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FM 34-52: Intelligence Interrogation

Chapter 3

Interrogation Process

The interrogation process involves the screening and selection of sources for interrogation and the use of interrogation techniques and procedures. Both screening and interrogation involve complex interpersonal skills, and many aspects of their performance are extremely subjective. Each screening and interrogation is unique because of the interaction of the interrogator with the source. There are five interrogation phases: planning and preparation, approach, questioning, termination, and reporting.


Screening is the selection of sources for interrogation. It must be conducted at every echelon to determine the cooperativeness and the knowledgeability of sources and to determine which sources can best satisfy the commander's PIR and IR in a timely manner.


Observe the Source

Screeners should personally observe the source. During this observation, the screener should first examine the EPW captive tag (Appendix D). The EPW captive tag will provide the screener information regarding the source's circumstances of capture (when, where, how, by whom, and so forth). This information can assist the interrogator in the conduct of the screening and most importantly can show immediately if the source has the potential of possessing information which could answer the supported commander's PIR and IR. The screeners should pay particular attention to rank insignia, condition of uniforms and equipment, and behavior demonstrated by the source. Screeners should look for things like attempts to talk to the guards, intentionally joining placement in the wrong segregation group, or any signs of nervousness, anxiety, or fear. Any source whose appearance or behavior indicates that he is willing to talk should be noted by the screeners. During the observation, the screener should look for signs (such as the source's branch insignia or other identifiable features) to indicate that the source could have knowledge of information related to the supported commander's PIR and IR.

Question Guards

Screeners should question guards about the source. Since the guards are in constant contact with the source, they can provide the information on the source's behavior. The guards can provide information on how the source has responded to orders, what requests have been made by the source, what behavior has been demonstrated by the source, and so forth. In addition, the guards can help screeners with specific items of interest to identify sources who might answer the supported commander's PIR and IR.

Examine Documents

Screeners should examine the documents captured with the source and any documents pertaining to the source. Documents captured with the source (identification card, letters, map sections, and so forth) can provide information that identifies the source, his organization, his mission, and other personal background (family, knowledge, experience, and so forth). Available documents pertaining to the source (screening reports, interrogation reports, and administrative documents, such as detainee personnel record (see Appendix B)) prepared by the military police, can help the screener by providing information on the source's physical and emotional status, knowledge, experience, and other background information. This information can be used to verify information from documents captured with the source and further assess his willingness to cooperate. When examining documents, screeners should look for items that will indicate whether the source is cooperative or willing to cooperate based on any specific personal interest. In addition, the screener should examine the documents to determine if the source has information which answers the supported commander's PIR and IR.

If the source has information pertaining to new foreign material, contact the technical intelligence element, and if the source has information of target exploitation interest, contact the target exploitation element.


Before initiating the interrogation and screening process, the interrogator establishes close liaison with the supporting CI agents. The CI element provides PIR of CI interest. During the interrogation and screening process, interrogators identify sources of CI interest. After these sources have been interrogated for any information of immediate tactical value, (as needed) they are turned over to CI personnel as quickly as possible. For example, CI is interested in sources that the following conditions apply:

  • Have no identification documents.
  • Have excessive identification documents.
  • Have modified identification documents.
  • Possess unusually large amounts of cash or valuables.
  • Possess knowledge of critical interest (for example, nuclear power plant operations, chemical plant operations, weapons test and development, and so forth).
  • Are illegal border crossers.
  • Attempt to avoid checkpoints.
  • Are on the black, gray, or white list.
  • Request to see CI or US Army intelligence.
  • Have family in the denied area.

    Screeners should always consider cooperative, knowledgeable sources first. These sources are identified through the screeners' review of documents, questioning of the guards, and their own personal observations. Based on their notes, the screeners establish the order in which these sources will be screened. The guards are then told to bring these sources, in a specified sequence, to the screening site one at a time.

    Screeners ask each source about the circumstances of his capture, his personal background, his military job, and his unit of assignment. The goal is to get the source to talk. Once the source is talking, the screeners try to identify any strong emotions and the reasons for them. This will indicate how susceptible the source may be to interrogation and may identify the approach techniques which have the greatest chance of success. Screeners also inject questions designed to identify those topical areas in which the source possesses pertinent information.


    A screener must record information as it is obtained from the source on a screening report form. An example of this form is shown in Appendix F. All of the information shown is rarely obtained from any one source. The blocks are there to save the screeners as much additional writing as possible. If size, activity, location, unit, time and equipment (SALUTE) reportable information is obtained during the screening, it must be exploited fully and reported as soon as possible.


