Cointel is back: meet any new arabic-speaking guys in shiny shoes?

Major Variola (ret) mv at
Mon Nov 4 16:30:21 PST 2002
                     Officials attempt to get inside
                      cells of al Qaeda in U.S.

                      By Richard Sale
                      UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL

                           Local and federal law-enforcement agencies
                      attempting to infiltrate al Qaeda sleeper cells
operating in the
                      United States and are using disinformation
campaigns to
                      expose and neutralize the terror groups that
continue to
                      communicate with one another, U.S. intelligence
officials say.
                           FBI officials say recent
                      electronic intercepts of
                      communications between some al
                      Qaeda groups show that they are
                      "talking to each other."
                           "The cells are up and active,"
                      an FBI official said of the groups
                      believed to be embedded in most
                      U.S. cities with sizable Islamic
                      communities, such as New York,
                      Detroit and Los Angeles.
                           In a review of ongoing U.S.
                      operations, United Press
                      International was briefed on the al
                      Qaeda investigations by several
                      current and former intelligence
                      officers, all of whom asked not to be identified
by name.
                           Former CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency
officials say
                      the terrorists choose run-down neighborhoods
because "in a
                      place like that, you are invisible. People don't
care about you;
                      they don't want to look at you and don't look at
you," as one
                      put it.
                           A former senior U.S. intelligence official
explained: "The
                      members of cells don't think of themselves as
raiding parties
                      but as the front end of an invasion."
                           "If they can attack, blow things up and
disrupt society,
                      they believe there will be mass defections to
Islam and
                      society will collapse. They can then set up an
Islamic state."
                           The cells, these sources said, are made up of
                      Muslims and immigrants from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
and the
                      Persian Gulf states, and number in the thousands.
Most are
                      thought to have entered the country some time ago
and are
                      deeply entrenched in their communities.
                           To root them out, the FBI has been busy
developing a
                      network of informers in Muslim neighborhoods,
                      nightclub owners, waiters and merchants, a federal

                      law-enforcement official said.
                           Intelligence is the chief tool in the war on
terror, a senior
                      former Pentagon intelligence official said.
                           "Intelligence is really just a giant research
operation where
                      you rely on huge archival files," he said. "It's
the most
                      effective weapon you've got."
                           The next and best weapon in the war against
the cells is
                      infiltration. A longtime covert operations
specialist said law
                      enforcement is using agents who are Arabs and
fluent in
                      Arabic, who then look for ways to get inside the
                      where the cell members worship.
                           Their next goal is "to find out about the
social structure:
                      Where do they worship, where do they entertain,
what do
                      they talk about?" he said.
                           If it is known where they socialize and there
is probable
                      cause, local police might be able to place
                      devices on the premises, he said. The goal is to
identify and
                      eliminate leaders, a former CIA official said.
                           As the FBI and other law-enforcement agencies
                      knowledge, any rivalries among group members can
                      exploited, using disinformation to convince some
                      members that others are informers or traitors.
                           One FBI official explained that the purpose
is to "disrupt"
                      hostile organizations, and that FBI tactics go
back to 1956,
                      when the FBI established its Cointelpro
                      program.) This official said the program pitted
one group 
                      or even members of a single group  against
another "like
                      gladiators in ancient Rome."
                           The program has been used successfully
against such
                      groups as the Black Panthers and the Ku Klux Klan,
he said

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