W A S H I N G T O N, Nov. 12 ó Iraq has begun an aggressive surveillance campaign of American embassies and military facilities throughout the Persian
Gulf, Europe and Asia, ABCNEWS has learned.
Sources say the United States has new intelligence indicating the Iraqi government has ordered its diplomats to use the cover of its embassies to
conceal this effort. Until recently, officials say, Iraq conducted virtually no such surveillance. That has now changed dramatically.
In an incident last June, the United States expelled a U.N.-based Iraqi diplomat, Abdul Rahman I.K. Saad, alleging he had spied on the United States.
He was said to have attempted to recruit several Americans who work in diplomatic and U.N. roles to contribute intelligence to Iraq.
The United States broke diplomatic relations with Iraq after its 1990 invasion of Kuwait. The only Iraqi diplomats who are still in the United States
are those who work for the country's U.N. mission.
Targeting the U.S.
The most recent targets under surveillance include:
In Amman, Jordan, Iraqi diplomats have rented an apartment overlooking the American Embassy, allowing for 24-hour surveillance.
In Helsinki, Finland, a man was seen videotaping the U.S. Embassy from a car with Iraqi diplomatic plates.
American officials also believe that the U.S. naval facility in Rota, Spain, one of the largest in Europe, is under Iraqi surveillance. The U.S.
naval complex in the Persian Gulf nation of Bahrain ó by far, the most important U.S. port facility in the region ó is under surveillance as well.
Last week in the Philippines, an Iraqi diplomat was observed videotaping a cemetery where hundreds of Americans who died in World War II are
buried. The cemetery was to be the scene of an official remembrance ceremony today, Veteran's Day. The event, which was to include the U.S.
ambassador, was canceled because of the surveillance.
Some of the Iraqi activity is so visible, intelligence sources say, that it's not clear whether Iraqi agents want to be seen, in order to send the
United States a threatening message ó or if they are just very clumsy.
Regardless of the answer, officials say they can only assume all this activity is for some kind of terrorist activity against the United States at a
time and place of Iraq's choosing.
SOURCE: ABC News