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Cryptonym: CATHINK

Definition:
CATHINK was the cryptonym for the Collection Division, Collection and Dissemination Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Group.
Status:
Documented
Discussion:
A dispatch on October 10, 1960, cited the official name of CATHINK as the one mentioned above. The unofficial name was redacted in the attachment to this dispatch. The dispatch's subject was about the possible knowledge that Vladimir Sloboda may have had on CATHINK. A dispatch on September 9, 1963, stated that "the problem of backstopping of resettlement and disposal cases has been carefully reviewed by elements of CSB concerned including CABEZONE (Defector Reception Center - DRC - in Frankfurt, Germany), MKTOPAZ (CIA Technical Services Division) and CATHINK."
Sources:

104-10181-10079: 6 AUG NEUES DEUTSCHLAND CARRIED ARTICLE ON DEFECTION OF SP5 VLADIMIR SLOBODA "EMPLOYEE OF AMERICAN INTELLIGENCE".

8/7/60 memo - two newspapers cover Vladimir Sloboda's defection. According Lt. Col. McCord, Chief 513 Berlin, subject employed as interrogator overt collection division West Germany..." After suggestion Sloboda's access was "limited", some wag wrote "sure, sure!"

104-10129-10138: POSSIBLE KNOWLEDGE OF VLADIMIR SLOBODA.

10/10/60: Dispatch from COS, Germany to Chief, EE (Info: Chief, KUSODA): Subject: Operational/CART/CATHINK Possible Knowledge of Vladimir Sloboda of CATHINK: "1. Paragraph one of reference C should be modified to show that Sloboda knew John T. Ossenbrink by true name as early as March 1960, at which time Ossenbrink dealt with Sloboda officially in the procuring of East German city plans and other materials for CATHINK. Since occupying the CATHINK offices in late May of 1960, Ossenbrink saw Sloboda about three times in the latter's office, each of which visits concerned the acquisition of basic intelligence materials (e.g. East German telephone books, city plans, etc). Ossenbrink did not indicate to Sloboda the reason for Ossenbrink's request for these materials, but Sloboda did know Ossenbrink's phone extension at Camp King, since Ossenbrink occasionally left word with Sloboda for Sloboda's superior, Mr. Len Maller, Chief of Publications Procurement Section, to phone Ossenbrink for official purposes. 2. Ossenbrink has questioned all KUBARK (CIA) CATHINK staff members on their knowledge of Sloboda, making use of a photograph of Sloboda for this purpose. None had any personal contact with him; however, all felt that they had seen him at the Camp King coffee bar. It should be noted that many US Army military personnel at Camp King have official knowledge of the official and unofficial name of CATHINK (see attachment under separate cover), and that the KUBARK CATHINK staff members are employees of DAD/Germany assigned to Camp King for work in CATHINK. The name and mission of CATHINK is classified presently CONFIDENTIAL - NOFORN, which means that the official name and mission of CATHINK is widely known among other US Army officers at Camp King, which also had frequent occasion to deal with Sloboda's former office." (CONTINUED BELOW).

104-10129-10138: POSSIBLE KNOWLEDGE OF VLADIMIR SLOBODA.

"Moreover, in conversing with US Army personnel at the Camp King coffee bar, it is conceivable that Sloboda learned the true names of all KUBARK CATHINK personnel without their knowledge. 3. In summary, it appears that Sloboda could have learned the following about CATHINK during the period March-August 1960 - a. Official and unofficial name and mission of CATHINK. (Official and unofficial name of CATHINK forwarded as Identities A and B respectively under separate cover attachment). 4. The delay in reporting this matter was due to the fact that Ossenbrink was on home leave when the Sloboda defection took place. John T. Ossenbrink. (REDACTION). Approved: Lester S. Redmlies." - - - Page 6: "Identity A. Collection Division, Collection and Dissemination Battalion, 513th Military Intelligence Group. Identity B: (REDACTION)."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/DICKOPF%2C%20PAUL%20%20%20VOL.%201_0092.pdf

08/08/63: Teletype from Chief, EE to COS, Germany (Info: Chief of Base, Bonn; Chief of Base, Berlin; Chief, Frankfurt Ops Base): Subject: Operational/CART/CATHINK West German Policeman Arrested for Espionage: "1. Paragraph 5 of CINCUSAREUR Heidelberg SX - 5390 /daily intel summary cable number 149/ refers to a West German policeman who was arrested as an East German espionage agent. Is this policeman identical with Hoefer of BONN - 4964? If not, can you advise us of his identity? 2. In view wife's reported employment suggest CARAVEL (former Abwehr and SS officer, Paul Dickopf) be queried."

