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Pentagon Plans Own Global Anti-Terror Spy Network

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posted on Mar, 5 2003 @ 10:20 AM
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March 4, 2003

Pentagon Plans Own Global Anti-Terror Spy Network

THE LOS ANGELES TIMES

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon is planning to assemble its own network of spies who will be posted around the world to collect intelligence on terrorist organizations and other military targets, moving into a cloak-and-dagger realm that has traditionally been the domain of the CIA, according to Defense Department officials.

Officials said the aim is to form a deep roster of intelligence operators capable of handling a range of assignments - from reconnaissance for military operations to long-term clandestine work in which Pentagon spies would function like CIA case officers, working undercover to steal secrets and recruit informants.

The number of spies is expected to be in the hundreds, although officials cautioned it could be years before a force that size is in position.

The program would be managed by the Defense Intelligence Agency, a little-known Pentagon spy shop that mostly conducts intelligence analysis. Recruits would be drawn from all four branches of the military, with an emphasis on attracting those with special-forces backgrounds.

The effort stems in large part from frustration within the Pentagon over the extent to which the military was forced to rely on the CIA in the opening stages of the war in Afghanistan. It also reflects concern that there are too few CIA officers deployed around the world, and that they are not adequately focused on collecting intelligence that is useful to the military, several officials said.

Pentagon officials stressed that the plans are being pursued in close coordination with the CIA, and that Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and CIA Director George Tenet have discussed the matter. Officials at the agency declined to comment.




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