54. Telegram From the Embassy in Jordan to the Department of State 1
Amman, January 19, 1968, 1320Z.
3047. Subj: Jordanian request for help with anti-terrorist measures.
- In conversation with Emboff Jan 9 MajGen Muhammad Rasoul Kilani, Chief of GOJ GA General Intelligence Directorate (GID), requested assistance from the USG in the field of terrorist interdiction and suppression. Gen. Kilani stated that the GOJ wishes to accomplish two things: (A) completely stop the flow of terrorists through Jordan and break up their organizations; and (B) do this in such a way that it will not incite the people of Jordan (who are generally pro-terrorist) to insurrection against the regime.
- Gen. Kilani said that one of his main concerns is that if the terrorists build an effective organizational structure, sooner or later this could be used against the GOJ instead of the Israelis. King and PM already believe this intent. He added that he had been exposed to some of the philosophy and tactics of counterinsurgency when he had been a student at the counterinsurgency school at Fort Bragg, he felt that between the US Army and CIA there could be developed a set of tactics which would help Jordan in this problem.
- Rasoul said that he was not asking for “experts” to be sent TDY from the US, but rather asking for a thorough review of the Jordan/Israel cease-fire line situation which would make some concrete recommendations. He expected that the recommendations might very well entail use of some new and sophisticated technical devices, which he would then request and employ operationally. While he would not shrink from using armed force when necessary, he would like as much [Page 117] as possible to be able to keep the anti-terrorist campaign “under cover” and avoid alerting the people to the GOJ’s real intent.
- Emboff agreed to report Kilani’s request. Emboff later asked Rasoul’s deputy whether GID was having serious problems with villagers and refugees when it worked against various terrorist groups, and he answered that the problem was quite serious and promised to become more so if this political settlement issue remained stagnated.
- Emboff understanding was that Rasoul thinking along lines of installing anti-infiltration devices on Jordanian side of the cease-fire line under some pretext which would convince people that these were protective devices. He also seemed to be searching for new ideas to use in convincing the population that anti-terrorist activity was either not going on or was in fact aimed at another target. Rasoul gave no hint to suggest he would consider cooperating with Israel in this activity.
- Comment and Recommendations: (A) Jordanian leadership has consistently maintained anti-terrorist posture. Best recent evidence that this posture is genuine has been provided by obvious dismay over Eilat incidents which they fear can trigger reprisal against Aqaba, with both political and logistical damage to Jordan. (B) At the same time, popular support for spirit of resistance personified by infiltrators is growing along with continued frustration of hopes for peaceful solution. Capacity of leadership to enforce anti-terrorist infiltration campaign is correspondingly being eroded. (C) On top of this complication, physical problems of policing cease-fire line which provides good infiltration access at many points impose practical limits on what can be done even with the best of will. (D) Also it is only realistic to recognize that will to enforce measures will vary down through the rank and file and that there will be loopholes. (E) Given prospects for continued slow progress toward a solution (assuming continued progress), the problem of infiltration and terrorism promises to increase. (F) We are not in a position to judge the practical merit of sophisticated infiltration measures which might be employed pursuant to Rasoul’s thinking. We believe this should be evaluated and that we should respond as constructively as possible to this overture. Over and above the possible practical effects on reducing terrorist infiltration, we have major concern for reducing tensions on both sides over issue and moves such as this may help. Incidentally, GOJ would likely find future use for such equipment along any permanent frontier with Israel for some time to come as well as along Syrian frontier.
- Suggest Dept may wish repeat to Embassy Tel Aviv.
- Source: National Archives and Records Administration, RG 59, Central Files 1967-69, POL 23-8 JORDAN. Secret; Nodis.↩