C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 ABU DHABI 001397
STATE FOR IRAQ TASK FORCE, ALSO NEA/ARP, NEA/EX,
CA/OCS/NEASA, DS/DSS/ITA, DS/IP/NEA, DSERCC, AND M
E.O. 12958: DECL 03/24/13
TAGS: ASEC AMGT KHLS PTER PREL EAID PGOV TC
SUBJECT: TFIZ01 (EAC): ABU DHABI SITREP NO. 5, MARCH 24
REF: ABU DHABI 1381 AND PREVIOUS
Â¶1. (U) Classified by DCM Richard A. Albright, for reasons
1.5 (B) and (D).
Â¶2. (U) COM convened Abu Dhabi's Iraq Task Force/core
Emergency Action Committee (EAC) at 1000 local time, 3/24.
Embassy Abu Dhabi, FCS (located outside of the Embassy
compound), and the USGS office in Al Ain are open 3/24 with
Â¶3. (U) The Consular Section resumed visa services today
and has received few calls from concerned AMCITs. One of
the wardens from the Abu Dhabi-based Higher Colleges of
Technology contacted CONS and RSO yesterday to report that
the university had received a threatening email. Per
instructions from RSO, the warden passed the information to
local police, who are investigating the threat.
Â¶4. (U) FCS noted that the American business community
remains calm, but reaction from local contacts ranges from
support for the military campaign in Iraq and determination
to oust Saddam Hussein, to anger and unwillingness to meet
with FCS Commercial Officers.
Â¶5. (C) The Overseas Security Advisory Council (OSAC) --
representatives from the American business community who
liaise with RSO on security matters -- has met once a week
for the last month and will reconvene on 3/25. OSAC
confirmed to RSO that very few American businesspeople and
their dependents have left the UAE since the onset of
hostilities in the region.
Â¶6. (S) DAO noted that yesterday NAVCENT received
outstanding cooperation from the UAE Navy, which located,
interdicted and searched the fishing vessel "BUSHRA II" and
released it to Coalition naval forces. The UAE Navy was
also trying to locate the motor vessel "MARWAN", which may
be in UAE waters or in port. Like the "BUSHRA II", the
"MARWAN" is suspected of being involved in mining
operations in the Gulf on behalf of the Iraqi regime.
Â¶7. (C) RSO confirmed that security inspection of American
and FSN employees at the Embassy would begin tomorrow 3/25.
Inspections will occur on a random, but reoccurring basis.
Â¶8. (S) ORCA and DAO mentioned a number of recent,
uncorroborated threat reports of an impending attack
against American interests in the Gulf, but noted there
were no specific threats related to the UAE.
Â¶9. (U) PAO reported that stories of Iraqi civilian
casualties and the U.S. POWs dominated the local papers
today. Today's local press contained little coverage of
General Abizaid's news conference, probably owing to the
fact that the conference occurred at 2300 local time -- too
late to make the newspapers.
Â¶10. (U) Unlike Abu Dhabi TV, which has presented balanced
news reporting -- for example, it has not shown the footage
of the U.S. POWs -- satellite-channel Sharjah TV's backdrop
showed repeated stills of the bombing of Baghdad. Sharjah
TV also hosted yesterday UAE lawyer Dr. Mohammed Al-Rukn,
who quoted a British general from the 1917 occupation of
Baghdad and suggested that the U.S.-led Coalition intends
to occupy Iraq and steal its natural resources. Abu Dhabi
TV and Al-Arabiyya channels showed footage of Iraqi
civilian casualties in hospitals.
Â¶11. (U) Abu Dhabi Iraq Task Force/EAC will reconvene at
1000 local time, 3/25.
Â¶12. (U) Iraq Task Force/EAC members in attendance included
AMB, DCM, RSO, DAO, P/M, POL, ECON, CONS, MSG, OBO, PAO,
ADMIN, USLO, FCS, FBI.