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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 27, 2003

Interrogation 101: Israel willing to train U.S. military

JERUSALEM — Israel has offered to train U.S. military and intelligence personnel in the interrogation of Iraqi prisoners of war.

Israeli government sources said the Israeli Security Agency has been authorized by the government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to offer training in the interrogation of Arabic-speaking prisoners regarding Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.

The United States reports that allied forces have captured more than 4,000 Iraqi soldiers, Middle East Newsline reported. Many of them have surrendered without a fight.

The Israeli offer is meant to train U.S. interrogators to acquire immediate information of both tactical and strategic importance. Currently, the sources said, the U.S. military requires data on Iraqi WMD bunkers and soon interrogators will need information on Saddam's military deployment in Baghdad.

"I can only say that Israel has offered this service and the United States has expressed appreciation," a government source said. "I can't go beyond that."

The training techniques offered to the United States were developed during Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, the capture of Palestinian cities in the West Bank in April 2002. The ISA interviewed thousands of Palestinians during and after the month-long military campaign, which focused on heavy fighting in urban areas.

Israel has offered a range of services and military systems for the U.S.-led against Iraq. This has included the sale of motorized air decoys, unmanned air vehicles, air navigation pods as well as training of U.S. special operations forces in urban warfare.