    The screening of a source ends when the screener is sure that he can make an accurate assessment of the source's potential cooperation and pertinent knowledge. At this time, the source is returned to the control of the guards, and the screener records his assessment on the screening report form. The assessment is recorded by means of a screening code. The screening code is a number-letter designation which reflects the level of cooperation to be expected from the source and the level of knowledgeability the source may possess. The number "1" represents a source who responds to direct questions. The number " 2" represents a source who responds hesitantly to questioning. The number "3" represents a source who does not respond to questioning. The letter "A" represents a source who is very likely to possess information pertinent to the supported commander's PIR. The letter "B" represents a source who might have information pertinent to the supported commander's IR. The letter "C" represents a source who does not appear to have pertinent information.

    Those sources who have been assigned to the same category may be interrogated in any order deemed appropriate by the senior interrogator. Category lA sources should normally be the first to be interrogated. Category 113 sources are next, followed by those assigned to categories 2A, 1C, 2B, 3A, 2C, and 313. Category 3C sources are normally interrogated last. This order of priorities ensures the highest probability of obtaining the greatest amount of pertinent information within the time available for interrogations. Screening codes may change with the echelon. The higher the echelon, the more time is available to conduct an approach. The following illustration depicts the order in which sources will be interrogated.

    NOTE: The term "screening category" should not be confused with EPW- or source-assigned category that is assigned according to their intelligence value (see Appendix A).



    Once the senior interrogator has assigned specific sources to his subordinates, the interrogators develop a plan for their interrogations. These plans reflect the current situation and the supported commanders' PIR and IR. If they do not, the subsequent interrogations will not help the element to satisfy its assigned collection mission, and information needed by the supported unit will be missed. Each interrogator, where feasible, begins his preparation by examining the situation map (SITMAP), the OB data base, and pertinent information contained in the interrogation element's files.

    Interrelation of Planning and Preparation and Approach

    The planning and preparation phase and the approach phase are interrelated. In the planning and preparation phase, the interrogator gathers information on the source's circumstances of capture, comments from others who have been with the source, information on the source's observed behavior, and information on some of the source's personal traits and peculiarities from the screening sheet. This information helps the interrogator develop a picture of the source and enables him to select approaches most likely to work. There are four primary factors that must be taken into consideration in selecting tentative approaches:

    • The source's mental and physical state. Is the source injured, angry, crying, arrogant, cocky, or frightened? If so, how can this state be best exploited in the interrogation effort.
    • The source's background. What is the source's age and level of military or civilian experience.
    • The objective of the interrogation. How much time is available for the interrogation? Is the commander interested only in specific areas (PIR and IR)? Is this source knowledgeable enough to require a full OB interrogation?
    • The interrogator himself. What abilities does he have that can be brought into play? What weaknesses does he have that may interfere with the interrogation of the source? Can his personality adapt to the personality of the source?

    Questioning Guards

    Interrogators should question guards as part of their preparations. The guards are in constant contact with the sources and may be able to provide the following types of information:

    • Physical condition.
    • Demonstrated attitude and behavior.
    • Contact made with other guards or sources.
    • How the source has been handled since his capture.
    • Hearsay information from others who have handled the source.
    • Confirmation of capture data, especially the circumstances under which the source was captured.

    Each interrogator will unobtrusively observe the source to personally confirm his identity and to check his personal appearance and behavior.

    Analyze Information

    After the interrogator has collected all information available about his assigned source, he analyzes it. He looks for indicators of any psychological or physical weakness that might make the source susceptible to one or more approach techniques. The interrogator formulates a strategy to conduct his analysis. He also uses the information he collected to identify the type and level of knowledge possessed by the source that is pertinent to the element's collection mission.

    Modify Sequences of Questioning

    The interrogator uses his estimate of the type and extent of knowledge possessed by the source to modify the basic topical sequence of questioning. He selects only those topics in which he believes the source has pertinent knowledge. In this way, the interrogator refines his element's overall objective into a set of specific topics for his interrogation. The major topics that can be covered in an interrogation are shown below in their normal sequence. The interrogator is, however, free to modify this sequence as he deems necessary.

    • Mission.
    • Organization.
    • Personnel strength.
    • Weapons and equipment strength.
    • Dispositions.
    • Tactics.
    • Training.
    • Combat effectiveness.
    • Logistics.
    • Electronic technical data.
    • Miscellaneous.

    Finalize Interrogation Plan

    As a result of the planning and preparation phase, the interrogator develops a plan for conducting his assigned interrogation. He must review this plan with the senior interrogator when possible. Whether written or oral, the interrogation plan must contain at least the following items of information:

    • Identity of the source.
    • Interrogation serial number.
    • Topics, in sequence, that will be covered.
    • Reasons why the interrogator selected only specific topics from the basic questioning sequence.
    • Approach strategy selected.
    • Means selected for recording the information obtained.

