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Mukhabarat - Mukhabarat (مخابرات) is the Arabic word for intelligence, as in "military intelligence. However, throughout the Middle East, "Mukhabarat" refers to secret police departments that are used to impose state terror. A "Mukhabarat state" is a what is called a "police state" in the west. In popular parlance, any secret police organization is called "Mukhabarat."

Organizations that are officially called "Mukhabarat" include:

In Egypt:

  • Al-Mukhabarat Al-'Ammah (General Intelligence Service)
  • Al-Mukhabarat Al-Harbeya (Military Intelligence Directorate)

In Iraq:

  • Jihaz al-Mukhabarat al-Amma (Iraqi intelligence service or General Intelligence Directorate, formerly Jihaz al-Khas)

In Jordan:

  • Dairat al Mukhabarat (Intelligence Bureau)

In Syria:

  • Shu'bat al-Mukhabarat al-'Askariyya (Department of Military Intelligence)
  • Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Jawiyya (Air Force Intelligence Directorate)
  • Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Amma (General Intelligence Directorate)

Palestinian preventive security is also called "Mukhabarat" by the populace.

Synonyms and alternate spellings:

Further Information:   

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Encyclopedia of the Middle East

Note - This encyclopedia is a work in progress. It is far from complete and is being constructed and improved all the time. If you would like to contribute articles or expansions of existing articles, please contact news (at) mideastweb.org.  Suggestions and corrections are welcome. The concise version of this dictionary is at our Middle East Glossary.

Spelling - Spelling of words in Middle-Eastern languages is often arbitrary. There may be many variants of the same name or word such as Hezbollah, Hizbolla, Hisbolla or Husayn and Hussein. There are some conventions for converting words from Semitic languages such as Arabic and Hebrew There are numerous variant renderings of the same Arabic or Hebrew words, such as "Hizbollah," "Hisbulla" etc. It is not possible to find exact equivalents for several letters. 

Pronunciation - Arabic and Hebrew vowels are pronounced differently than in English. "o" is very short. The "a" is usually pronounced like the "a" in market, sometimes as the "a" in "Arafat."  The " 'A " is guttural.  " 'H "- the 'het ('Hirbeh, 'Hebron, 'Hisbollah') designates a sound somewhat similar to the ch in "loch" in Scots pronunciation, but made by touching the back of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. The CH should be pronounced like Loch, a more assertive consonant than 'het.

The "Gh" combination, and sometimes the "G," designate a deep guttural sound that Westerners may hear approximately as "r." The "r" sound is always formed with the back of the tongue, and is not like the English "r."

More information: Hebrew, Arabic

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