104-10182-10069: CIA FILE ON WIROGUE.

09/09/63: Dispatch from Chief, Coordination & Support Base/Frankfurt: Subject: CABEZONE/HARVARD Backstopping of Resettlement & Disposal Cases: "1. References represent an initial misunderstanding of the problem of WIROGUE (project used a foreign agent to recruit assets for sabotage, intelligence gathering, and proposed assassinations) which is now being clarified. 2. The problem of backstopping of resettlement and disposal cases has been carefully reviewed by elements of CSB concerned including CABEZONE (Defector Reception Center - DRC - in Frankfurt, Germany), MKTOPAZ (CIA Technical Services Division) and CATHINK. In this connection there is attached a copy of a memorandum dated 27 August 1963 from Chief/MKTOPAZ which outlines the current situation. As will be noted MKTOPAZ has and will expand its capability for procurement of operational documents independent of the 513th ICG. It is believed that the present procedures for backstopping of resettlement and disposal cases should be continued. In theory an independent capability is desirable but not really practical at this time. Creation of an independent capability for backstopping resettlement cases would require duplication of the procedures and practices now followed by Mr. Willms of the 513th ICG. In addition, we would not have the advantage of hiding our cases from the Germans among other Army disposal cases. Furthermore, USAREUR has requested notification prior to contact with any German officials of any sensitive cases which we may desire to handle without military assistance...Norris D. Wallach."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/BRUECKNER%2C%20ERNST%20%20%20VOL.%202_0096.pdf

04/09/64: Dispatch from Chief of Base, Bonn to Chief, Frankfurt Operations Base (Info: COS, Germany; Chief, EE): Subject: CART/CATHINK Visit of Dr. Brueckner: "1. Unfortunately, it will not be possible for Dr. Brueckner to pay a visit to CATHINK in the near future. He recently left for South America to make security preparations for President Luerke's forthcoming tour...2. As you know, we did, at your request, extend an invitation to Dr. Brueckner to visit CATHINK some time ago. For various reasons - first the Peters affair and more recently a death in his immediate family - we have been unable to set a firm date. Although Brueckner did express some interest, albeit mild, in visiting CATHINK personally, he emphasized that it would be of far greater interest for his key officials in the Auswehrtung (evaluation) Referat to have the benefit of acquainting themselves with CATHINK, its product and services...5. We had heard from the SG that Col. Lutjins on behalf of the 513th had invited Dr. Brueckner to visit Camp King with several of his key officials. Dr. Brueckner declined, but he is sending the Herren Paar, chief of the Auswehrtung Referat; Buerger, Paar's deputy: and Schuetz, chief of the Ermitttlungs Referat. The group will be accompanied by Major Charles Graves, ID/USAREUR liaison officer at OCA. The Germans will be housed, wined and dined in Frankfurt on 20 April and will visit Camp King on 21 April. About a year ago Lt. Col. Nolte, Graves' predecessor, took Paar and Buerger on a similar junket to Stuttgart and Heidelberg which included a visit to Central Registry. We have stressed with the SG the fact that this is an ODIBEX (U.S. Army)-sponsored visit and, although a short briefing on CATHINK by Latrash, its chief and KUBARK (CIA) representative, will be included, this visit is not connected with our standing invitation to Dr. Brueckner or anyone else to visit CATHINK..."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/ZUBER%2C%20EBRULF%20%20%20VOL.%201_0017.pdf

