The Web      Powered by
Forces: Iraq/Security Services
Deployments in the Persian Gulf

Iraq's state security system consists of several agencies charged with a variety of security functions. The Iraqi National Security Council, headed up by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's youngest son, Qusay Hussein, coordinates the agencies. Little is known about these paramilitary and police groups, but their importance to the regime is undisputed.

The security forces are directed from the Joint Operations Room in the Baghdad Presidential Palace, where Iraqi troop movements are also coordinated.

Iraq Special Security

Created in the 1980s during the Iran-Iraq war, it is considered super-secret and is directed by Qusay. It is considered the top intelligence agency in Iraq, and its primary duties are protecting Saddam, and managing the Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard. Because of the sensitive nature of the work, recruits for the agency are chosen carefully and usually hail from Saddam's hometown of Tikrit or its environs.

The agency would also coordinate any effort to conceal weapons of mass destruction and was instrumental in frustrating the efforts of the first U.N. weapons inspection team. It also supervises internal security operations against Iraq's Kurdish and Shiite minorities and helped suppress the 1991 Shiite uprising in southern Iraq after the Persian Gulf War.

The agency is based in Baghdad but has offices in Basra and Mosul.

Iraqi Intelligence Service

This branch, also known as the Mukhabarat, is tasked with monitoring the ruling Baath Party and other groups, including the Shiite and Kurdish minorities. It also monitors overseas embassies and foreign nationals visiting Iraq. Another of its key missions is to conduct sabotage, subversion and terror operations against Iran and Syria. This agency tried to assassinate former President George Bush during his visit to Kuwait in 1993. The director is Lt. Gen. Tahir Jalil Habbush al-Tikriti.

General Security Service
This is the a political security police force, charged with monitoring the day-to-day life of Iraqis. Its key missions are to react to political behavior the government deems criminal and to maintain internal security. Formerly a part of the Interior Ministry, it became independent in the 1970s. It is headed by Rafi Abid al-Talfah, a cousin of Saddam's.

Fedayeen Saddam
This quasi-official force is controlled by Saddam's eldest son, Uday. Its name means "Saddam's men of sacrifice." Its 10,000-40,000 soldiers recruited from areas that are loyal to Saddam are supposedly independent of the other intelligence agencies. The group's missions include running counterinsurgency operations, and helping police fight crime and maintain order.

Military Intelligence
This department was created in 1932, soon after Iraq's independence. Its missions are to ensure the loyalty of Iraq's military and to gather intelligence of military value. It maintains a network of informants and is involved in operations outside the country, including assassinations of regime opponents. The director is Maj. Gen. Zuhair al-Naqib.

Jane's Sentinel, CNS/Monterey Institute of International Studies,
On CNN TV E-mail Services CNN Mobile CNN AvantGo CNNtext Ad info Preferences
   The Web     
Powered by
© 2005 Cable News Network LP, LLLP.
A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us.
external link
All external sites will open in a new browser. does not endorse external sites.
 Premium content icon Denotes premium content.