HUMINT Collection During Peace Operations

HUMINT Collection During Peace Operations

Gary G. Barnett

When the 1st Infantry Division (1ID) rolled into Kosovo as the initial entry force, Task Force 101 Military Intelligence (TF 101 MI) established intelligence operations. A critical fact we assumed during our mission analysis proved to be false: the United Nations (U.N.) Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) and specifically the UNMIK Police, not us, were responsible for all detainees. Within the first two weeks, the detainee flow exceeded UNMIK’s capabilities, leading TF Falcon to establish a detention facility at Camp Bondsteel. Although most of the detainees were petty criminals captured by U.N. Kosovo Force (KFOR) soldiers, that changed when TF Falcon captured a Serbian Army patrol in the northern part of our sector.

This article addresses challenges TF Falcon faced in processing military and civilian detainees in a peacekeeping environment. It also discusses methods we used to build our capabilities and the lessons we learned that are applicable to future peace operations.


The combat training centers (CTCs) continuously identify problems that units have with detainee identification and processing; entries from the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) Internet site record these observations in detail. HUMINT Collector interviews revealed that capturing units, soldiers detaining individuals, and military police (MP) at detention facilities attempted to question detainees. Untrained soldiers should not question detainees because it can destroy trust and hinder proper HUMINT Collection efforts. Units and soldiers also fail to document captured personnel, equipment, and material on DD Form 2745, Enemy Prisoner of War Capture Tag, and follow established procedures for interrogation operations. After several years in Bosnia-Herzegovina and two rotations in Kosovo, the same problems still plague units in peace operations.

Field Manual 34-52, Intelligence Interrogation, states, “Then goal of any interrogation is to obtain the maximum amount of useable and reliable information, in a lawful manner and in the least amount of time, which meets intelligence requirements.” Proper documentation and completed capture tags provide HUMINT collectors with essential information that assists their examination of detainees. Starting questioning by asking “What brings you here today?’ is not the preferred approach technique, but without documentation, HUMINT collectors are not primed for success with the exploitable information that leads to the best approach in each case. Capture tags provide the means to verify the information in detainee statements. They also ensure–

* Timely processing.

* Accurate inventory of documents, material, and personal property.

* Easily retrievable data concerning detainees.

Timely Reporting

TF 101 MI implemented the following tactics, techniques, and procedures (UP) to assist in detainee processing. Efficient reporting provides early notification and implementation of standard procedures. To handle this age-old problem, the TF G3 charged units to expedite all detention reports to the G2 operations section. The quickest secure means of communication gave the intelligence “system of systems” time to prepare for incoming detainees. Most units used the Mobile Subscriber Equipment (MSE) network to alert the G2 Operations Battle Captain and furnish the required information from Part B of the EPW capture tag. (Since the 1 ID units did not deploy with DD Forms 2745, the Operational Mangement Team (OMT), HUMINT Operations Center, and HUMINT Collection Chief, developed a locally reproducible form and Emailed it to unit S2s.) After notification, G2 Operations provided the Part B information to the MI Battalion tactical operations center (TOC) and the G2.

G2 Operations maintained a list of high-value target (HVT) personalities; detainment of an HVT personality meant expedited interrogation. Detention of these personalities initiated immediate notification of the G2 and Ml Battalion Commander. The MI Battalion TOC notified the on-call HUMINT collection team to begin preparation for an HVT detainee interrogation. This notification process prevented units from alerting the collectors directly for every detention of petty criminals and thus aided asset management. If there were any special linguist requirements, the MI Battalion TOC coordinated interpreter support from a pool of Category II (Secret cleared) linguists.

Upon receiving notification of detainees, the G2 Operations Battle Captain also informed the Analysis and Control Element (ACE) HUMINT Analysis Team (HAT) and provided detainee identification data. The HAT prepared target folders with information retrieved from the local HUMINT database and E-mailed the prepared target folder–including any new information requirements or special instructions for the H UMI NT Collectors–to the OMT, which passed the target folder and information requirements to the collectors. Once the HUMINT collectors received the target folders, they could initiate interrogation planning. The ACE-prepared target folder tailored the intelligence requirements to the individual detainee, which improved the interrogator’s operational results.