    The senior interrogator reviews each plan and makes any changes that he feels necessary based on the commander's PIR and IR. After the plan is approved, the holding compound is notified to have a guard bring the source to the interrogation site. The interrogator collects all available interrogation aids needed (maps, charts, writing tools, reference materials, and so forth) and proceeds to the interrogation site.


    The approach phase actually begins when the interrogator first comes in contact with the source and continues until the prisoner begins answering questions pertinent to the objective of the interrogation effort. Interrogators do not "run" an approach by following a set pattern or routine. Each interrogation is different, but all approaches in interrogations have the following purposes in common:

    • Establish and maintain control over the source and the interrogation.
    • Establish and maintain rapport between the interrogator and the source.
    • Manipulate the source's emotions and weaknesses to gain his willing cooperation.

    The successful application of approach techniques eventually induces the source to willingly provide accurate intelligence information to the interrogator. The term "willingly" refers to the source answering the interrogator's questions, not necessarily his cooperation. The source may or may not be aware that he is actually providing the interrogator with information about enemy forces. Some approaches may be complete when the source begins to answer questions. Others may have to be constantly maintained or reinforced throughout the interrogation. The techniques used in an approach can best be defined as a series of events, not just verbal conversation between the interrogator and the source. The exploitation of the source's emotion can be either harsh or gentle in application (hand and body movements, actual physical contact such as a hand on the shoulder for reassurance, or even silence are all useful techniques that the interrogator may have to bring into play).

    Basic Concepts of Approaches

    The manipulative techniques within each approach are different, but there are some factors common to all approaches which affect the success or failure of the approach itself. The interrogator should establish and maintain control, establish and develop rapport, assess the source, make smooth transitions, appear sincere, be convincing, and recognize the breaking point.

    Establish and Maintain Control. The interrogator should appear to be the one who controls all aspects of the interrogation to include the lighting, heating, and configuration of the interrogation room, as well as the food, shelter, and clothing given to the source. The interrogator must always be in control, he must act quickly and firmly. However, everything that he says and does must be within the limits of the Geneva and Hague Conventions, as well as the standards of conduct outlined in the UCMJ.

    Establish and Develop Rapport. Rapport between the interrogator and the source is really nothing more than a two?way flow of communication. It can involve showing kindness and humanity in an otherwise harsh situation, or it can mean badgering the source. Rapport is established when the source reacts to the interrogator's statement. Rapport must be maintained throughout the interrogation, not only just in the approach phase. If the interrogator has established good rapport initially and then abandons the effort, the source would rightfully assume that the interrogator cares less and less about him as the information is being obtained. If this occurs, rapport is lost and the source may cease answering questions. Rapport may be developed by-

  • Asking about the circumstances of capture. By asking about the source's circumstances of capture, the interrogator can gain insight into the prisoner's actual state of mind and more importantly, he can ascertain his possible breaking points.
  • Asking background questions. After asking about the source's circumstances of capture, the interrogator can further gain rapport by asking questions about his background. Apparent interest can be built by asking about his family, civilian life, friends, likes, dislikes, and so forth. The main point in asking about the source's background is to develop rapport, but nonpertinent questions may open new avenues for the approach and help determine whether or not the tentative approaches chosen in the planning and preparation phase will be effective. If nonpertinent questions show that the tentative approaches chosen will not be effective, a flexible interrogator can easily shift the direction of his approach without the source being aware of the change.

    Depending on the situation, circumstances, and any requests the source may have made, the following can also be used to develop rapport:

    • Offering realistic incentives: such as immediate (coffee, cigarettes, and so forth), short?term (a meal, shower, send a letter home, and so forth), and long?term (repatriation, political asylum, and so forth).
    • Feigning experience similar to those of the source.
    • Showing concern for the prisoner through the use of voice vitality and body language.
    • Helping the source to rationalize his guilt.
    • Showing kindness and understanding toward the source's predicament.
    • Exonerating the source from guilt.
    • Flattering the source.

    Assess the Source. After having established control of the source and having established rapport, the interrogator continually assesses the prisoner to see if the approaches, and later the questioning techniques, chosen in the planning and preparation phase will indeed work. Remember that the approaches chosen in planning and preparation are only tentative and are based on the sometimes scanty information available from documents, the guards, and personal observation. This may lead the interrogator to select approaches which may be totally incorrect for obtaining this source's willing cooperation. A careful assessment of the source is absolutely necessary to avoid wasting valuable time in the approach phase. Make assessment by asking background and nonpertinent questions which will indicate whether or not the approaches chosen will be effective. The questions can be mixed or they can be separate. If, for example, the interrogator had chosen a love of comrades approach, he should ask the source questions like "How did you get along with your fellow squad members?" If the source answers that they were all very close and worked well as a team, then the interrogator can go right into his love of comrades approach and be reasonably sure of its success. However, if the source answers, "They all hated my guts and I couldn't stand any of them!," then the interrogator should abandon that approach and ask some quick nonpertinent questions to give himself some time to work out a new approach.

