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This article points to the establishment of a CIA Country Resident Representative Office, where CIA officials have a permanent base in a foreign country.
While it raises the broader issue of national sovereignty, it also illustrates how the intelligence services permeate the governmental structures of the host country.
The case of Macedonia is crucial because the evidence suggests that NATO and the US (and their the intelligence services) actively collaborated with paramilitary groups linked to Al Qaeda.
And in fact this happened barely a few weeks before 9/11, casting doubt on the official 9/11 narrative, which presents Al Qaeda as "The Outside enemy" of America.
Global Research Editor, 25 March 2005
CIA IS "HELPING US" AND "CONTROLLING US"
by Aleksandar Bozinovski
Intelligence sources claim that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and Britain's Military Intelligence (MI6) have their own offices, that is, departments for cooperation on the Interior Ministry premises.
Experts say that Macedonia is most probably the only country in the world that gives foreign intelligence services premises in its state institutions.
Aleksa Stamenkovski, former director of the Intelligence Agency, says that he has not heard of another country allowing foreign intelligence officials to have offices in state institutions.
"It has been five years since I left the intelligence service. But when I was director of the Intelligence Agency no foreign intelligence service ever asked us to give them offices. Even if they had asked for such a thing, I would not have allowed it," Stamenkovski said. He is currently a professor at the Military Academy.
He said that during his term in office the cooperation with the CIA and the other intelligence agencies was outstanding, but that our intelligence services were not placed at a disadvantage. This is inadmissible, he says.
"No matter how well equipped technologically they may be, foreigners cannot know more about the security issues in Macedonia than our intelligence services. Regardless of the fact that this is a small country, the cooperation must be at an equal level. They are friendly intelligence services, but this does not mean that we should give them everything that they want," Stamenkovski said.
The Interior Ministry rejected these reports. It claims that nowhere in the world, not even in Macedonia, can foreign services have offices in state institutions.
"The UDBK (State Security and Counterintelligence Department) cooperates with the foreign services by exchanging information on Islamic fundamentalism, not by giving them premises. The cooperation in preventing the illegal trade in drugs or people is carried out through Interpol," Interior Ministry spokesman Goran Pavlovski said.
But our sources claim that the CIA is constantly present in the Interior Ministry. The CIA representative is a Macedonian, a veteran of the UDBK and an expert on Islamic fundamentalism. Intelligence sources say that a few other colleagues of theirs, among them a former senior official of the UDBK, are also on the CIA's payroll.
They warn that the CIA is interfering too much in the UDBK's work, but that it has also helped a lot. The agreement on cooperation with the CIA was signed in 1991. This agreement contained a protocol stating that 30 percent of the individuals and cases processed by the UDBK should be available to the CIA agents. But with time the US intelligence agency demanded access to the other 70 percent of the dossiers. The former UDBK officials reacted to their US colleagues' behavior and insisted on the cooperation returning within the frames of the protocol.
"The CIA did a lot for us; it trained our members and it supplied us with wiretapping and tracking equipment. We all know that they have their offices in the Interior Ministry and that they pay rent for this. But why do they have to engage UDBK employees for their needs? There are approximately 10 UDBK employees who are on the CIA's payroll as well. Is their job to follow fundamentalists or to spy on us?" the intelligence officials say. The CIA is also renting a private house in Skopje, in the region of Momin Potok. It has converted this house into its headquarters, which is equipped with highly sophisticated technology.
These same sources say that MI6 has its own offices, as well. Until two years ago the representative of this agency was Heather Bridge. She was sent on a mission to Colombia. Agent Bridge's name was mentioned a number of times in the "Rastanski Lozja" trial.
Well-informed sources warn that the cooperation with the CIA could cost the state dearly. They stress the current "Masri" case. Khalid al-Masri, a German citizen of Arab origin, was arrested by the UDBK on suspicion that he was involved in the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York on 11 September. He was turned over to the CIA discreetly. Masri was then taken to Afghanistan where he was questioned. In the end he was released because he was arrested by mistake. Now he has announced that he will file charges against Macedonia and the United States before the Human Rights Court in Strasbourg. There are also more and more unofficial reports that Berlin will demand an explanation for this case from Macedonia.
"No matter how close the states and secret services' cooperation may be, there is no friendship or animosity here, only interest. Cooperation with the secret services to such an extent as we had with the 'Masri' case brings into question Macedonia's sovereignty," Biljana Vankovska, professor at the Institute for Security, said. She asks what Macedonia will receive from this cooperation.
"I am just a theoretician. But why did the foreign services not inform us in time about what was being prepared in Kondovo? As far as I know, the CIA achieves most of its interests through cooperation with the Albanians, not the government," Vankovska said.
Former Interior Minister Pavle Trajanov says that the US intelligence service was always on Macedonia's side and that it never supplied false information.
"They were mostly interested in information related to Al-Qa'ida and other Islamic organizations. The US and CIA's general position is on Macedonia's side. During the period 1999-2000 we received exceptionally high quality information on the events in Kosovo that were related to Macedonia," Trajanov said.
Al Qaeda and NATO Join Hands in supporting NLA Terrorists in Macedonia, by Marina Domazetovska, April 2002
U.S. Protects Al-Qaeda Terrorists in Kosovo, by Umberto Pascali, November 2001
War on terrorism skipped the KLA, by James Bissett, November 2001
NATO Invades Macedonia , by Michel Chossudovsky, August 2001
Washington Behind Terrorist Assaults In Macedonia , by Michel Chossudovsky, August 2001
The Military Occupation of Macedonia, by Michel Chossudovsky, August 2001
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