Iraqi National Intelligence Service
جهاز المخابرات الوطني العراقي
Official agency emblem
Agency overview
FormedApril 2004
Preceding agency
JurisdictionGovernment of Iraq
HeadquartersGreen Zone, Baghdad
Agency executive
Parent agencyIndependent

The Iraqi National Intelligence Service (INIS) is the chief intelligence agency of Iraq. It was created with the help of the CIA to replace the Mukhabarat, after the latter was dissolved.[1][2][3]


After the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority L. Paul Bremer disbanded Iraq's military and security services per CPA Order Number 2. As the security situation within Iraq deteriorated and Iraqi resistance to the occupation became stronger and more violent, the need for a secret service became more pressing. In December 2003, The Washington Post reported that Iyad Allawi and Nouri Badran, members of both the Iraq Interim Governing Council and the Iraqi National Accord political party, flew to the U.S. to discuss details of setting up a new secret service with the help of the CIA. The agency was to be headed by Badran and recruit many agents of Saddam Hussein's Iraqi Intelligence Service. The main objective of the new organisation was to counter the insurgency. The hiring process was aided by CIA polygraph[4]

In January 2004, The New York Times reported that the creation of the new agency was under way. It was to employ between 500 and 2,000 staff and be financed by the U.S. government. Ibrahim al-Janabi was said to be the main candidate for leading the agency. These efforts drew criticism from Ahmed Chalabi, another formerly exiled Iraqi politician who had good connections with the CIA, who voiced worries that the new agency might be used for the restoration of the old Ba'athist security apparatus and follow the well-established pattern of government repression.


In April 2004, CPA head L. Paul Bremer signed Authority Order Number 69, which laid out a charter for the INIS and authorized the Iraqi Governing Council to create such an agency. Its first director is Mohammed Abdullah al-Shahwani and it has been funded from secret funds set aside within the Iraq appropriation approved by the U.S. Congress. These secret funds, totalling $3 billion over three years, are said to be destined for covert CIA operations within Iraq (as well as, to a small extent, Afghanistan).[5] Al-Shehwani was in the Iraqi military from 1955 until 1984, fled to the UK in 1990 and lost his three sons in the 1996 failed coup organized by INA and the CIA.


In mid-2004, 18 INIS agents were killed—ten by the Badr Organization and eight by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's Al-Qaeda in Iraq according to al-Shahwani. He also accused the Iranian embassy in Baghdad of organizing the Badr assassinations.[6]

In 2021, a number of members of the agency were subjected to assassination, such as: the assassination of the assistant director of monitoring in the intelligence service, Colonel Nibras Abu Ali, and the assassination of an intelligence officer in the Mansour area, west of Baghdad.[7]

According to Iraqi sources, the assassinations come as a "reaction" from the militias towards the restrictions imposed on them by the Al-Kadhimi government in several areas, including changing military and security leaders, removing members affiliated with Iran-backed militas from sensitive areas such as Karrada area near the Green Zone and the airport, and arresting leaders and people affiliated with them such as Hussam Al-Azerjawi, Qassem Musleh and the leader of the assassination squad in Basra during the 2019-21 protests.[8][9][10]


According to CPA Order 69, which established the INIS, it is tasked to collect intelligence and perform intelligence activities with regard to:[11]


  1. ^ "Phoenix Rising". The American Prospect. 1 January 2004. Archived from the original on 11 October 2017.
  2. ^ Parker, Ned (14 October 2004). "Iraq's spy chief accuses Badr militia of killing agents". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2008.
  3. ^ Priest, Dana; Wright, Robin (11 December 2003). "Iraq Spy Service Planned by U.S. To Stem Attacks: CIA Said to Be Enlisting Hussein Agents". Washington Post. Archived from the original on 20 August 2018.
  4. ^ Priest, Dana; Wright, Robin (2003-12-11). "Iraq Spy Service Planned by U.S. To Stem Attacks: CIA Said to Be Enlisting Hussein Agents". The Washington Post.[dead link]
  5. ^ Phoenix Rising, The American Prospect, January 1, 2004
  6. ^ Parker, Ned (2004-10-14). "Iraq's spy chief accuses Badr militia of killing agents". Archived from the original on 2017-10-10. Retrieved 2008-01-24.
  7. ^ "اغتيال ضابط كبير شرق بغداد.. والكاظمي يأمر بالتحقيق". العربية (in Arabic). 2021-06-07. Retrieved 2021-10-31.
  8. ^ ""ردة فعل" وتهديد لحكومة الكاظمي.. تفاصيل عن اغتيال ضابط المخابرات العراقي | الحرة". (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-10-31.
  9. ^ "البرلمان يتحرك بشأن ضباط المخابرات المنقولين للمنافذ الحدودية". البرلمان يتحرك بشأن ضباط المخابرات المنقولين للمنافذ الحدودية. Retrieved 2021-10-31.
  10. ^ rima.khalil. "شهر على التحقيق مع عناصر "فرقة الموت" في البصرة: تكتم على النتائج". (in Arabic). Retrieved 2021-10-31.
  11. ^ "Coalition Provisional Authority Order Number 69: Delegation of Authority to Establish the Iraqi National Intelligence Service" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-07-01. Retrieved 2008-01-24.