    Male Smooth Transitions. The interrogator must guide the conversation smoothly and logically, especially if he needs to move from one approach technique to another. "Poking and hoping" in the approach may alert the prisoner of ploys and will make the job more difficult. Tie?ins to another approach can be made logically and smoothly by using transitional phrases. Logical tie?ins can be made by the inclusion of simple sentences which connect the previously used approach with the basis for the next one. Transitions can also be smoothly covered by leaving the unsuccessful approach and going back to nonpertinent questions. By using nonpertinent conversation, the interrogator can more easily move the conversation in the desired direction, and as previously stated, sometimes obtain leads and hints as to source's stresses or weaknesses or other approach strategies that may be more successful.

    Be Sincere and Convincing. All professional interrogators must be convincing and appear sincere in working their approaches. If an interrogator is using argument and reason to get the source to cooperate, he must be convincing and appear sincere. All inferences of promises, situations, and arguments, or other invented material must be believable. What a source may or may not believe depends on his level of knowledge, experience, and training. A good assessment of the source is the basis for the approach and is vital to the success of the interrogation effort.

    Recognize the Breaking Point. Every source has a breaking point, but an interrogator never knows what it is until it has been reached. There are, however, some good indicators that the source is near his breaking point or has already reached it. For example, if during the approach, the source leans forward with his facial expression indicating an interest in the proposal or is more hesitant in his argument, he is probably nearing the breaking point. The interrogator must be alert and observant to recognize these signs in the approach phase. Once the interrogator determines that the source is breaking, he should interject a question pertinent to the objective of the interrogation. If the source answers it, the interrogator can move into the questioning phase. If the source does not answer or balks at answering it, the interrogator must realize that the source was not as close to the breaking point as was thought. In this case, the interrogator must continue with his approach or switch to an alternate approach or questioning technique and continue to work until he again feels that the source is near breaking. The interrogator can tell if the source has broken only by interjecting pertinent questions. This process must be followed until the prisoner begins to answer pertinent questions. It is entirely possible that the prisoner may cooperate for a while and then balk at answering further questions. If this occurs, the interrogator can either reinforce the approaches that initially gained the source's cooperation or move into a different approach before returning to the questioning phase of the interrogation. At this point, it is important to note that the amount of time that is spent with a particular source is dependent on several factors, that is, the battlefield situation, the expediency with which the supported commander's PIR and IR requirements need to be answered, and so forth.

    Approach Techniques

    Interrogation approach techniques are usually performed by one interrogator working alone. However, sometimes interrogators work together. He must also remember that the tactical situation is very fluid and that the commander needs information in the shortest period of time. This means that the tactical interrogator has little time to waste, especially during the approach phase. Obviously, the more complicated an approach technique is, the more preparation time is required for it and its successful use. For this reason, the approach techniques discussed are those that take the least amount of time to produce the most usable information possible.

    The number of approaches used is limited only by the interrogator's imagination and skill. Almost any ruse or deception is usable as long as the provisions of the Geneva Conventions are not violated. The Geneva Conventions do not permit an interrogator to pass himself off as a medic, chaplain, or as a member of the Red Cross (Red Crescent or Red Lion). To every approach technique, there are literally hundreds of possible variations, each of which can be developed for a specific situation or source. The variations are limited only by the interrogator's personality, experience, ingenuity, and imagination.

    With the exception of the direct approach, no other approach is effective by itself. Interrogators use different approach techniques or combine them into a cohesive, logical technique. Smooth transitions, logic, sincerity, and conviction can almost always make a strategy work. The lack of will undoubtedly dooms it to failure. Some examples of combinations are-

    • Direct/futility/incentive.
    • Direct/futility/love of comrades.
    • Direct/fear up (mild)/incentive.

    The actual number of combinations is limited only by the interrogator's imagination and skill. Great care must be exercised by the interrogator in choosing the approach strategy in the planning and preparation phase of interrogation and in listening carefully to what the source is saying (verbally or nonverbally) for leads that the strategy chosen will not work. When this occurs, the interrogator must adapt himself to approaches that he now believes will work in gaining the source's cooperation.


