28 April 2010

Pentagon Investigating AfPak News "Intel" Unit

We've covered this a few other places...
GrogNews: Covert? Or Rogue? StratCom/OSINT website masking hit squad?
GrogNews: Investigating the Rogue Hit Squad
GrogNews: Investigating A Parallel "Intel Agency" and How It Was Buried In Clever Contracting

And now it looks like the investigation is really kicking into gear.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates ordered a closer look at a military outfit accused of using contractors to help track down militants in Afghanistan, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

The Pentagon has already launched a criminal investigation into a Defense Department employee, who, instead of providing U.S. commanders details on Afghanistan's social and tribal landscape, is accused of running an off-the-books spy operation.

Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said Gates ordered an additional review to see whether the unit may have broken Pentagon rules and regulations on intelligence gathering.

"Short of criminality, did they break the rules with regards to our policy on this issue?" Morrell said. "Was there inappropriate intelligence gathering being done under the auspices of this information operations contract?"

The allegations, first detailed in a New York Times report last month, centered on Michael Furlong, who the newspaper said hired contractors from private security companies that employed former CIA and Special Forces operatives.

The contractors gathered intelligence on the whereabouts of suspected militants and the location of insurgent camps and then sent that material to military units and intelligence officials for possible lethal action on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistan border, unnamed officials told the paper.

By: Brant

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