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  • Saturday, April 30, 2005

    Genocidal, terror-sponsoring state is valuable terror war ally

    From the LA Times: Official Pariah Sudan Valuable to America's War on Terrorism

    The Bush administration has forged a close intelligence partnership with the Islamic regime that once welcomed Osama bin Laden here, even though Sudan continues to come under harsh U.S. and international criticism for human rights violations.

    ...

    As recently as September, then-Secretary of State Colin L. Powell accused Sudan of committing genocide in putting down an armed rebellion in the western province of Darfur. And the administration warned that the African country's conduct posed "an extraordinary threat to the national security" of the United States.

    Behind the scenes, however, Sudan was emerging as a surprisingly valuable ally of the CIA.

    ...

    Sudan has "given us specific information that is … important, functional and current," said a senior State Department official who agreed to discuss intelligence matters on condition of anonymity. The official acknowledged that the Mukhabarat [Sudan's intelligence agency] could become a "top tier" partner of the CIA.

    ...

    "American intelligence considers us to be a friend," said Maj. Gen. Yahia Hussein Babiker, a senior official in Sudan's government.

    During an interview at the presidential palace, Babiker said Sudan had achieved "a complete normalization of our relations with the CIA."

    Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Salah Abdallah Gosh, who otherwise declined comment for this article, told The Times: "We have a strong partnership with the CIA. The information we have provided has been very useful to the United States."

    The paradox of a U.S.-Sudanese intelligence partnership is personified by Gosh.

    Members of Congress accused him and other senior Sudanese officials of directing military attacks against civilians in Darfur...

    ...

    In exchange for the collaboration, which has been largely unpublicized, Khartoum wants to be removed from the list of state sponsors of terrorism. It is also pressing Washington to lift long-standing economic sanctions barring most trade between the two countries.

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