    Although there is no fixed point at which the approach phase ends and the questioning phase begins, generally the questioning phase commences when the source begins to answer questions pertinent to the specific objectives of the interrogation. Questions should be comprehensive enough to ensure that the topic of interest is thoroughly explored. Answers should establish the who, what, when, where, how, and when possible why. Questions should be presented in a logical sequence to be certain that significant topics are not neglected. A series of questions following a chronological sequence of events is frequently employed, but this is by no means the only logical method of asking questions. Adherence to a sequence should not deter the interrogator from exploiting informational leads as they are obtained. The interrogator must consider the probable response of the source to a particular question or line of questioning and should not, if at all possible, ask direct questions likely to evoke a refusal to answer or to antagonize the source. Experience has shown that in most tactical interrogations, the source is cooperative. In such instances, the interrogator should proceed with direct questions.

    Questioning Techniques

    Use good questioning techniques throughout the questioning phase. An interrogator must know when to use the different types of questions. With good questioning techniques, the interrogator can extract the most information in the shortest amount of time. There are many types of questioning techniques.

    • Uses only properly formed, direct questions.
    • Properly uses follow?up questions for complete information.
    • Properly uses repeated, controlled, prepared, and nonpertinent questions to control interrogation and assess source.
    • Avoids confusing, ambiguous, and time?consuming questions.
    • Uses a proper, logical sequence of top ics or questions.

    Characteristics of direct questions are?

    • Basic interrogatives (who, what, when, where, and how, plus qualifier).
    • Brief, concise, simply?worded, and address the looked?for information.
    • Asks for a narrative response (cannot be answered by just yes or no).
    • Produces the maximum amount of usable information and gives a greater number of leads to new avenues of questioning.

    Follow-up questions are used to exploit a topic of interest. Questions usually flow one-from-another based on the answer to previous questions. Interrogators ask a basic question and then based on the answer from the source, use follow-up questions to completely exploit all available information about the topic. Follow-up questions are also used to fully exploit a lead given by the source in his response.

    Nonpertinent questions are used to conceal the interrogation's objectives or to strengthen rapport with the source. They may also be used to break the source's concentration, particularly, if the interrogator suspects that the source is lying. It is hard for a source to be a convincing liar if his concentration is frequently interrupted.

    Repeated questions ask the source for the same information obtained in response to earlier questions. They may be exact repetitions of the previous question, or the previous question may be rephrased or otherwise disguised. Repeated questions maybe used to check the consistency of the source's previous responses. They may also be used to ensure the accuracy of important details such as place names, dates, and component parts of technical equipment. The use of repeated questions may develop a topic that the source had refused to talk about earlier.

    They may also be used as a means of returning to a topical area for further questioning.

    Control questions are developed from information which the interrogator believes to be true. Control questions are based on information which has been recently confirmed and which is not likely to have changed. They are used to check the truthfulness of the source's responses and should be mixed in with other questions throughout the interrogation.

    Prepared questions are developed in advance of an interrogation to gain precise wording or the most desirable questioning sequence. They are used primarily for interrogations which are technical in nature, require legal precision, or cover a number of specific topics. Interrogators must not allow the use of prepared questions to restrict the scope and flexibility of their interrogations.

    Leading questions may prompt the source to answer with the response he believes the interrogator wishes to hear. As a result, the response may be inaccurate or incomplete. Leading questions are generally avoided during interrogations, but they can be used by experienced interrogators to verify information. This is especially true during map tracking.

    Avoid vague questions as they do not have enough information for the source to understand exactly what is being asked by the interrogator. They may be incomplete, "blanket" or otherwise nonspecific, and create doubt in the source's mind. Vague questions tend to confuse the source, waste time, are easily evaded, and result in answers that may confuse or mislead the interrogator.

    The interrogator must use the different types of questions effectively. Active listening and maximum eye-to-eye contact with the source will provide excellent indicators for when to use follow-up, repeated, control, and nonpertinent questions. The interrogator uses direct and follow-up questions to fully exploit subjects pertinent to his interrogation objectives. He periodically includes control, repeated, and nonpertinent questions to check the sincerity and consistency of the source's responses and to strengthen rapport. A response which is inconsistent with earlier responses or the interrogator's available data is not necessarily a lie. When such a response is obtained, the interrogator reveals the inconsistency to the source and asks for an explanation. The source's truthfulness should, then, be evaluated based on the plausibility of his explanation.

    There are two types of questions that an interrogator should not use. These are compound and negative questions. Compound questions are questions which ask for at least two different pieces of information. They are, in effect, two or more questions combined as one. They require the source to supply a separate answer to each portion of the question. Compound questions should not be used during interrogations because they allow the source to evade a part of the question or to give an incomplete answer. They may confuse the source or cause the interrogator to misunderstand the response. Negative questions are questions which are constructed with words like "no," "none," or "not." They should be avoided because they may confuse the source and produce misleading or false information. They usually require additional questions to clarify the source's responses.

