The email, which refers obliquely to the "current situation," itemizes what appear to be several hundred radios destined for the Damascus suburb. Among them are shock-resistant Selex VS3000s, which a company brochure advertises as being "compliant with most military-standard environmental conditions."
Although there's ample evidence that Intracom knew much of the companies' material was destined for the security forces, the AP has not seen any direct evidence that Selex knew where its equipment was going.
Itemized bills give a feel for the scope of the construction work involved in building the TETRA network — although crucial details such as timing are hard to work out.
One bill sent by an Intracom employee and dated May 10, 2011, lists more than €100,000 worth of equipment installed at two separate Damascus police sites, including antennae, microwave radio equipment and air-conditioning systems.
Another itemized list — this one attached to an Intracom email sent Feb. 2, 2012 — notes €300,000 worth of costs associated with a Police Administration Center in the Syrian city of Aleppo, as well as references to work carried out at a police academy in Damascus, two further traffic police sites in the capital and a fourth police site in the Damascus suburb of Barzeh.
Also in that sloppily-spelled list — and highlighted in red — is a Damascus-based site labeled "Militiry."
That note was one of a handful of references to the military in the leaked documents. One senior manager who worked with Intracom to set up the network said that the army's needs played a major role in the project.
"It's used by the military," he told AP, adding that many of the project's mobile radio terminals were intended for installation in army vehicles.
He spoke on condition of anonymity, saying he didn't want to draw attention to himself.
The notion of an army link to Intracom's work is backed by the leaked emails.
A May 19, 2011, email to Intracom employees from a subcontractor refers to the drafting of a "report for the Installation of the radio Terminal in military Car." A July 2011 survey document notes the contact details for a radio repeater simply as: "Army." In another email, sent in March 2011, Intracom employee Ghassan Nakoul tells co-workers that "we are going to connect the network with military exchange."
Nakoul, who spoke briefly when reached by phone, confirmed having been told "one or two times" by the Syrian Wireless Organization that Intracom was doing work for the military but said he had "honestly no idea" for whom the TETRA network was really meant.
Nakoul suggested that officials at the organization may have been exaggerating the seriousness of the project in order to get it finished more quickly.
"They sometimes raise (their) importance," he said. "Sometimes they say 'this is (for) police,' 'this is (for) the military.'"
One Intracom employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he did not want to make his role in the project known, confirmed the broad outlines of the work in Syria, acknowledging that it had a "public safety" aspect.
It's not clear what role, if any, Selex played in discussions over the technology's military applications.
The nature of the Syrian Wireless Organization — whose website couldn't be located — is obscure. Emails sent to Maamoun Haj Ibrahim and Riad Naouf — men listed by the U.N. as directors of the organization — were not returned. Calls to the group rang unanswered for days.
Syrian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jihad Makdissi said he didn't know anything about the matter and didn't respond to an email requesting comment from someone who did.
Building a nationwide TETRA network was a major undertaking.
Intracom manager Mohammad Shoorbajee's profile on the professional-networking site LinkedIn — which he has since modified to remove all reference to his work — said the project included the construction of 130 base stations, four command-and-control centers, dispatch stations, core switches, and the delivery of some 17,000 Selex radios across Syria.