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WikiLeaks: 2006-09-01: 06VATICAN183: Vatican: Iraqi Ambassador Warns of Unified Islamic Threat

by WikiLeaks. 06VATICAN183: September 01, 2006.

Posted: Thursday, October 04, 2012 at 06:25 PM UT


Viewing cable 06VATICAN183, VATICAN: IRAQI AMBASSADOR WARNS OF UNIFIED ISLAMIC THREAT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06VATICAN183 2006-09-01 09:16 2011-08-30 01:44 SECRET Embassy Vatican
VZCZCXRO2500
PP RUEHDBU RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA
DE RUEHROV #0183/01 2440916
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
P 010916Z SEP 06
FM AMEMBASSY VATICAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 0462
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEHVV/ISLAMIC CONFERENCE COLLECTIVE
RUEHGB/AMEMBASSY BAGHDAD PRIORITY 0019
RUEHROV/AMEMBASSY VATICAN 0490
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 VATICAN 000183 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/WE LARREA; NEA/I, DRL/IRF 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL:  9/1/2031 
TAGS: PGOV PINR PREL PTER IZ VT
SUBJECT: VATICAN: IRAQI AMBASSADOR WARNS OF UNIFIED ISLAMIC THREAT 
 
VATICAN 00000183  001.2 OF 002 
 
 
CLASSIFIED BY: Christopher Sandrolini, CDA, AMEMB VATICAN, 
STATE. 
REASON: 1.4 (b), (d) 
 
 
 
------- 
Summary 
------- 
 
1.  (C) Summary: Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See Yelda, sees 
severe consequences to western interests should radical Shia and 
Sunni factions ever put aside their differences and unite. 
Yelda, an Assyrian Christian, counseled the U.S. to take steps 
now to combat this possibility by portraying Iran as an 
anti-Arab Shia State bent on domination over Arab nations. 
Yelda said radical Islamic elements were recruiting 
western-looking women from Albania and Bosnia for nearly 
undetectable suicide missions in western nations and how efforts 
to recruit Arabic speakers by U.S.G. agencies were being 
exploited to infiltrate those agencies.  Yelda, whose 
information sources are unclear, also discussed the presence of 
an active former regime network within Iraq's MFA. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
An Unified Islamic Front Cannot Be Permitted 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
2.  (C) Iraqi Ambassador to the Holy See Albert Yelda warned 
PolOffs in an August 28 meeting that the U.S. must take whatever 
steps are necessary to prevent the formation of a unified 
Islamic force throughout the world or we would all "suffer the 
consequences".  Yelda stated that the coalescing of radical 
Sunni and Shia factions would be disastrous for the West, 
leading to an onslaught of world-wide terrorism.  While moderate 
Shia and Sunni factions can cooperate without adverse 
consequences, Yelda counseled that the U.S. needs to take 
affirmative steps now to prevent the reality of a unified 
radical Sunni and Shiite coalition. 
 
3.  (C) The key to keeping radical Shia and Sunni forces from 
coalescing under a United Islamic Front said Yelda, is to 
isolate Iran from the Arab States and to never permit Iran to 
take a leadership role in the Islamic world.  One way of 
accomplishing this goal, said Yelda, would be to ensure the Arab 
States never forget that it was Iran that had repeatedly 
attacked Iraq, an Arab nation with a Sunni population, during 
the Iran-Iraq War. 
 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
Yelda: Lebanon Conflict Was A Disaster For U.S. 
--------------------------------------------- -- 
 
4.  (C) Addressing the recent conflict in Lebanon, Yelda said 
the end result could not have turned out worse for the United 
States and its allies.  Israel, he said, should have been 
allowed sufficient time to eradicate Hezbollah entirely from 
Lebanon.  Instead, we are now faced with an Arab world which 
sees Hezbollah as the victor and Iran as a supporter of Arab 
rights said Yelda.  There is also new-found - and troubling - 
unity among Shia and Sunnis when the subject turns to this 
recent conflict. 
 
