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NSA, Ethiopians Take SIGINT Partnership to New Level

Sep. 13 2017 — 6:39p.m.

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DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL (S//SI) NSA, Ethiopians Take SIGINT Partnership to New Level FROM: Country Desk Officer - Ethiopia (DP12) Run Date: 08/25/2006 (S//SI) Eventful TDY to Ethiopia results in agreement to conduct a High-Powered Cordless Phone survey in the Ogaden region, targeting al-Qa'ida sympathizers, smugglers. (S//SI) The Second Annual Planning Conference (APC) between NSA and the Ethiopian Military Intelligence Directorate occurred in early May at the Deployed SIGINT Operations Center (DSOC - aka "Lion's Pride") in the Gofa suburb of Addis Ababa. It was a success by all accounts and went a long way to paving the road for expanding this important partnership. (S//SI) The drive to the DSOC facility took us through an intersection called Confusion Corner. Imagine an intersection where eight or nine roads all meet with no one in particular having the expressed right of way, no stoplights or signs. It comes down to sheer guts and determination to get through it and continue on your journey. The term chaos comes to mind, but each morning we reached the DSOC ready to work. DSOC (S//SI) Deployed SIGINT Operations Center (DSOC), Addis Ababa (S//SI) The APC venue fostered much frank discussion between the partner and the NSA target-office representatives, and led to a greater understanding of how the partnership can expand. This was the second APC, and most of the Americans had not attended the first one held in December 2004. In fact, the Country Desk Officer (CDO) and Technical Liaison Manager (TLM) had only worked this partnership for three months, and the SIGINT Liaison Officer (SLO) had been in Addis for less than one year. Ethiopian (S//SI) Ethiopian Annual Plannning Conference participants: (l-r) (S//SI) Even so, all arrived at the APC ready to discuss the steps necessary to take the partnership to a new level. From its inception, the partnership has been based on HF clear voice communications. With both sides ready to expand, by the end of day two it was agreed that the next step would be to conduct a high-powered cordless phone (HPCP) survey in the Ogaden Region of eastern Ethiopia and the surrounding Somalia border area. It is believed that these communications will yield intelligence on suspected al-Qa'ida sympathizers and illicit smugglers operating in the Horn of Africa, providing further indication of this partnership's importance in supporting the Global War on Terrorism. (U//FOUO) It was not all work, and some of us ventured out to what was touted as the best restaurant in all of Africa, Ristorante Castelli. The Italian proprietor made sure that we finished every morsel that was served to us. It was a delicious meal, and well worth the unpredictable cab ride through the dark, narrow streets of Addis.

dinner (U//FOUO) Dinner at Ristorante Castelli: (l-r) (S//SI) The TDY ended with one more trip through Confusion Corner en route to the SLO's house for a farewell dinner. However, the eighth of what would be nine bombs that were detonated in the city that day had just gone off at the intersection, so we were hurried through by the Ethiopian police. Our driver had to rethink his route; however, before we got too far, the car's transmission went out, and we were stranded on the side of the road for over an hour while we waited for an Embassy driver to rescue us. (S//SI) Fortunately, the transmission miraculously repaired itself, and we were escorted through the back streets of Addis to reach our destination. Speculation was that the bombs were in response to the upcoming one-year anniversary of the current Ethiopian Government. bombed (U) Bombed-out bus at Confusion Corner (S//SI) We enjoyed our last meal in Addis at the SLO's house and then headed to the airport to catch our 10 o'clock flight. Despite the bombings of the day, there were no delays at the airport, and we took off as planned. All of us who work the Ethiopian partnership are fully engaged in working the actions that resulted from the 2006 APC and are confident that moving this partnership forward was the right choice. Editor's note: (S//SI) Have you had any SIGINT dealings with the Ethiopians? Do you have any info to add to this article? Please post your comment in the SIDtoday blog. (U//FOUO) This extract is taken from an article in the Foreign Affairs Digest, July-August edition. See also the below articles posted previously: (U) LION'S PRIDE - Fighting Terrorism on the Horn of Africa (S//SI) Expanding Joint US-Ethiopian SIGINT Collection "(U//FOUO) SIDtoday articles may not be republished or reposted outside NSANet without the consent of S0121 (DL sid_comms)." Information Owner: , (email) Page Publisher: (email) Last Modified: 11/09/2012 / Last Reviewed: 11/09/2012 designed DYNAMIC PAGE -- HIGHEST POSSIBLE CLASSIFICATION IS TOP SECRET // SI / TK // REL TO USA AUS CAN GBR NZL DERIVED FROM: NSA/CSSM 1-52, DATED 08 JAN 2007 DECLASSIFY ON: 20320108

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