Title: NSA Intelligence Relationship with Saudi Arabia

Release Date: 2014-07-25

Document Date: 2013-04-08

Description: This NSA information paper dated 8 April 2013 details the agency’s deepening signals intelligence relationship with Saudi Arabia: see the Intercept article The NSA’s New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia’s Brutal State Police, 25 July 2014.

Document: TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

National Security 8 April 2013

Agency/Central Security
Service

Information Paper

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) Subject: NSA Intelligence Relationship with
Saudi Arabia

(U) Introduction

(TS//SI//N F) Since the first Gulf War in 1991, NSA/CSS has had a very limited
SIGINT relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The SIGINT
relationship has been solely with the Ministry of Defense, Radio Reconnaissance
Department (MOD RRD) which is the first of three ministry-level organizations
that have a role in the defense and security of the Kingdom. The NSA/CSS
SIGINT relationship with the MOD RRD is a complex and challenging one that,
after several years of stagnation, is experiencing a period of rejuvenation.
NSA/CSS is in the process of modernizing the MOD RRD High Frequency
Direction Finding (HFDF) capability that assists in the monitoring of Iranian
military threats to KSA. NSA/CSS’ Middle East/Africa (MEA) and
Counterterrorism (CT) Product Lines provide threat warning against terrorist
targets and targets of interest to the KSA, specifically, intelligence related to
Huthi conflicts along the Saudi/Yemen border.

(TS//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) On 11 December 2012, the Director of National
Intelligence (DNI) approved expansion of NSA’s Third Party SIGINT relationship
with Saudi Arabia to include the Saudi Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) Technical
Affairs Directorate (TAD). Prior to receiving DNI’s approval of the relationship and
under the auspices of CIA’s relationship with the MOI’s Mabahith (General
Directorate for Investigations, equivalent to FBI), NSA had been collaborating
with TAD since February 2011 on a sensitive access initiative. This capability is
focused on internal security and terrorist activity on the Arabian Peninsula. With
the approval of the Third Party SIGINT relationship, NSA/CSS intends to provide
direct analytic and technical support to TAD.

(TS//SI//REL TO USA, FVEY) Lastly, using the Foreign Release Process,
NSA/CSS shares threat warning and terrorist lead information produced by the
Counterterrorism Product Line with the CIA Station in Riyadh to pass to CIA’s
intelligence partner the KSA Ministry of Interior Directorate of Investigations,
Mabahith.

Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52

Dated: 20130408

Declassify On: 20380408

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

(U) Key Issues

(TS//SI//REL TO USA, FVEY) MOD RRD is interested in expanding the
relationship with NSA/CSS. The MOD RRD seeks signals analysis equipment
upgrades, decryption capabilities and advanced training on a wide range of
topics. While NSA/CSS is able to respond to many of their requests, some must
be denied due to the fact that they place sensitive SIGINT equities at risk.

(TS//SI//NF) NSA/CSS leadership anticipates a spring 2013 visit to Saudi Arabia
to meet with TAD leadership to discuss current and future initiatives of mutual
interest under the new relationship construct. NSA’s primary goals for the
partnership are:

1) (S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) to leverage Saudi Arabia's strategic location
and unique access to communications - e.g. al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula
(AQAP) terrorist activity currently not accessible by other means, and

2) (TS//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) to facilitate the Saudi government's ability
to utilize SIGINT to locate and track individuals of mutual interest within Saudi
Arabia.

(U) What NSA Provides to Partner

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) NSA/CSS provides technical advice on SIGINT topics
such as data exploitation and target development to TAD as well as a sensitive
source collection capability.

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) NSA/CSS provides a sensitive decryption service to
the Ministry of Interior against terrorist targets of mutual interest.

(U) What Partner Provides to NSA

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) NSA leverages MOD RRD access to remote
geography in the Arabian Gulf but provides no finished SIGINT reporting to
NSA/CSS, however; they have provided unencrypted collection against the IRGC
OOPS Maritime Force targets of mutual interest from their collection system

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) TAD provides sensitive access to unique collection
containing AQAP terrorist targets of mutual interest.

Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52

Dated: 20130408

Declassify On: 20380408

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

(U) Success Stories

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) NSA’s work with TAD on a sensitive access has
shown early promise in producing SIGINT of value to the CT product line.

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) A modernized HFDF sensor and HFDF antenna
system was installed in September 2012 at a MOD RRD location new Riyadh.
This HFDF system replaces a legacy sensor that has been inoperable for an
extended period of time and will significantly improve NSA’s regional HFDF
architecture.

(S//SI//REL TO USA, SAU) MOD RRD supported a Quick Reaction Capability

the Arabian Gulf in response to a potential threat from IRGC QODS Maritime
Force. A sustained collection platform is planned for deployment in May 2013.

(U) Problems/Challenges with the Partner

(S//SI//REL TO USA, FVEY) The MOD RRD would like to move expeditiously in
their modernization efforts, to include the acquisition of additional SIGINT
capabilities. NSA/CSS is cautiously moving forward with this partner and is not
necessarily ready to move forward with initiatives that expose sensitive NSA/CSS
SIGINT equities. This difference in strategic direction will sometimes be
problematic and cause tension within the partnership.

(S//SI//NF) NSA/CSS has agreed to coordinate collection operations in Saudi
Arabia with Chief of Station of Riyadh in an effort to protect unilateral HUMINT
assets from scrutiny.

(TS//SI//NF) NSA/CSS does not expect the new relationship with TAD to usurp or
negatively impact NSA/CSS’ existing relationship with the Ministry of Defense
Radio Reconnaissance Department (MOD RRD), as MOD RRD does not have
similar access to internal Saudi telecommunications.

(S//REL TO USA, FVEY) Prepared by:

Saudi Arabian Desk Officer
Foreign Affairs Directorate. NSA/CSS
NSTS

Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52

Dated: 20130408

Declassify On: 20380408

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

Derived From: NSA/CSSM 1-52

Dated: 20130408

Declassify On: 20380408

TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN

e-Highlighter

Click to send permalink to address bar, or right-click to copy permalink.

Un-highlight all Un-highlight selectionu Highlight selectionh