Chalabi Passed U.S. Intelligence to Iran -CBS

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21.05.2004 WASHINGTON (Reuters)


- Ahmad Chalabi, Washington's former top Iraqi ally whose house in Baghdad was raided by U.S. troops on Thursday, passed sensitive U.S. intelligence to Iran that could "get Americans killed," CBS Evening News said.

"Senior U.S. officials told us today that they have evidence Chalabi has been passing highly classified U.S. intelligence to Iran," the report said on Thursday.

"The evidence shows that Chalabi personally gave Iranian intelligence officers information so sensitive that if revealed it could ... 'get Americans killed.' The evidence is said to be 'rock solid."'

There was no independent confirmation of the report.

CBS said an aide to Chalabi dismissed the charges as "nonsense" and said they were part of an effort by the CIA to discredit him.

The report quoted unnamed sources as saying a senior member of Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress "is believed to have been recruited by Iran's intelligence agency and is on their payroll."

A high-level investigation is under way to determine who in the U.S. government gave Chalabi such sensitive information, CBS said.

The United States accuses Iran of sponsoring terrorism and has branded it part of an "axis of evil" together with prewar Iraq and North Korea.

U.S. forces and Iraqi police raided Chalabi's Baghdad home and party offices on Thursday, seizing computers and files from the man once seen by the Pentagon as potential future leader of Iraq.

U.S. officials said the raid was to gather evidence of suspected "corruption" by INC members and that Chalabi was not a target. An Iraqi judge said it was carried out under an arrest warrant for several men wanted for stealing state-owned vehicles.

Earlier this week, U.S. officials said they had cut off the $340,000 a month they were paying the Iraqi National Congress for intelligence.

Chalabi had helped build up the U.S. case for invading Iraq by contributing to the view -- now widely questioned -- that former President Saddam Hussein had an arsenal of weapons of mass destruction.



Source: Reuters









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