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Friends Remembered Home | Friends Detail

C. Clark Constant (W9CD)

April 27, 2002

A great friend and neighbor. Clark will be missed by all.

Contributed by: Jim Kouzmanoff (K9KUZ)

Story about W9CD: IRAQ invades KUWAIT - Aug. 1990. Kuwait Aplinked During Iraqi Occupation Amateur Radio played an important, perhaps crucial role, in providing information from inside Kuwait during its occupation by Iraq. A lone amateur operator in Kuwait City, using equipment he managed to keep out of the hands of the Iraqis, has, since August 3, the day following the invasion, been sending computerized message traffic to amateur operators outside Kuwait. Messages numbering in the thousands were received by amateurs in the United States, then forwarded to the US government. Messages with potentially useful intelligence information were used to confirm reports from other sources within Kuwait, and may sometimes have been the first and perhaps only source. "The information was legitimate and authentic, no question," a State Department official said. "It was very useful. Much of the traffic concerned the atrocities being committed in Kuwait. We also got word that the Iraqis had begun to move a large number of Kuwaitis out of Kuwait and into Iraq just a few days before the coalition began its land assault." Amateur Radio operators on several continents were involved in the effort, as well as one aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, stationed offshore in the Persian Gulf. Traffic with intelligence value coming through the Kennedy connection was used aboard ship as well as forwarded through the radio system to North America. The Kennedy connection was lost when shipboard radio restrictions were imposed for security reasons a few days before the coalition bombing began (on January 16). The group used AMTOR via the established APLink system, using several HF amateur bands; most were already well-established members of the APLink network, which was designed for efficient message handling. Amateurs in the Netherlands, Lebanon and Guatemala, as well as in the US, have been mentioned as playing crucial roles. The identity of the Kuwaiti amateur (code-named "Abdul") has been a closely guarded secret; during the Iraqi occupation his life could have been at great risk. Even following the coalition liberation of Kuwait, "Abdul" feared for the safety of several of his relatives still missing and thought to be in the hands of the Iraqis. Even the Department of State did not know his identity or, for that matter, precisely how the information was reaching the US. "Had the word got out, we feared the Iraqis might kill every licensed amateur in Kuwait," said Frank Moore, WA1URA, of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, one of the US amateurs involved. The fear for "Abdul's" safety led two amateurs in the chain, both of whom knew him personally, to ask personal questions only Abdul would know the answers to. His replies "told us he was not operating with a gun at his head," Moore said. Portions of this story "broke" on March 3, in The Indianapolis Star, although Amateur Radio was not mentioned, again to protect "Abdul." Also playing important roles in this operation were Clark Constant, W9CD; Scott Ward, N5DST (the USS Kennedy radio operator); Bob Foster, WB7QWG/9; John Troost, TG9VT; and PA0/QRS. —from The ARRL Letter

Contributed by: Jim Kouzmanoff (K9KUZ)

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