News / Asia

US Report: Intel Gathering in Afghanistan Needs Major Changes

The top NATO and U.S. military intelligence chief in Afghanistan says radical changes are needed in the way information is gathered and shared in the country.

U.S. Major General Michael Flynn said in a report that intelligence is focused too much on insurgent groups and too little on the Afghan people.

The report says field agents are not providing the kind of intelligence that analysts need to respond to inquiries from top U.S. leaders.

It says analysts are so starved for accurate information from the field that many say their jobs feel more like "fortune telling."

The report says that after more than eight years in Afghanistan, the intelligence-gathering apparatus "still finds itself unable to answer fundamental questions about the Afghan people and the environment in which it operates."

The report was published Monday by the Center for a New American Security, a research organization based in Washington, D.C.

Meanwhile, U.S. officials say the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees and a Jordanian intelligence officer at a base in eastern Afghanistan last week was a Jordanian informant working as an al-Qaida double agent.

He was identified as Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, a 36-year-old doctor from Zarqa, Jordan.

The officials say Jordanian intelligence officers arrested al-Balawi a year ago and believed they had successfully recruited him despite his history of sympathizing with al-Qaida.  Jordan's intelligence agency then sent al-Balawi to Afghanistan and Pakistan to infiltrate al-Qaida and deliver the group's leadership to American forces.

In Afghanistan Tuesday, officials in northern Kunduz province said 14 militants were accidentally killed while trying to place a bomb in a mini-bus.


Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.
 

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