Monday, June 11, 2007

Sudan is secret partner of U.S.

Khartoum supplies information to the CIA on insurgents in Iraq

"Sudan has secretly worked with the CIA to spy on the insurgency in Iraq - an example of how the United States has continued to cooperate with the Sudanese regime even while condemning its role in the killing of tens of thousands of civilians in Darfur......

Sudan has become increasingly valuable to the United States since the Sept. 11 attacks because the Sunni Arab nation is a crossroads for Islamic militants making their way to Iraq and Pakistan.

That steady flow of foreign fighters has provided cover for Sudan's Mukhabarat intelligence service to insert spies into Iraq, officials said.

"If you've got jihadists traveling via Sudan to get into Iraq, there's a pattern there in and of itself that would not raise suspicion," said a former high-ranking CIA official familiar with Sudan's cooperation with the agency. "It creates an opportunity to send Sudanese into that pipeline."

As a result, Sudan's spies have often been in better position than the CIA to gather information on al-Qaida's presence in Iraq, as well as on the activities of other insurgent groups......

They said that Sudan has assembled a network of informants in Iraq providing intelligence on the insurgency. Some may have been recruited as they traveled through the Sudanese capital, Khartoum.

The U.S.-Sudan relationship goes beyond Iraq. Sudan has helped the United States track the turmoil in Somalia, working to cultivate contacts with militias and Islamic courts in an effort to locate al-Qaida suspects hiding there. Sudan also has provided extensive cooperation in counter-terrorism operations, acting on U.S. requests to detain suspects as they pass through Khartoum......."

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