A Soldiers’ Common Task

Knowledge of detainment procedures is a soldiers’ common task and includes standardized actions. Take control of the detainees. Search detainees for weapons, documents, and equipment and do not allow them to discard any belongings. If detainees possess radios, walkie-talkies, cellular telephones, or any other communications devices, do not adjust, turn off, or manipulate switches. Captured enemy equipment (CEE) ranges from the smallest specialized electronic device to huge pieces of machinery, weapons, or weapon systems. Captured enemy documents (CEDs) and CEE frequently provide valuable intelligence information and facilitate interrogation.

While conducting the search, do not allow the detainees to communicate with one another. Allowing detainees to talk may give them a chance to create and coordinate alibis and to corroborate or concoct stories to frustrate questioning attempts. Obtaining the “untainted” version of a detainee’s story allows HUMINT collectors to cross-check each detainee’s statement against others. Completing the entries on the three-part DD Form 2745 is one of the most helpful actions a soldier can do to assist the collectors. If capture tags are not available, provide the following information on a separate piece of paper:

* Date and time of detention.

* Last name, first name, and middle initial of detainee.

* Date and place of birth.

* Home address.

* Location where detention occurred, including city and grid coordinates.

* Name and full unit designation of soldier implementing the detention.

* Reason for detention.

Tag all detainees with Part A of the DD Form 2745. Ensure the tags accompany them, and are available to the soldiers, MPs, or persons who transport them to the detention compound. The MPs or other escorts should obtain this information from the detaining unit before transporting detainees to the intermediate detention facility (IDF).

Search the detainees for weapons, identification documents, and materials on which to record information such as papers, notebooks, planners, or books. Place into plastic bags all items removed from detainees or removed from the vehicle in which detainees were traveling. Tag these bags with the required information from Part C of DD Form 2745. Information listed on this part of the form provides an inventory of the items in the detainees’ possession. This part of the capture tag also allows for the initiation of a “chain of custody” of both evidence and personal property. During detainee in-processing at the IDF, MPs will initiate a chain of custody in accordance with AR 195-5, Evidence Procedures, using DA Form 4137, Evidence/Property Custody Document. The itemized lists should include serial numbers, colors, makes, models, license plate numbers, quantities of ammunition, lot numbers, money, and any other items found at the scene that may impact on future questioning of detainees.

Notify the battalion S2 of the detentions and forward data from Part B of the DD Form 2745. All CEE and CEDs possessed by detainees require transportation as quickly as possible to the detention facility. HUMINT collectors use CEDs and CEE to assist them in planning and conducting questioning and will pass them on for other exploitation. HUMINT collectors have the opportunity to confront detainees with these items and conduct repeat and control questioning to determine the detainees’ cooperation and veracity. Unit S2s should ensure ample DD

Forms 2745 are available to each soldier in the unit who may detain suspects.


In the fog of operations, we can overlook routine and simple tasks. Efficient processing of EPWs and detainees improves the ability of HUMINT collectors to provide crucial intelligence information that aids intelligence analysis. By standardizing reporting procedures, TF 101 Ml enabled HUMINT managers to focus on mission requirements and improved asset management. The G2 had better information on the number of persons detained and the reasons for detention. Our intelligence system could respond much faster to the questioning of HVT personalities and go into the “booth” better prepared for questioning. The most important lessons learned we can share on peace operations include-

* Work continuously with units to ensure that they understand the proper procedures to use in personnel detention and the rapid evacuation of detainees to the rear.

* Obtain a legal opinion of what HUMINT Collectors can and cannot do based on the rules of engagement (ROE) and the Law of War.

* Prepare a standing operating procedure (SOP) or memorandum of agreement (MOA) that delineates criminal investigation and intelligence collection responsibilities for local police, MPs, soldiers, the criminal investigation division (CID), intelligence collectors, U. N. police, and the Units.*

Chief Warrant Officer Three Gary Barnett is currently the CI Team Leader, B Company, 101st Ml Battalion. He served as Chief, OCE, for TF Falcon from March through June 2000. CW3 Barnett holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts degree from the University of New York Regent’s College and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.

COPYRIGHT 2001 U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group