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Russian Defence Ministry Intelligence Information Pops Up on the Internet
Subj: [liberation_news] Russian Intel update: April 6, Iraqi Baghdad defense intact
Date: 4/6/2003 11:36:01 AM Central Daylight Time
Russian Defence Ministry Intelligence Information Pops Up on the
Internet - From Izvestia
"A strange new character, who publishes his materials on the war in Iraq under the name 'Ramzaj', the pseudonym of the legendary Soviet intelligence officer Richard Sorge, has appeared on the net. What is quite amazing, is how accurately he describes events occurring in the Persian Gulf. He is leaving world news agencies in the dust! It's not just a question of accurate predictions and prognostications, the conviction is growing that Ramzaj is passing along real intelligence information. According to gazeta.ru, on March 19th, twenty-four hours before the start of ground operations in Iraq, on one
of those specialized Internet forums, Iraqwar.ru, two very intriguing
One of them, entitled 'An Element of US Attack Plans Revealed' and the second 'GRU reveals elements of US Attack Plans'. They described (with geographic details) the general concept of the American-British invasion of Iraq. In part, they pointed out that the attack on Basra would be diversionary, its objective to pin down Iraqi formations concentrated around the city, and that the main attack would be carried out via a deep encirclement of Basra from the west via An-Nasiriya and El-Arma coming out in the region of lake Hawr-Es-Savakiya, thus forming an outer frontline ring around Basra. It was stated that; 'from El-Arma, a portion of the force will develop attacks along the river Euphrates exiting in the area of lake Habbaniya, followed by the seizure of the town of El-Habbaniya and the establishment of a front to the south of Baghdad with partial encirclement to the south-west.' This very detailed information appeared on the forum 12 hours before the start of ground operations in Iraq.
At 11:07 on the 20th March, in the very same forum, Ramzaj's next communiqu¨¦ appeared under the headline "Operational Information." In it, the results of the first attacks on Baghdad were described, together with detailed clarifications of the situation of the coalition's attacks in various specific directions. In particular, details were given of their first losses; 'At 9:50, a helicopter of the 101st Airborne was lost in a crash due to poor visibility. So far there is no information about losses.' But remember, at that time, early on the 20th, world press agencies were still carrying information about the first powerful attack on Baghdad and packaged information about the movement of coalition troops.
Indirect confirmation of the coalition's first helicopter loss appeared on the 20th of March at 16:16, seven hours after Ramzaj released it. Reuters, relying on Pentagon sources, announced that early that morning, before the start of the bombing and cruise missile attacks in the south of Iraq, a coalition helicopter (possibly a MN-53) with a team of elite, special forces on board had been 'involved in a crash.'They confirmed that the helicopter crew together with the special forces unit had been picked up by a rescue team sent to the site of the crash. It was only on the 21st of March at 5:49 in the morning,by this time 24 hours after Ramzaj's communiqu¨¦,that Reuters confirmed that the Pentagon had admitted the loss of a US marine helicopter, a Boeing CN-46 Sea Knight. It was announced that the helicopter had gone down in Kuwait with the loss of 11 men.
From then on it became obvious that Ramzaj was not the fantasy of some half-mad, military tactics and strategy buff on the forum. Careful analysis of the text of "Operational Information," in comparison with TV and wire service agencies operating in Iraq, reveals that Ramzaj offers an account very close the actual course of military activity. In practically every one of his communiqu¨¦s there is concrete information which will only be confirmed by the Pentagon and the media two or three days later.
But operational information on the development of the military action in Iraq, it seems, is only a part of what Ramzaj knows. In addition to the information obtained ahead of everyone else there is also information from the secret services. The clearest example, confirmed in the article, appears in "Operational Information" for the 25th of March 2003; "12:40, Ramzaj; According to intelligence received, the Pentagon has taken a decision to significantly strengthen its military forces in the region. In the coming two weeks, up to 50,000 soldiers and officers and no fewer than 500 tanks taken from forces quartered in Germany and Albania will be transferred there. By the end of April, no fewer than 120,000 troops and 1000 tanks will be transferred.' It was only the following day, the 26th of March at 19:23 that the Reuters agency announced that the US was sending additional forces to Iraq; "It was learned from military sources that, in the next few days, a transfer of elements of the 4th marine division together with other fully modernized units, totaling some 30,000 men, will be carried out." An hour later
George Bush made the official announcement about strengthening the forces deployed in Iraq.
Gazeta.ru's analysis of Ramzaj's output in the period from the 19th to
the 28th of March leaves no doubt that behind this information,
appearing regularly on the Internet, stands a representative of GRU GHQ MO Russia, that wants, in this way, to exert a powerful influence on available information about the war in Iraq.
Translation:Paul U. Provodnik