SIGINT target package leads to USMC capture of al Qaeda weapons procurer

Sep. 6 2016 — 8:59a.m.


DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (TS//SI//REL) SIGINT Target Package Leads to USMC Capture of al-Qa'ida Weapons Procurer FROM: Menwith Hill Station (F77) Run Date: 07/05/2007 (TS//REL) The capture may result in a diminished flow of weapons and insurgents into Iraq. (TS//SI//REL) The United States Marine Corps arrested Abu Sayf, a Syrian-based facilitator for the insurgency in Iraq with ties to Al Qa'ida, on 28 May in Anah, Iraq. The 1st Radio Battalion in Fallujah carried out the arrest with locational information from Menwith Hill Station that was based on tippers received from NSA Georgia. (TS//SI//REL) Abu Sayf is known for procuring weapons-related materials for prominent Saudi extremists Talhah, Imad and Abu Ghadiyah. These Al Qa'ida facilitators are based in Lebanon and are directly involved with an initiative to establish a permanent base of operations in Lebanon to fund and supply its activities worldwide. Abu Sayf has knowledge of these plans for the new Al Qa'ida bridgehead in Lebanon. He is also a close associate of Syria-based facilitator Abu Yasir. (U) Leading Up to the Arrest (TS//SI//REL) Reporting and location analysis indicated that Abu Sayf was logging onto the Internet at the Super-net cafe located near the Fourth Market by the Rashidin Mosque in Anah, Iraq. He repeatedly logged in from 19 to 23 May with the user names @yahoo and @yahoo. His activity began regularly at 0800Z*, though only for a short period of time, and then again between 1321Z and 1536Z, switching between the two screen names. Many of his regular contacts also log in around the same time frame. This indicates that there is a set time for these individuals to contact and coordinate with one another. Abu Sayf and his contacts exhibited some degree of COMSEC/OPSEC**. (TS//SI//REL) On 22 May, the New Mission Development Center (NMDC) at Menwith Hill was tipped with a Priority-2 High Value Target (HVT) location request from the Network Analysis Center (SSG2) to find Abu Sayf. . The GHOSTHUNTER system located the target terminal . The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) cell located at MHS provided supporting imagery of the location, which was passed to the Operational Command and Control in Fallujah for inclusion in their targeting plan. (TS//SI//REL) Abu Sayf is Detained (TS//SI//REL) The 1st Radio Battalion target package provided continuity and confirmation of the target's continued presence in Anah. This package led to the eventual detainment of Abu Sayf. In the early morning hours of 28 May, Task Force-16 conducted a raid on the initial location where they thought the target might be located. Abu Sayf's father and his two brothers were detained in the raid, but there was no sign of the target. The raid force then moved on to the second location where Abu Sayf and five of his associates were detained.

(U) Aftermath (TS//REL) The capture of Abu Sayf may lead to information about his associates in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, as well as valuable information regarding the tactics, techniques and procedures his group uses to bring weapons, funding and fighters into Iraq. Coalition forces will also be able to exploit his direct ties to Al Qa'ida, which will likely lead to valuable information about other Al Qa'ida facilitators and operatives. His capture may also lead to a sizable reduction in the funding, coordination, and smuggling of weapons, insurgents and supplies into Iraq. (U) Notes: * (U) Z, or Zulu Time, is the standard used in watch operations around the world. It equates to Greenwich Mean Time. ** (U) COMSEC = Communications Security, OPSEC = Operations Security (U//FOUO) This article is reprinted from Menwith Hill Station's Horizon Newsletter, June edition.

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