03/23/65: Dispatch from Bonn Element, Frankfurt to Chief, Munich Liaison Base (Info: Chief, EE; COS, Germany): Subject: CART/CATHINK/CATIDE Visit of @ FELLER: "1. On 23 March 1965 @ FELLER visited us to inform us that they had come to the conclusion that they could not do without the services of @ FINK (Gehlen Organization alias for Alois Fischer) who was one of their more experienced operations officer. They were certain that the reorganization and clean-up period following the UJDROWSY (Heinz Felfe) incident had come to an end and they wanted to start operating...2. He continued by stating that it was their opinion and effort to have replacements for @ FINK and his wife but that it was the feeling in his office that @ ACKERMANN's (Gehlen Organization alias for Ebrulf Zuber) shop should put up the replacement since the entire machine problem had been moved from the CART (cable indicator for counterespionage investigation reports) Group to him...At the same time we drew his attention to the very obvious increase in ODIBEX (U.S. Army) strength at CATHINK (they are falling all over each other here) and insisted that MHBRUSH (West German Federal Government) participation must not go down at this time if we wanted to continue with our long range plans...7. We advised him that we planned to visit him after Easter to discuss with him and @ CASTEL the implications of OBE material and the HOFFMANN (Gehlen Organization alias for Hans Clemens) case, in relation to CATHINK...8. It is our conclusion that CATIDE (West German Foreign Intelligence Service - BND) is building a capability of their own which comes very close to what CATHINK can and should do. We feel, therefore, the more the urgency to come to agreements with them and/or MHBRUSH in general to consider merger plans. It will be much more difficult to combine existing large institutions than plan for a relatively combined set up now."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/ZUBER%2C%20EBRULF%20%20%20VOL.%201_0025.pdf

06/23/65: Memorandum for the record from Withheld: Subject: Discussions with CATIDE on Index Mechanization, Joint Soviet Travel, 7-10 June 1965: "1. The undersigned and Identity of DIR-14396, along with (REDACTION) met with @ ACKERMANN (Gehlen Organization alias for Ebrulf Zuber), @ KREUZBURG and several other CATIDE'ers...a. CATIDE (West German Foreign Intelligence Service - BND) has an archaic index card and file system which involves some 1.5 million index cards...which lead to dossiers filed in country sections and subfiled by intelligence service. b. There is no document control. c. There is no management/registry control over incoming documents. The operational sections forward documents to registry for indexing at their discretion...6. @ ACKERMANN noted repeatedly that CATIDE had to rely exclusively on KUDOVE (Clandestine services of CIA) experience, IBM being no help with this kind of problem...7. The undersigned invited CATIDE to participate in the joint Soviet travel program along with CAVATA (West German LfV, which were the Field Offices of the BfV - Office for the Protection of the Constitution, Internal Security Service)...10. The undersigned suggested that it may be possible, although he had no authority to make a formal offer at this time, for the unique surname and given names spellings in the CATIDE index to be matched against the names grouped by KUDOVE, MHGYRUS, and the Chicago Title and Trust Company in order to give CATIDE the benefit of the linguistic effort which has taken place over the last several years in the United States in name grouping. (REDACTION). Distribution...3-EE/G/CE (for Munich, Bonn, CATHINK (REDACTION)."

https://www.cia.gov/readingroom/docs/ZUBER%2C%20EBRULF%20%20%20VOL.%201_0093.pdf

04/09/69: Telepouch from Withheld to Chief, WOMUSE (Info: Chief, European Division - Withheld): Subject: CART CATHINK CASTRUT (?) CAWHISPER EGIS Machine System: "1. On 3 April CAWHISPER/41 (C/41) related following learned on 28 March at first visit to CATUSK (West German Foreign Intelligence Service - BND) as CATHINK coordinator. A. Alias Kahlert either recently was or will be moved up shortly into alias Ackermann slot. B. Alias Kahlert expressed strong desire that CATHINK remain strong, even become more central EGIS focal point..." - - - Pages 3-4: ..."Our feelings on these requests are negative, but we see no immediate way out if WOFIRM (CIA) desires this editing and input be done by MHBRUSH (West German Federal Government). We foresee this leading to CATHINK becoming solely an input point, gradually depleted to non-existence..." - - - For the MHBRUSH definition see page 40 of this document: https://www.archives.gov/files/iwg/declassified-records/rg-263-cia-records/second-release-lexicon.pdf

Contributors:
Gavin McDonald

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