Monday, December 24, 2007

Keeping the Brit Army in the Dark

A former employee of a British security contractor in Iraq says his company deliberately withheldfrom British officials information about the infiltration and corruption of the police services.

The company, ArmorGroup, was hired to train Iraqi police in the Basra area. One of its employees, turned whistle-blower, says the company told its employees not to pass on intelligence they acquired in their daily visits to the Iraqi police stations. Colin Williamson told British MPs about a source he cultivated within the Iraq police.

"This officer was a brilliant source of information in the Basra region. At one stage I was moved to a very dangerous place in the city called the Old State Building. This officer used to let me know in advance when there would be a mortar attack on the base. Each time he gave me prior warning I would go to a certain company commander, a major in the British army, and in turn warn him about it."

He added: 'I am convinced this man's information saved lives and yet our official line was not to tell the military about any intelligence we came across regarding the police and the militias. He was so well informed that on one occasion when he rang he said: 'You are about to be attacked at any moment' and before he could put down the phone the mortars came in."

...we were told not to report back any intelligence we picked up there, not to hand it over to the British military. Why? Because our bosses and probably, in turn, the FCO didn't want to expose how corrupt and infiltrated by the militia the police were."

The British Army has now turned the Basra region over to Iraqi security forces, the very outfits said to now be dominated by sectarian militias.

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