Tuesday, June 14, 2011

DO5, aka the Asymmetric Threats Division

This is a surprisingly uninteresting story.  Another US military agency, following bin Laden and then specifically ordered to stop following him (while war gaming terrorist possibilities including crashing planes into the WTC and Pentagon), a big cover-up of the activities and even the existence of the agency, and then a white-wash of the cover-up.  Just another day at the ranch.

"Report: Intelligence Unit Told Before 9/11 to Stop Tracking Bin Laden" by Jeffrey Kaye:
"Tracking Bin Laden had been undertaken by a secret unit within the JFIC, the Asymmetric Threats Division, formed in 1999 "to take a non-traditional approach to analysis." Known by its DoD acronym, DO5, it was tasked with providing "current intelligence briefings and produced the Worldwide Terrorist Threat Summary in support of the USJFCOM Intelligence staff [J2]." Almost no public source material exists on DO5 activities, except what is in the IG report.
The IG report does not deny the tracking of Bin Laden, but notes that the JFIC was to provide general and direct intelligence support to USJFCOM and subordinate joint forces commands and that it did not have a mission to track Osama bin Laden or predict imminent targets of terrorism on US soil.
Nevertheless, DO5 was involved in intelligence concerns domestically. It provided assistance to the Joint Task Force - Civil Support (JTF-CS), which, like DO5, was formed in 1999 and based out of Fort Monroe, Virginia. The JTF-CS was tasked with assisting the DoD response to domestic terror incidents, including "managing the consequences of a domestic chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosive (CBRNE) situation." At one point, DO5 assisted the JTF-CS by "establishing fictional terrorist organizations that would mimic real world terrorist groups" that were utilized as part of JTF-CS "exercises."
The obscurity of DO5's mission was summed up by a former JFIC deputy director of intelligence, who told investigators that DO5 had "no theater specific mission." According to the answers the JFIC provided to the 9/11 Commission, the JFIC received over 2,200 messages daily "from other agencies, JFCOM components, or services." It did "not conduct any unilateral collection" of any intelligence domestically.
According to the narrative in the IG report, a previous JFIC deputy director of intelligence said that the JFIC commander, identified elsewhere in the report as Capt. Janice Dundas, US Navy, "directed him to stop tracking Usama Bin Ladin. The Commanding Officer stated that the tracking of Usama Bin Ladin did not fall within JFIC's mission." At the same time, JFIC analysis of purported Afghanistan "terrorist training camps" was also curtailed, with an explanation that such activities were outside the agency's Area of Operations and "that the issues where [sic] not in JFIC's swim lane."
According to the report, the Asymmetric Threats Division was "realigned" in summer 2001 under the "Intelligence Watch Center." The Intelligence Watch Center may be the Combined Intelligence Watch Center associated with NORAD, which is an "indications and warning center for worldwide threats from space, missile and strategic air activity, as well as geopolitical unrest that could affect North America and US forces/interests abroad." This would be consistent with the work DO5 did with the JTF-CS.
The order to stop tracking Bin Laden, therefore, came sometime between the origin of DO5 in 1999 and its realignment just prior to, or right after 9/11. In 2005, the JFIC itself was renamed the Joint Transformation Command-Intelligence, still subordinate to and serving USJFCOM."
"DoD Whistleblower: Documents Show Intel Withheld from 9/11 Congressional Investigators" by Jeff Kaye

"EXCLUSIVE: New Documents Claim Intelligence on Bin Laden, al-Qaeda Targets Withheld From Congress' 9/11 Probe" by Jeffrey Kaye and Jason Leopold:
"What he revealed in that letter, portions of which were redacted by the government because the information is classified, is the inner workings of an elite intelligence unit he headed at one point: the Asymmetric Threats Division, formed in 1999, and "charged with reporting on asymmetric threats, especially terrorism."
The unit worked with Joint Task Force-Civil Support (JTF-CS), also set up in 1999. According to the Defense Department (DoD), JTF-CS was charged with supporting "terrorist response operations in the continental US" and providing "military assistance to civil authorities."
The Asymmetric Threats Division is referred to as DO5, a branch of the Joint Forces Intelligence Command (JFIC), whose responsibilities included, among other things, vetting human intelligence sources on behalf of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). From 1998 to 2001, Iron Man was working as a counterterrorism/counterintelligence analyst for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), assigned to JFIC.
The JFIC is an elite intelligence unit that falls under the authority of the United States Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) and "had a direct and assigned purview on international terrorism against the US, to include the operations of al-Qa'ida and the 9/11 attackers."
The JFIC was also responsible for monitoring Bin Laden and other suspected terrorists who resided in Afghanistan between 1998 and 2000 and was charged with constructing likely scenarios that could be carried out by terrorists and possible government responses."
"For example, Iron Man states in his letter that in the summer of 2000, DO5 briefed USJFCOM senior intelligence officials and staffers, including the deputy commander in chief, on the "WMD Threat to the U.S."

Iron Man describes a "sensitive," "oral briefing" that took place that summer "indicating that the World Trade Centers #1 and #2 were the most likely buildings to be attacked [by al-Qaeda

Furthermore, as he states in his letter, Iron Man was certain that such a scenario was part of a "red cell analysis" discussion that took place prior to the intelligence briefing and included a finding that the buildings "could be struck by a jetliner." He wrote that there was a suggestion about alerting WTC security and engineering or architectural staff, "but the idea was not further explored because of a command climate discouraging contact with the civilian community."

One official who attended the DO5 briefing was Vice Adm. Martin J. Meyer, the deputy commander in chief (DCINC), USJFCOM (Iron Man's complaint does not identify Meyer by name, but notes the presence of the "DCINC" for USJFCOM). But despite the red flags raised during the briefing, Meyer reportedly told Maj. Gen. Larry Arnold, the commander of the Continental United States NORAD Region (CONR), and other high-level CONR staffers two weeks before the 9/11 attacks that "their concern about Osama bin Laden as a possible threat to America was unfounded and that, to repeat, 'If everyone would just turn off CNN, there wouldn't be a threat from Osama bin Laden.'"

Mayer retired from the Navy in 2003 and was hired by defense contractor Lockheed Martin."
That Mayer link is worth reading.

"Al Qaeda Flying Planes Into the World Trade Center and Pentagon Was Foreseeable"

Probably peripheral story, the murder of Kirk von Ackermann, who was apparently heavily involved in DO5, in Iraq (Susie Dow uncovered the beginnings of the DO5 story while investigating the murders of Kirk von Ackermann and Ryan Manelick, murders which appear to be connected to allegations of fraud against a Turkish-American military contractor in Iraq):
  1. "The Mind of Susie Dow"
  2. "Ultra Services - Who, What, Where"
  3. "Counter Terrorism and JFIC"
  4. "Truthout - Intelligence Withheld From Congress"
DO5 is not the same as 'Able Danger', the far more interesting program which identified Atta operating in New Jersey at a time when the patsy Mohamed Atta was attending classes in Munich.
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