    SALUTE Reportable Information

    SALUTE reportable information is any information that is critical to the successful accomplishment of friendly courses of action. SALUTE reportable information is reported by the interrogator in a SALUTE report format, written or oral (see Appendix E for an example). Information may be SALUTE reportable even when an interrogator cannot determine its immediate intelligence value. SALUTE reportable information is always time sensitive and answers the supported, higher, or adjacent unit's PIR and IR. SALUTE reportable information is identified by its potential value. If the information indicates a change in the enemy's capabilities or intentions, it is SALUTE reportable. If an interrogator cannot decide whether or not a piece of information is SALUTE reportable, he should act as though it is. This means that he should exploit it fully and record all pertinent information. The interrogator should then consult the senior interrogator for a final determination of the information's value.

    Hot and Cold Leads

    Leads are signs which tell an interrogator that the source has additional pertinent information that can be obtained through further questioning. Leads are provided by a source's response to the interrogator's questions. There are two types of leads that concern interrogators?hot and cold. A hot lead, when exploited, may obtain information that is SALUTE reportable. A cold lead, when exploited, may obtain information that is not SALUTE reportable but is still of intelligence value. The use of follow?up questions to fully exploit hot and cold leads may require an interrogator to cover topics that he did not list in his interrogation plan. An interrogator must exploit hot leads as soon as he identifies them. Once the interrogator is sure that he has obtained and recorded all the details known to the source, he issues a SALUTE report. The interrogator then resumes his questioning of the source at the same point where the hot lead was obtained. An interrogator should note cold leads as they are obtained and exploit them fully during his questioning on the topics to which the cold leads apply. Cold leads may expand the scope of the interrogation because they may indicate that the source possesses pertinent information in areas not previously selected for questioning. If the interrogator does not fully exploit all of the cold leads he obtains, he must include information on all the leads he did not exploit in his interrogation report.

    Hearsay Information

    Hearsay information must include the most precise information possible of its source. This will include the name, duty position, full unit designation of the person who provided the information, and the date time group of when the source obtained the information.

    Questioning Sequence

    An interrogator begins his questioning phase with the first topic in the sequence he tentatively established as part of his interrogation plan. He obtains all of the source's pertinent knowledge in this topical area before moving on to the next topic in his sequence. He maintains his established sequence of questioning to ensure that no topics are missed. The only exception is to exploit a hot lead immediately. Even then, however, he must resume his questioning at the same point in the same area at which the hot lead was first identified.

    Map Tracking

    The interrogator obtains information concerning the location of enemy activities through the use of map tracking. Map tracking is performed in the order in which they are described. By following the sequence below, an interrogator ensures that all required details are obtained for each disposition known to the source:

    • Establish an initial common point of reference (ICPR). The first location the interrogator should try to establish as the ICPR is the source's point of capture (POC), because it is the most recent in his memory.
    • Establish a destination common point of reference (DCPR). The DCPR can be the reference point furthest back in time, distance, or higher echelon. This could be forward or to the rear of the ICPR. In any case, you must establish a route using the procedures, in the sequence shown, in the following illustration.


    • Obtain the direction in which the source would travel when leaving the ICPR.
    • Obtain a description of the surface on which the source would be traveling.
    • Obtain the distance the source would travel in this direction.
    • Obtain a description of the prominent terrain features the source would remember while traveling in this direction.
    • Repeat the questions and plot the responses until the entire route between the ICPR and the DCPR has been plotted.
    • The interrogator can follow the same sequence when establishing the route actually traveled by the source by beginning with the DCPR. Each sequence establishes a CPR.
    • Exploit the DCPR. Upon determining the DCPR, the interrogator must obtain the exact location and decription of each enemy disposition the source knew about at the DCPR. Methods of obtaining this information are shown in the following illustration. Until he obtains all dispositions known by the source in the vicinity of the DCPR, the interrogator must repeat these questions and plot or record the information as it is provided by the source.
    • Segment and exploit the route segments. The interrogator begins exploiting the source's route with the segment closest to either the ICPR or the DCPR. The preferred segment is the segment closest to the DCPR, but either can be used. The interrogator will exploit each segment of the route by asking the question "From (description of common point of reference (CPR)) to (description of next CPR) back along your route of travel, what of military significance do you know or have seen or heard?" The interrogator will continue from segment to segment, fully exploiting each, until he has exploited the entire route traveled.
    • Exploit dispositions not on route. If the interrogator obtains a disposition which is not located on the established route, he must establish the route the source would have taken to that disposition. The interrogator then treats this new route the same way he does any other route segment; exploiting it fully before moving on to the next segment of the original route.

    The sequence, above, organizes map tracking so that information obtained from the source can be plotted and recorded accurately. Correct performance of this task results in the map used by the interrogator. The description of each disposition must be recorded preferably near the site of the disposition on the map.


