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Cablegate: August 19 Bombings Demonstrate Need for Increased

VZCZCXRO5385
OO RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHIHL RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #2709/01 2801556
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 071556Z OCT 09 -ZDS-
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4995
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC IMMEDIATE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 BAGHDAD 002709

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

JUSTICE FOR ODAG: JJONES, CRM: BSWARTZ, ATF: WJHOOVER,
OPDAT: ANORMAN, ICITAP: TBARTLETT
STATE PASS TO INL/I, NEA/I

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KJUS IZ KCRM PTER
SUBJECT: AUGUST 19 BOMBINGS DEMONSTRATE NEED FOR INCREASED
ATF SUPPORT TO GOI

REF: A. 08 BAGHDAD 000387

1. (U) SUMMARY: During the past year, Embassy
Baghdad has seen a dramatic increase in the utilization of
the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives
(ATF) Attach office with regard to explosives and post-
blast investigation in support of the Government of Iraq
(GOI) and in accordance with the principles and areas of
bilateral cooperation outlined in the Strategic Framework
Agreement (SFA) between the US Government (USG)
and GOI. In the wake of the 19 August bombings of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) and Ministry of
Finance (MoF), the need for additional specialized ATF
support for the Mission and the GOI has become
apparent. END SUMMARY

2. (U) ATF personnel have been in Iraq in support of the
US mission since 2003. In 2008, ATF secured a
permanent presence at Embassy Baghdad (Ref A). The
personnel currently assigned to the office have developed
and maintained critical relationships with high-level
Multi-National Force-Iraq (MNF-I), US Embassy and Iraq
Ministry of Interior (MOI) personnel responsible for
conducting violent crime investigations and training.
During that time, ATF has mentored and trained MOI
personnel in post-blast investigation and bombing
incident response. As a result of ATF efforts in
the aftermath of the 19 August bombings, the GOI
has increased its requests for assistance from
the Embassy in the area of explosives exploitation
and post-blast investigation.

3. (SBU) With the impending withdrawal of US military
forces under the Security Agreement (SA), particularly
MNF-I,s Task Force Troy and Combined Explosives
eXploitation Cell (CEXC), the Embassy,s ATF Attach
will assume overall responsibility for all counter-
Improvised Explosive Qvice (IED) related assistance to
the GOI. This assistance includes response coordination
and training as well as on-site post-blast technical
guidance and forensic analysis of evidence recovered
in bombing incidents.

THE AUGUST 19 BOMBINGS
-------------------------------------------

4. (SBU) In the aftermath of the August 19 bombings of
the MoF and MoFA, which was the largest massQsualty
attack post-June 30, the GOI requested USG assistance
with forensic investigations at the blast sites. In
response, ATF coordinated with several GOI Ministries
and their subordinate directorates, DOD entities and
USG civilian law enforcement agencies at post. These
efforts allowed Post to gain access to the bombing
scenes and the ability to examine the scenes and
two other Large Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive
Devices (LVBIEDs) that were recovered and examined
by the GOI. During the USG examination of the bombing
scenes and LVBIEDs, besides locating key evidence, ATF
identified several areas of concern with respect to
the GOI,s coordination of incident response,
evidence documentation and preservation, and
collection procedures.

GOI REQUEST/NEED FOR EXPLOSIVES RELATED
TRAINING
-------------------------------------------

5. (SBU) Throughout the past year several MOI officials
including Minister of Interior Jawad Al Bolani, Senior
Deputy Minister Adnan Al Asadi, Deputy Minister Hussein
Ali Kamal of the National Information and Investigation
Agency (NIIA), and Major General Ahmed Taha Musawi
of the MOI Internal Affairs Directorate have made
requests for specialized ATF training. In July of this
year, Senior Deputy Minister Al Asadi invited ATF to
Qyear, Senior Deputy Minister Al Asadi invited ATF to
attend a special National Security Council meeting
that was convened for the purpose of discussing
coordination of post-blast investigation response.

6. (SBU) ATF is currently involved in a partnership with
the British Embassy and MNF-I,s Task Force Troy to
develop explosives evidence exploitation capabilities for
the GOI similar to those of CEXC. In the early stages of
development, this project, Explosives eXploitation Iraq
Transition (EXIT), is designed to mimic the capabilities of

BAGHDAD 00002709 002.2 OF 002


CEXC for exploitation of bombing evidence. At the
conclusion of the projected two-year EXIT program, the
GOI will have the ability to independently exploit
explosives evidence for criminal investigations and
prosecutions, a capability the GOI does not currently have.
As the military drawdown occurs and the CEXC mission
diminishes, it will be more critical for the EXIT
program to reach its full potential for the GOI to
have independent explosives exploitation capability.

7. (SBU) In a series of meetings with MOI officials
following the investigations of the August 19 bombings,
ATF was asked to provide additional post-blast
investigation training and critique the overall response
efforts. These meetings included MOI Senior Deputy
Minister Al Asadi, Deputy Minister Kamal and Major
General Taha. Deputy Minister Kamal was particularly
receptive to ATF,s guidance with regard to post-blast
coordination and investigative issues. In a special multi-
directorate meeting convened by Deputy Minister Kamal,
ATF was asked to critique the response efforts and
provide additional guidance for response to future bombing
incidents. INL has agreed to underwrite ATF training
organized in response to the MOI,s request.

8. (SBU) On September 7, the ATF Attach provided a
briefing for the Deputy Chiefs of Mission at Embassy
Baghdad regarding the coordination of USG and GOI
response to the August 19 bombings. During this briefing,
the ATF Attach identified several areas of concern and
made recommendations which included
conducting/facilitating after-action guidance and
mentoring, delivery of additional post-blast investigation
training, command and control of bombing incidents and
critical incident management for the GOI to develop
a team approach to handling major bombing incidents.
ATF has since developed a 100 step explosive investigation
guide for the MOI to use in developing this team approach,
and will provide it to the MOI in coordination with the
Multi-National Security Transition Command,s Iraq
Training and Advisory Mission (ITAM).

CURRENT ATF MISSION
-------------------------------------------

9. (SBU) Embassy Baghdad,s ATF Attach Office staffing
for FY2010 includes three special agents; an Attach,
Deputy Attach and Assistant Attach. The current ATF
mission supports a host of duties to include training,
liaison and advisory efforts. The ATF Attach is the
USG lead for coordination of assets in response to
bombing incidents, weapons investigation and tracing,
receipt and dissemination of weapons related information,
and training and education needs in the areas of ATF,s
expertise. The ATF Attach is continually assessing
and reacting to investigative and training needs related
to firearms identification and trafficking and explosives
identification and post-blast investigation. ATF also
provides assistance to US and GOI law enforcement
officers as appropriate on topics that are part of
ATF,s domestic mission. Additionally, ATF partners
with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS)
in the Weapons Investigation Cell (WIC), established
to investigate weapons-related issues. The WIC works
jointly with other USG and GOI entities to investigate
accountability issues related to weapons distributed
by the USG to the GOI as well as individuals who are
involved in illegal possession or transfer of such
items.
HILL

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