Alawi fires military chief of staff for leaks to insurgents

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

BAGHDAD Iraq's military chief of staff has been dismissed for failing to stem intelligence leaks.

Iraqi sources said Prime Minister Iyad Alawi and the Cabinet have ordered a reshuffle of the military brass amid allegations of intelligence leaks to Sunni insurgents. The sources said Alawi has fired Chief of Staff Gen. Amir Bakr Al Hashimi and five of his aides.

The dismissals marked the acknowledgement by the new interim Iraqi government of the infiltration of the military and security services by insurgency groups. The police and former Iraqi Civil Defense Corps were penetrated by Sunni and Shi'ite insurgents in late 2003 and early 2004. The chief of staff and his aides were accused of failing to prevent leaks from the Iraqi Defense Ministry to a range of unspecified insurgency groups, a government source told the official Kuwait News Agency, Kuna.. They said the dismissals were confirmed by Defense Minister Hazim Shalan.

"The Defense Ministry took strict measures after discovering what it described as a serious security failure, something which led to a revision of many security measures," the source said.

So far, a Defense Ministry aide, identified as Mohammed Majid, has been arrested for relaying intelligence information to insurgency groups.

Earlier, Majid's son, Humam, was arrested in an operation by the Iraqi National Guard.

During the interrogation, Humam was said to have told Iraqi interrogators that he received military and security information from his father. Majid was then arrested last week.

Copyright 2004 East West Services, Inc.

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