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Cablegate: With Help From the Fbi, Iraqi Ministry of Interior Holds

VZCZCXRO1573
RR RUEHBC RUEHDA RUEHDH RUEHKUK
DE RUEHGB #0367 0421552
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 111552Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6574
INFO RUCNRAQ/IRAQ COLLECTIVE
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RHMFIUU/FBI WASHINGTON DC
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/CDR USSOCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUEKJCS/CJCS WASHINGTON DC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC

UNCLAS BAGHDAD 000367

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

JUSTICE FOR ODAG, OPDAT, ICITAP, CRM
STATE FOR NEA/I, INL/I
TAGS: KJUS PGOV IZ PTER
SUBJECT: With Help from the FBI, Iraqi Ministry of Interior Holds
Inaugural Citizens' Academy

REF: 09 State 19846
09 State 110975

1. (SBU) Summary: On January 24, 2010, the Ministry of Interior's
National Information and Investigation Agency (NIIA) held its first
Citizens' Academy in Baghdad for approximately twenty-five Iraqis,
including private citizens, religious leaders, and government
officials. Modeled after the successful FBI Citizen's Academy, used
nationwide in the United States, the full-day program provides a
forum for invited guests to meet with law enforcement professionals
to discuss how they can work together for a safer community. The
Citizens' Academy is funded through an S/CT Ambassador's Fund for
Counterterrorism grant. End Summary.

2. (SBU) The FBI Legal Attach's Office, in concert with the
Embassy's Office of the Rule of Law Coordinator, assisted NIIA in
establishing the Citizens' Academy to improve relations between the
agency and investigators and the diverse community it serves. NIIA's
investigative function within the MOI is very similar to the FBI.
The Citizens' Academy was implemented to remove obstacles and create
an atmosphere of mutual trust in which the community is less fearful
of law enforcement and has a better understanding of its mission,
authorities, and intent to protect the citizens of Iraq.

3. (SBU) For the first session, NIIA selected invitees from various
sectors of the community including tribal sheiks, religious leaders,
university professionals, private citizens, and GOI officials. The
guests received an organizational overview of NIIA along with
presentations on stability within the various communities delivered
by approximately fifteen NIIA officers. NIAA encouraged the guests
to participate in an open dialogue and interaction with the
attending officers. Several participants noted that the Citizens'
Academy was truly an opportunity for an Iraqi citizen to sit with
investigators and intelligence officers to explore common goals that
would never have been contemplated in the past. One of two Catholic
priests in attendance used the occasion to criticize NIIA's
lackluster response posture for large-scale violent incidents
against Iraq's Christian population. The Christian population in
Iraq, though small, is often overlooked by GOI agencies, including
NIIA, and that its response to attacks on Christians is not equal to
the response to attacks on the Sunni and Shi'a populations, the
priest argued.

4. (SBU) S/CT funded the Citizens' Academy program through a one
year $100,000 grant from the FY2009 Ambassador's Fund for
Counterterrorism. The program aims to show members of the public
how intelligence and criminal investigations of terrorism-related
crimes can be accomplished within the rule of law, through
demonstration of NIIA training procedures, public interaction with
counterterrorist intelligence analysts and criminal investigators,
and hands-on simulations of investigations.

5. (SBU) The next session of the Citizens' Academy is scheduled for
March 2010, with future sessions scheduled every other month. NIIA
will continue to adjust the relevant topics covered during each
session and the target audience based on the feedback from
attendees. Yet to be determined is whether NIIA will continue the
Qattendees. Yet to be determined is whether NIIA will continue the
program on the conclusion of the S/CT grant. NIIA is waiting to
assess the results of the Academy over several iterations before
deciding whether to continue the program after the S/CT grant
expires.

6. (SBU) Comment: Similar to the FBI Citizen's Academy, attendees
were encouraged to work together, discuss their successes and
shortcomings, and proceed toward a mutually supportive relationship.
The first NIIA Citizens' Academy was a success in bringing citizens
of Iraq together to discuss their common goal; safety and security
in their neighborhoods. This is greatly attributed to NIIA's
willingness to receive public criticism and input. End Comment.

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