France and US form secret antiterror partnership

4th July 2005, Comments 0 comments

WASHINGTON, July 3 (AFP) - France and the United States are cooperating on a unique antiterror partnership, tasked with analysing the transnational movements of terror suspects and developing operations to catch or spy on them, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

WASHINGTON, July 3 (AFP) - France and the United States are cooperating on a unique antiterror partnership, tasked with analysing the transnational movements of terror suspects and developing operations to catch or spy on them, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

The top secret counter terrorist centre in Paris, code-named Alliance Base, was set up by the US and French intelligence services in 2002, according to US and European intelligence sources cited by the Post.

The existence of the centre had not been previously disclosed.

Funded largely by the CIA's Counterterrorist Center, Alliance Base consists of small numbers of US intelligence case officers working with handfuls of foreign operatives, often in tentative arrangements.

Beginning in July 2003, its French and US commanders have worked side by side there with National Security Agency representatives at the Paris-based centre, according to the daily.

Such small-scale joint intelligence work has been responsible for identifying, tracking and capturing or killing the vast majority of committed jihadists who have been targeted outside Iraq and Afghanistan since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, the Post wrote.

Neither the CIA nor French officials would comment to the daily about Alliance Base.

John McLaughlin, the former acting CIA director who retired recently after a 32-year career, described the relationship between the CIA and its French counterparts as "one of the best in the world."

"What they are willing to contribute is extraordinarily valuable," he told the Post.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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