistance
and reconstruction efforts is a serious threat, potentially eroding
commitments to stability and progress in Afghanistan."
agency chief said that Pakistani assistance remains a key to a
successful outcome in Afghanistan. "Pakistan has been more
active against al Qaeda infrastructure, and Pakistani military
operations have contributed to the disruption of al Qaeda sanctuaries,
particularly in South Waziristan," he said.
at length about the threat al Qaeda poses. He said that despite
25 months of sustained pressure, the terrorist group continues
to demonstrate it is an adaptable and capable threat.
network has directed numerous attacks since 9/11, most recently
in Istanbul and Riyadh," he said. "Al Qaeda continues
to enjoy considerable support and is able to recruit terrorists.
Capable but less experienced individuals are replacing those captured."
He said al
Qaeda and other groups remain interested in acquiring chemical,
biological, radiological and nuclear weapons. "We remain
concerned about rogue scientists and the potential that state
actors are providing, or will provide, technological assistance
to terrorist organizations," Jacoby said.
said that the agency is worried about terrorist use of man-portable
air defense system missiles against civilian and military aircraft.
He said this fear was underscored following the attack last fall
against a commercial cargo aircraft in Baghdad and a failed attack
against an El Al airliner in Mombassa in 2002.
attack would produce a large number of casualties, international
publicity and a significant economic impact on civil aviation,
Jacoby said. "These systems are highly portable, easy to
conceal, inexpensive, available in the global weapons market and
instruction manuals are on the Internet," he said.
aircraft are not equipped with countermeasures and commercial
pilots are not trained in evasive measures. An attack could occur
with little or no warning. Terrorists may attempt to capitalize
on these vulnerabilities."
intelligence professionals are increasingly concerned over about
ungoverned spaces. These are areas where national governments
exercise little or no control. "Terrorist groups and narco-traffickers
use these areas as sanctuaries to train, plan and organize, relatively
free from interference," he said.
numerous ungoverned spaces around the world. These include the
western provinces in Pakistan, portions of the southern Philippines,
some Indonesian islands, Chechnya, rural areas in Burma, the Horn
of Africa and areas in South America. But these are not simply
empty areas, he said.
spaces include densely populated cities where terrorists can congregate
and prepare for operations with relative impunity," he said.
"I believe these areas will play an increasingly important
role in the war on terrorism as al Qaeda, its associated groups
and other terrorist organizations use these areas as bases for