    • Identify and describe items of military significance belonging to his forces which are located at each disposition. e Provide the full unit designation of the enemy units to which these items belong.
    • Describe the security measures deployed at each identified disposition.
    • Identify the source of his information.
    • Provide the date and time when he obtained his information.
    • Provide the name, rank, duty position and full unit designation of each person who provided hearsay information to the source.

    Recording Information

    There are several reasons for recording information obtained during interrogations. The most important of these is to ensure that all information can be reported completely and accurately. Recorded information may also be used to?

    • Refresh the interrogator's memory on a topic covered earlier, such as when returning to a topic after exploiting a hot lead.
    • Check responses to repeated questions.
    • Point out inconsistencies to the source.
    • Gain the cooperation of other sources.
    • Compare with information received from other sources.

    There are several methods of recording information that can be used during interrogations. Two are listed below and their advantages and disadvantages are described. These methods may be used separately or in combination with each other:

    Taking Notes. The interrogator's own notes are the primary method of recording information. When the interrogator takes his own notes, he has a ready reference to verify responses to repeated questions or to refresh his memory. They also provide him with the means to record cold leads for later exploitation.

    Using his own notes expedites the interrogator's accurate transferral of information into a report format. When taking his own notes, however, he cannot observe the source continually. This may cause him to miss leads or fail to detect losses in rapport or control that are detectable only through clues provided by the source's behavior.

    It is possible to lose control and the source's willing cooperation by devoting too much of his concentration to note taking. The interrogator must avoid distracting the source while taking notes. Notes should be taken in such a way that the maximum amount of eye?to?eye contact with the source is maintained.

    The interrogator will not have enough time to record every word that the source says. He must be able to condense or summarize information into a few words. He must use his past experiences to decide which items of information should be recorded. He should organize his materials to avoid having to flip back and forth between references.

    The only information that should be recorded during the approach phase is that required by part 1 of the interrogation report (format is shown in Appendix G). All other information should not be recorded until after the source's cooperation has been obtained.

    Using a Sound Recorder. The use of a sound recorder allows the interrogator to continually observe the source. When compared with note taking, this method allows more information to be obtained in less time. However, more time is required for report writing because the entire tape must be replayed to transfer information to the report. Place names, numbers, and other pertinent, detailed information may be unclear on the recording. Sound recorders cannot provide a ready reference that can be used to compare answers to a repeated question, and the equipment may malfunction.


    Although the termination phase is only the fourth phase of the five phases, it is the last phase in which the interrogator will actually deal with the source. The interrogator must leave the source ready to continue answering questions in the future if necessary. The termination of the interrogation must be conducted properly. If the interrogator mishandles the termination phase and he later finds that the source has lied or he needs to question the source further, he must start again from scratch.

    Need to Terminate

    A number of circumstances can cause an interrogation to be terminated. An interrogator must be able to identify such circumstances as soon as they occur. Some circumstances that require an interrogation to be terminated are-

    • The source remains uncooperative throughout the approach phase.
    • Either the source or the interrogator becomes physically or mentally unable to continue.
    • All pertinent information has been obtained from the source.
    • The source possesses too much pertinent information for all of it to be exploited during the interrogation session.
    • Information possessed by the source is of such value that his immediate evacuation to the next echelon is required.
    • The interrogator's presence is required elsewhere.
    • The interrogator loses control of the interrogation and cannot recover it.

    Termination Procedures

    Whatever the reason for terminating the interrogation, the interrogator must remember that there is a possibility that someone may want to question the source at a later date. For that reason, he should terminate the interrogation without any loss of rapport whenever possible. The interrogator reinforces his successful approach techniques to facilitate future interrogations. He tells the source that he may be talked to again. When appropriate, he tells the source that the information he provided will be checked for truthfulness and accuracy. He offers the opportunity for the source to change or add to any information he has given.

    During termination, the interrogator must make proper disposition of any documents captured with the source. A source's military identity document must be returned to him. If a source does not hold an identity card issued by his government, the source will be issued a completed DA Form 2662-R (see Appendix C) by the military police. The identity card will be in the possession of the source at all times. Some captured documents will contain information that must be exploited at higher echelons. Any such documents may be impounded by the interrogator and evacuated through intelligence channels. The interrogator must issue a receipt to the source for any personal documents he decides to impound. He must comply with the accounting procedures established for captured documents by the military police, according to AR 190-8. The accounting procedures required for impounding documents captured with a source are time-consuming but necessary. The interrogator can save time by preparing receipts and document tags during the planning and preparation phase. He completes the termination phase by instructing the escort guard to return the source to the holding compound and to keep him away from any sources who have not yet been interrogated.


