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Re: Tirana Sitrep

Released on 2012-08-09 18:00 GMT

Email-ID 371830
Date 2011-01-22 20:55:41
Can we use without attribution?

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From: Michael Maness
Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:49:43 -0500
Subject: RE: Tirana Sitrep


From: []
Sent: Saturday, January 22, 2011 1:49 PM
To: Michael Maness
Subject: Re: Tirana Sitrep

Is this a U.S. or an Albanian LE source?

And if U.S., what is he doing with the opposition groups?

Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


From: Michael Maness

Date: Sat, 22 Jan 2011 14:29:08 -0500

To: Fred Burton

Subject: Tirana Sitrep

Just in from a contact (Former senior law enforcement officer with direct
access to Opposition party members).

Tirana : 22 Jan 2011 (Situation at 1930 local)

. Situation today calm, as Govt declared day of mourning for the
"martyrs" (Berisha's words).

. The Opposition has been hold-up all day today in Mayor Edi
Rama's office discussing next steps. There is some reluctance on their
part as to whether tomorrow's protest should proceed as planned. They have
apparently received word that many protesters intend to come armed to
protect themselves against the police. Rama has commented privately he
may lead the protest to try and keep them peaceful.

. Despite this, the Opposition continues to insist they will not
stop actions against the current regime until Berisha resigns. In
response, Berisha has declared that "anyone touching an official
government building will meet the same fate as the protestors yesterday."

. Rumblings have started in other major cities throughout Albania
re. sympathetic protests. Most notably Shkoder, Durres and Gjirokaster.

. There are reports of a handful of arrests of senior police
officials following yesterday's incident. Investigation is now underway as
to who gave the order to fire upon the crowds.

. Rumors continue to spread within the population that agents of
the State Intelligence Service (SHISH) had infiltrated the crowds and
provoked yesterday's violence. (Comment: No proof of this, but would not
be the first time SHISH was used in this capacity).

. Note: Great deal of fear and apprehension amongst the populace,
particularly in Tirana. Most still have vivid memories of '90 and '97.
Average Albanian is still well armed following the ransacking of weapons
depots in '97 and an escalation in violence is not unthinkable.