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Ministry of Security (MOS)

The Ministry of Security was created in 2007, and is under the direction of Shiite, Sheerwan al-Waeli. (also spelled al-Waili). Al-Waeli is a former colonel in the late, Iraqi army under Saddam Hussein, serving in Nasiriyah. Al-Waeli is also said to have undergone training in Iran. As of June 2007, al-Waeli is suspected of maintaining close contacts with Iranian and Syrian intelligence offices inside the city of Baghdad. There are concerns that the MOS is too pro-Iranian, and suffers from Iranian meddling within the ministry. Al-Waeli is suspected to have around 1,200 intelligence officers working for him in the MOS.

The pro-Iranian MOS is a second, "shadow" intelligence agency in Iraq, that is not officially sanctioned by the Iraqi government. Shiite Prime Minister Ibrahim Jafari tried to take control of the Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) but this was blocked by the United States, who expressed concerns of the Shiite politicians' disconcertingly close ties with Iran, instead appointing Sunni General, Mohammed Shehwani.

In 2005 when Shiite officials were unable to replace al-Shewhani from the head of the INIS with Jafari, The minister of state for national security at the time, Abdul Karim Anizi, lobbied for Prime Minister Jafari to turn Anizi's security post into a security ministry, allowing it official government security powers, which might mimic those of an intelligence agency. Anizi's push to create a security ministry did not succeed. However he did nevertheless recruit informers and other sympathizers creating a very small intelligence network using government privileges to "pay" his network.

In 2006, Anizi stepped down from his post, and was replaced by Waeli, who has within the past year (since 2006), greatly expanded the scope and un-official power of the intelligence network, hiring agents through the use of contracts.

There are some concerns, especially from Sunnis, that the MOS is simply a Shiite intelligence agency, with the aim of pushing for a sectarian, Shiite agenda. Many believe that the very conception of the MOS was due to the Shiites inability to use the INIS to work for Shiite initiatives. However, there are others who say that these claims are merely Sunni biases, or that Waeli himself is not pushing for a sectarian intelligence agency, but that he is working with officers who hold very strong sectarian views.

Recently, there has been a push to officially establish the Ministry of Security, and then incorporate the INIS, putting the INIS under the control of the MOS. However, as of June 2007, no decision has been reached on the formalization of Waeli's powers, or the integration of the CIA funded INIS.

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Page last modified: 28-07-2011 00:53:30 ZULU