-------------------------------------------- 
Blue-Eyed and Blond: New Age Suicide Bombers 
-------------------------------------------- 
 
5.  (C) Yelda warned of the growing menace from the recruitment 
of female suicide bombers from Albania, Bosnia, and other 
European countries.  These bombers, unlike the female "Wafa" 
suicide bombers from Palestine and Sudan, will be extremely 
difficult to detect and stop in western countries because of 
their western features, said Yelda.  What makes the recruitment 
of these western women especially insidious, said Yelda, is that 
they have no foundation in what it is to be a Muslim and cannot, 
therefore, interpret the Koran correctly for themselves. 
 
---------------------------------- 
October 2005 Vatican Attack Foiled 
---------------------------------- 
 
6.  (C) Yelda claimed he had helped gather information used to 
foil an Islamist suicide plot to crash airplanes into St. 
Peter's Basilica in October 2005.  The information was provided 
to Vatican security officials, said Yelda, which took measures 
to prevent the attack.  Yelda further explained that Islamists 
view the Vatican as sympathetic to the West and Israel and was, 
therefore, a legitimate target. 
 
 
VATICAN 00000183  002.2 OF 002 
 
 
----------------------------------------- 
Former Regime Network Powerful Within MFA 
----------------------------------------- 
 
7.  (C) Remarking on how he was saddled with inexperienced and 
incompetent staff at his Embassy, Yelda said he had just 
received a new administrative officer who was older and more 
experienced.  Regretfully, I cannot use him, said Yelda, because 
he was sent by the "former regime network" to keep an eye on me. 
(Comment: In scheduling our appointment, Yelda insisted on 
meeting away from the Iraqi Embassy because of privacy concerns. 
 Interestingly, Yelda's personal staff assistant, who 
accompanied us to the meeting, is a Sri Lankan national). 
 
8.  (S) "I'm not sure why MFA Minister Zebari continues to allow 
these people to remain in positions of power" said Yelda, 
referring to the former regime personnel in Iraq's diplomatic 
service.  Muhamed Mahmood Al-Ameli, Ambassador to Italy, is an 
example of a former regime member who should not have been 
allowed to continue, said Yelda.  Yelda also mentioned the Iraqi 
Ambassador to Jordan, Atah Razak, formerly a senior MFA official 
as the ringleader of the former regime network within Iraq's MFA. 
 
---------------------- 
Watch the Interpreters 
---------------------- 
 
9.  (C) Addressing the methods used by radical Islamic groups to 
target western powers, Yelda pointed to U.S. efforts to recruit 
Arabic speakers and interpreters as an example of a 
vulnerability the Islamists have exploited.  "Your intelligence 
and immigration services have hired many dedicated Islamists as 
interpreters and translators," Yelda claimed.  "These are not 
stupid people; as soon as your people started recruiting for 
Arabic speakers, the Islamists sent you their best and brightest 
in an effort to penetrate your government," he continued.  Yelda 
said the U.S. should watch exactly how these translators 
interpret the words of Islamists entering the U.S.  "I guarantee 
you'll be surprised at what you hear," he concluded. 
 
------- 
Comment 
------- 
 
10.  (S) During our conversation with Yelda, he frequently 
referred to "our network" as the source of the information he 
provided.  It was clear he was not referring to any official 
Iraqi intelligence organization but rather an informal group 
with whom he was associated.  Yelda never specified the exact 
nature of this organization other than saying "my information is 
very good" and "check out what I have told you in the past and 
you'll see that my information is good."  Post would welcome 
Department guidance on whether/how to pursue any of this 
information with Yelda. 
 
11.  (S) Yelda, who is a christian affiliated with the Assyrian 
Church of the East, has met with Ambassadors Rooney and 
Nicholson in the past, and is very open to contact.  His 
relationship with the Vatican and with other Iraqis in Rome is 
less clear as are his bona fides with respect to some of the 
information he provides.  A Holy See official following Iraq 
told us recently that he had had little contact with Yelda, and 
made a vague allusion to "other interests" the ambassador might 
have.  The top Iraqi churchman in Rome has not been 
complimentary about Yelda's diplomatic work here in recent 
conversations we have had.  End Comment. 
 
 
ROONEY 
SANDROLINI

 



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