BAGHDAD Ñ 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
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
"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
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.