    Reports are submitted on all information of intelligence value that is obtained. Initial reports are submitted electronically whenever possible to ensure that the information reaches the intelligence analysts in the least amount of time. Written reports are prepared to document electronic reports. They are used as the initial means of reporting only when electronic reporting is impossible. Any information of intelligence value that will diminish with the passage of time must be SALUTE reported. Electronic SALUTE reports are formatted and submitted according to the procedures established during the senior interrogator's initial coordination. Written SALUTE reports are prepared according to the format in Appendix E. Information that is not SALUTE reportable is electronically reported with a lower priority. The aim of any interrogation is to obtain information which will help satisfy a commander's intelligence requirements. Since these requirements will differ in scope at each level, when conducting PIR or IR interrogations, nonapplicable paragraphs may be deleted. Part 1 must always be included and distribution made according to STANAG 2033 (see Appendix A).


    Interrogating through an interpreter is more time consuming because the interpreter must repeat everything said by both the interrogator and the source, and the interpreter must be briefed by the interrogator before the interrogation can begin. An interrogation with an interpreter will go through all five phases of the interrogation process. After the interrogation is over, the interrogator will evaluate the interpreter.

    Methods of Interpretation

    During the planning and preparation phase, the interrogator selects a method of interpretation. There are two methods: the simultaneous and the alternate. The interrogator obtains information about his interpreter from the senior interrogator. He analyzes this information and talks to the interpreter before deciding which method to use. With the simultaneous method, the interpreter listens and translates at the same time as the person for whom he is interpreting, usually just a phrase or a few words behind. With the alternate method, the interpreter listens to an entire phrase, sentence, or paragraph. He then translates it during natural pauses in the interrogation. The simultaneous method should only be selected if all of the following criteria are met:

    • The sentence structure of the target language is parallel to English.
    • The interpreter can understand and speak both English and the target language with ease.
    • The interpreter has any required special vocabulary skills for the topics to be covered.
    • The interpreter can easily imitate the interrogator's tone of voice and attitude for the approaches selected.
    • Neither the interrogator nor the interpreter tends to get confused when using the simultaneous method of interpretation.
    • If any of the criteria listed above cannot be met, the interrogator must use the alternate method. The alternate method should also be used whenever a high degree of precision is required.

    Interpreter Briefing

    Once the interrogator has chosen a method of interpretation, he must brief his interpreter. This briefing must cover the-

    • Current tactical situation.
    • Background information obtained on the source.
    • Specific interrogation objectives.
    • Method of interpretation to be used.
    • Conduct of the interrogation in that statements made by the interpreter and the source should be interpreted in the first person, using the same content, tone of voice, inflection, and intent. The interpreter must not inject any of his own personality, ideas, or questions into the interrogation.
    • Selected approach techniques and how they are to be applied.
    • Conduct of interrogation in that the interpreter should inform the interrogator if there are any inconsistencies in the language used by the source. The interrogator will use this information in his assessment of the source. One example is a source who claims to be an officer but who uses excessive slang and profanity.
    • Physical arrangements of the interrogation site. The best layout is to have the interrogator and the source facing each other with the interpreter behind the source. This enhances the interrogator's control by allowing him to simultaneously observe the source and the interpreter.
    • Need for the interpreter to assist with report preparation.

    Throughout the briefing, the interrogator must answer all questions that the interpreter may have as fully and clearly as possible. This helps ensure that the interpreter completely understands his role in the interrogation.

    Conduct the Interrogation

    During the interrogation, the interrogator corrects the interpreter if he violates any of the standards on which he was briefed. For example, if the interpreter injects his own ideas into the interrogation, he must be corrected. Corrections should be made in a low?key manner. At no time should the interrogator rebuke his interpreter sternly or loudly while they are with the source. The interrogator should never argue with the interpreter in the presence of the source. If a major correction must be made, and only when it is necessary, the interrogator and interpreter should leave the interrogation site temporarily.

    When initial contact is made with the source, the interpreter must instruct him to maintain eye contact with the interrogator. Since both rapport and control must be established, the interpreter's ability to closely imitate the attitude, behavior, and tone of voice used by both the interrogator and the source is especially important. The questioning phase is conducted in the same way that it would be if no interpreter was used.

    During the termination phase, the interpreter's ability to closely imitate the interrogator and the source is again very important. The approaches used are reinforced here, and the necessary sincerity and conviction must be conveyed to the source.

    The interpreter assists the interrogator in preparing reports. He may be able to fill in gaps and unclear areas in the interrogator's notes. He may also assist in transliterating, translating, and explaining foreign terms.

    Following the submission of all reports, the interrogator evaluates the performance of his interpreter. The evaluation must cover the same points of information that the interrogator received from the senior interrogator. The interrogator submits the results of his evaluation to the senior interrogator. The senior interrogator uses this evaluation to update the information he has about the interpreter. This evaluation may also be used in developing training programs for interpreters.

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