Intelligence: Saddam's Spies Survive In America


December 4,2008: As U.S. troops became more familiar with Iraq, and the details of Saddam's foreign espionage efforts came to light, it became known that Saddam had some U.S. citizens on the payroll. Over a dozen suspects were uncovered, and most were charged, if not prosecuted, for espionage. In Michigan, where the largest concentration of Arab-Americans live, four U.S. citizens have been prosecuted in the last few years. Some of Saddam's agents even took jobs as interpreters in Iraq after 2003.

Saddam was not looking for James Bond grade spies, but simply people who could provide Iraqi intelligence with an accurate picture of what was going on in the United States, at least as it related to Iraq. Having many agents in Michigan (mainly in and around Detroit) also enabled Saddam to monitor Iraqi expatriates who worked to overthrow him.

Because these Iraqi agents were operating at such a low, grassroots, level, they rarely appeared on the FBI radar. Saddam's espionage service was efficient enough to set up ways to get information to and from his American spies. This is nothing new. Many other nations, both friendly and hostile, have similar spy networks inside the United States. And many of these low level spies are never caught.


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