Don't have an account yet? Sign up as a New
|There are no upcoming
|Israeli Spooks Gain Admiration from U.S.|
|Wednesday, July 30 2003 @ 12:06 AM GMT
"According to Mossad defector Victor Ostrovsky in his exposé
of the Israeli spy agency By Way of Deception, Israeli agents
weren't very co-operative with their American counterparts when a
truck bomb killed 241 Lebanon-based U.S. Marines .."
Linda S. Heard
Results of the Congressional enquiry on
the September 11 attacks on New York and Washington puts Israel on a
pedestal when it comes to human intelligence gathering, a report in
the Israeli daily Ha'aretz indicates smugly. It suggests a new
agency should be set up, one that "should endeavour to learn from
both the successes and failures of Israel's "humint".
Israel's aggressive tactics and inventive use of
non-official covers may serve as a useful guide for this new agency,
the report recommends, adding that the new agency could even
consider limited co-operation with Israeli spy services "given the
amount of overlap in the terrorism and proliferation threats to both
our national interests".
Unfortunately for the U.S., Israeli
intelligence operatives seem to spend a lot of time spying on their
American ally as evidenced by the report of Fox News' Carl Cameron
of five Israelis whooping, high-fiving and videotaping the collapse
of the twin towers.
These youths were linked to an
Israeli-owned removal company Urban Moving, whose owner fled the
U.S. for Israel shortly after being questioned by the FBI.
After a two-month period of detention, the five were allowed
to return to Israel despite the fact one of the men had hidden
$4,700 in his sock, another had two foreign passports and a box
cutter was discovered in their van.
ABC News reported that
the case had been handed over to the FBI's Foreign
Counter-intelligence Section. Then there is the mysterious case of
the Israeli "art students" as reported by the French daily Le Monde
and by Connie Cass of Associated Press on March 9 last year.
She reports how "the Drug Enforcement Administration's
security office began compiling a dossier on 125 youthful Israeli
visitors in January 2001 after a few showed up at DEA field offices
When the young people were questioned
they said that they were students of the Bezalel Academy of Art and
Design but a spokeswoman for the Israeli institution said that none
of their names were registered there.
The FBI sent a warning
memo to government organisations that Israelis calling themselves
art students may try to gain access to federal buildings, while the
DEA report pointed out that many of the "students" had served as
intelligence officers during their obligatory army stint.
"That these people are now travelling in the U.S. selling
art seems not to fit their background" noted the report. Most of the
"students" were deported, not because they were deemed to be spies
but due to visa infringements.
According to Mossad defector
Victor Ostrovsky in his exposé of the Israeli spy agency By Way of
Deception, Israeli agents weren't very co-operative with their
American counterparts when a truck bomb killed 241 Lebanon-based
U.S. Marines in October 1983. Ostrovsky claims that Israel knew in
advance that the attack was planned and failed to warn its friends.
No doubt Israeli nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu
would agree that the Mossad lives up to its watchword of
"deception". He now languishes in an Israeli gaol after being lured
to Italy by a female Mossad agent.
scientist who was once a professor at Alexandria University Yahya Al
Mashad isn't alive to tell his tale about the deadly craft of the
Mossad. He wound up dead in a Paris hotel room. Some 14 Egyptian
nuclear scientists have lost their lives in suspicious
circumstances, at least some of the deaths were the work of the
After the infamous Lavon Affair, Egypt remains
suspicious of Israeli intelligence agencies. The year 1952 witnessed
an improvement in relations between the U.S. and Gamal Abdel
Nasser's government, which hoped that the U.S. would financially
support the Aswan Dam development programme.
no such rapprochement between Washington and Cairo and sent
espionage agents to Egypt charged with bombing U.S. interests and
shifting the blame on to the Egyptians.
Bags filled with
acid were placed on top of nitro-glycerine and hidden in fake books,
which were put on the shelves of American libraries in Alexandria
and Cairo in the knowledge that it would take several hours for the
acid to destroy the coverings and set off the bombs.
Fortunately for Nasser two Jewish youths were caught red
handed carrying identical bombs and after their confessions a gang
of six were rounded up. The scandal led to the eventual resignation
of Israel's Minister of Defence Pinhas Lavon, later considered to
have been made a scapegoat.
Arguably Israel's most notorious
spy was Eli Cohen who craftily wormed his way into the good offices
of high-ups in the Syrian government. Cohen was able to pass himself
off as a Syrian as he was born in Alexandria, his parents were from
In 1949, his parents and brothers moved to Israel
while he remained in Egypt to co-ordinate Zionist activities there.
Despite his fluent Arabic, French and English, his high intelligence
and Middle Eastern features he was turned down twice.
1960 when relations between Israel and Syria were worsening, Cohen
was approached by Israel's military intelligence agency when he
reluctantly accepted to leave his job as an accountant and wave
goodbye to his Iraqi Jewish wife for an unknown future and a new
identity as Kamal Amin Ta'abet.
Posing as a Syrian-born
businessman from Argentina, Cohen arrived in Damascus in February
1962. There he carefully cultivated his new persona to the extent
where he was entirely accepted by top Syrian echelons.
However, the commander of Syrian intelligence Colonel Ahmed
Su'edani had his private doubts about Cohen going as far as to show
his dislike, which led to the spy asking to be relieved of his
duplicitous assignment. Israel refused, as the information he had
been providing was too precious to give up.
In January 1961,
his home was raided and was hanged in May 1965 despite appeals from
With the jury still out on Israel's bombing
of the USS Liberty, which Israel says it believed was an Egyptian
vessel, America should seriously consider whether shaking hands with
Israel's intelligence services won't be like shaking hands with the
-The author is a specialist writer on Middle East
affairs. She can be contacted at email@example.com
Source: The Palestine Chronicle -
www.palestinechronicle.com. Also published at Gulf News -