The U.S. military has rated intelligence from the Iraqi
National Congress led by Ahmad Chalabi as the best received from any anti-Saddam Iraqi group.
A U.S. Army report determined that INC intelligence was the best of five
Iraqi organizations that helped topple the Saddam regime. The report said
INC tactical military information provided accurate and wide-ranging
intelligence on the situation in Iraqi cities and the location of leading
"In the final analysis, the INC has been directly responsible for saving
the lives of numerous soldiers as a result of early warning and providing
surveillance of known enemy elements," the army report said.
The report was commissioned in March 2004 as part of a Defense
Department review of the cooperation by five Iraqi organizations, including
Sunni, Shi'ite and Kurdish groups.
The review was meant to determine the
extent and effectiveness of cooperation, particularly in providing
intelligence that helped U.S. troops in Iraq.
The Pentagon received the report from a senior U.S. Army intelligence
officer who worked with information provided by Iraqi opposition groups. The
report said the INC "proved to be head and shoulders above the information
provided by the other four organizations," Middle East Newsline reported
The INC, according to the chief intelligence officer of a combat
division, relayed intelligence on Saddam's forces in
Iraqi cities, including Baghdad and Tikrit. The report said the INC
identified enemy regular and irregular forces and their strongholds as well
as troop movements and morale.
The report said the INC information constituted "reconnaissance
surveillance capability that U.S. forces cannot match in an urban
environment." The report discussed INC information relayed both during and
following major U.S. combat in Iraq, a period that comprised the entire 2003
and the first two months of 2004.
The INC also provided what the report termed "imminent threat warning"
of attacks by Saddam loyalists in Iraq. The information was deemed by the
report to have been a "true force multiplier" that significantly supported
the operations of the U.S. Army 4th Infantry Division, which operated in the
The report said the INC also helped capture leading aides of Saddam.
They included four out of eight aides whose names were found in Saddam's
possession during his capture outside Tikrit in December 2003.
U.S. military intelligence said INC intelligence was strongest along the
Baghdad-Tikrit axis. A U.S. intelligence source said INC information in
northern Iraq and along the Iranian border was not nearly as reliable.
The U.S. military has come to the defense of charges against the INC and
its chief Ahmad Chalabi that they deliberately misled U.S. intelligence
during the war in Iraq. Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of
Staff, told the House Armed Services Committee in May that the INC provided
intelligence that saved the lives of U.S. soldiers.
But leading members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have called for
an investigation into Chalabi and his contacts with Iran. Unidentified U.S.
officials said Chalabi relayed classified information to Iran, including an
assertion that the United States broke the Iranian intelligence code.
"This is a very, very serious charge," Sen. Chuck Hagel said. "There is
no way the Senate Intelligence Committee is not going to be in this. I had
big concerns about him. But the fact is, there were some in this
administration, some in Congress who were quite taken with him."