Tags: Analyst | Warns | Terror | Teams

Analyst Warns of Terror Teams

Friday, 15 November 2002 12:00 AM

Russell Ross, a senior analyst for the State Department's Overseas Advisory Council, which counsels U.S. businesses on security threats abroad, told a packed State Department auditorium of corporate security officers, "If we go to war with Iraq, Iraqi terrorists could be dispatched throughout the world."

Ross, an analyst who focuses on Southeast and East Asia for OSAC, qualified his assessment that this was his opinion and was not based on specific intelligence the U.S. Government had received.

A U.S. intelligence official confirmed that the risk was real, telling United Press International, "If he sees himself under attack he will lash out and look for ways to retaliate, and you can't rule out him launching terrorist strikes."

Ross said his analysis is based on Saddam's previous behavior. "Before the Gulf War Iraq dispatched terrorist teams throughout the world to attack including Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia and Thailand." He added these teams "failed miserably" because they did not have high quality explosives nor did they possess very good phony documents.

"Next time I fear Iraqi teams will have better documents, better explosives and better armed devices. They will be harder to detect," he said. "The State Department is not the only place where people learn from their past mistakes."

While the CIA has not publicly warned about the prospect of Iraqi terrorism in the event of U.S.-led military action, last month CIA Director George Tenet did write, in a subsequently declassified letter, to Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., that Saddam would be more likely to use chemical or biological weapons if attacked.

The warning also meshes with reports last year from Iraqi defectors that the Iraqi government maintains a base outside of Baghdad in the agricultural community of Salman Pak where training in hijacking and other black arts of terrorism took place.

The United States has threatened military action against Baghdad if Saddam does not allow weapons inspections to catalogue and dismantle what U.S. intelligence believes are significant numbers of chemical and biological weapons, and a clandestine nuclear program.

OSAC's Web site provides businesses with information pertaining to the security environment overseas for large corporations such as travel warnings and notices to American citizens abroad.

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Russell Ross, a senior analyst for the State Department's Overseas Advisory Council, which counsels U.S. businesses on security threats abroad, told a packed State Department auditorium of corporate security officers, "If we go to war with Iraq, Iraqi terrorists could be...
Analyst,Warns,Terror,Teams
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2002-00-15
Friday, 15 November 2002 12:00 AM
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