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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘espionage’

Iran Releases Jason Rezaian +4 in Prisoner Exchange with Major Concessions

Saturday, January 16th, 2016

Jason Rezaian, Saeed Abedini, Amir Hekmat and Nosratollah Khosravi-Roodsari, four dual US-Iranian citizens were released from an Iranian jail on Saturday by Iran in an apparent prisoner exchange with the United States.

Jason Rezaian is an Iranian-American journalist who served as Tehran bureau chief for The Washington Post. He was convicted of espionage in a closed-door trial in Iran in 2015.

The four were transported to Switzerland, and will then continue on to to a US base in Germany.

A fifth American citizen, Matthew Trevithick, was released in a separate deal.

Former FBI agent Robert “Bob” Levinson was not released.

In exchange, the US will offer clemency to 7 Iranian prisoners, 6 of them who hold dual US-Iranian citizenship: Nader Modanlou, Bahram Mechanic, Khosrow Afqahi, Arash Ghahreman, Touraj Faridi, Nima Golestaneh and Ali Sabounchi.

The Obama administration also delayed a  series of sanctions that were supposed to be imposed on Iran, after Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif warned U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that the sanctions would derail the prisoner exchange, according to an Haaretz report.

FARS reports that part of the deal includes US dropping its charges against 14 Iranians for trying to transfer arms to Iran:  Saeed Jamili, Jalal Salami, Matin Sadeqi, Alireza Moazzemi Goudarzi, Mohammad Abbas Mohammadi, Kourosh Taherkhani, Sajjad Farhadi, Seyed Ahmad Abtahi, Gholamreza Mahmoudi, Hamid Arabnejad, Ali Moattar, Mohammad Ali She’rbaf, Amin Ravan and Behrouz Dolatzadeh.

Dropping the charges, will apparently allow them to travel freely outside of Iran without fear of arrest via Interpol or setting off warning flags, according to a Politico report.

FARS originally also reported that the US will also demand Interpol end its investigations of Iranian involvement in the bombing of the Jewish Center in Argentina, but that has subsequently been removed from their website.

Robert Levinson

Robert Levinson, still missing in Iran

 

Related story: As Its $100 Billion Are Released Iran Buying 114 Airbus Planes

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Lebanese Military Court Accuses UNIFIL Worker of Collaborating With Israel

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

A Lebanese judge has issued an indictment against an employee of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) on a charge of “collaborating with Israel.”

Lebanese Military Investigative Judge Riad Abou Ghida issued the order of indictment on Tuesday against UNIFIL employee Hani Matar. The judge also issued a similar indictment against Syrian national Ramez al-Sayyed and his wife, according to LBCEurope.

UNIFIL announced last month that one of its Lebanese employees had been transferred to Lebanese authorities after being accused of spying for Israel.

Although the charges were brought in Lebanon’s military court, Lt. Colonel Lila K. Chhetri, listed on the UNIFIL website as the agency’s senior military public information officer, declined to comment on the issue. JewishPress.com was unable to reach UNIFIL Public Information spokesperson Andrea Tenenti.

UNIFIL was created by the United Nations Security Council in March 1978 to “confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, restore international peace and security and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its effective authority in the area.”

The organization is also required to “accompany and support the Lebanese armed forces as they deploy throughout the south of Lebanon and extend its assistance to help ensure humanitarian access to civilian populations and the voluntary and safe return of displaced persons.”

In addition to that mandate, the Council tasked the Force with monitoring the cessation of hostilities between Israel and Hezbollah terrorists following the 2006 Second Lebanon War — a task that was to include preventing the terrorist group from rearming itself — at which it has failed spectacularly. Hezbollah has not only rearmed to levels nearly double those at which it began prior to the 2006 Second Lebanon War; the terrorist group has also integrated into the social fabric of its host country to the point that it has now become the second largest governing entity and military organization in Lebanon.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Bedouin Freed From Egyptian Prison

Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Israeli Bedouin Ouda Tarabin has been freed from an Egyptian prison after 15 years’ incarceration on suspicion of spying for the Jewish State.

He returned to Israel early Thursday morning, just as two Egyptian prisoners completed their prison terms in Israel and were released to return to Egypt.

Tarabin was arrested by Egyptian authorities while crossing the border to visit his family in the Sinai Peninsula. He was tried and sentenced in absentia in 2000 on charges of aiding others in gathering intelligence.

Hana Levi Julian

Iranian ‘Rocket Kitten’ Hackers De-Clawed in CyberSpy Operation

Monday, November 9th, 2015

A powerful Iranian government-backed hacker group, “Rocket Kitten,” has been de-clawed in a special operation carried out by police in Europe.

Sources from the Check Point Sofware company, a U.S.-Israeli security firm, were quoted by Reuters as saying they identified the threat presented by the hacker group linked to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, as far back as early 2014.

“Rocket Kitten” had mounted some 1,600 attacks on powerful defense and political global leaders in the United States, Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, among other targets, according to the report.

Researchers at Check Point had located the computers used to launch the attacks. National computer security response teams were informed in Britain, Germany and the Netherlands, the company said. The response teams in turn informed local police about the locations of the attacking “command and control” servers, controlled from Iran.

Among the high-profile personalities targeted by the Iranian hacker group were Israeli nuclear scientists, NATO officials, members of the Saudi Arabian royal family, wives of generals from unidentified nations and Iranian dissidents.

An advance copy of a report on the operation to be released Monday by Check Point explains how the security response teams were able to enter the hacker group’s database and remote-controlled computers to plant a malicious set of software tools.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet), Europol and FBI have all declined comment on the report.

Hana Levi Julian

3 Accused ‘Israeli Spies’ Caught in Lebanon

Sunday, November 8th, 2015

Three people arrested in Lebanon on Sunday have been accused of spying for Israel.

A Syrian national, his Lebanese wife and a second man, also a Lebanese citizen, allegedly confessed to recording “sensitive” locations in southern Lebanon and sending the footage to their “employers to be used in later attacks,” according to the charges. They also allegedly admitted to gathering information on military and government targets for Israeli intelligence, AFP reported.

“In the framework of pursuing operations to combat terrorism and espionage… the directorate of General Security arrested a spy network working for the Israeli enemy in the south [of Lebanon],” said the Lebanese security service in a statement released to media on Sunday.

It is not clear exactly where the alleged “spies” were arrested or what their ethnic and/or religious affiliations are.

There is a massive internecine conflict taking place in Lebanon — and elsewhere in the Middle East — centered largely but not entirely on the civil war that is raging in Syria. It involves the deep rift between the Sunni and Shi’ite streams of Islam as well as the political divide that has been created by the horrific human rights abuses originally carried out by the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Those in the Syrian opposition forces have also become equally abusive in their battle to overcome their enemies; and the opposition itself has since divided many times over, fragmenting into radical Islamist forces and those which are less extremist but which are still perfectly willing to exert unbelievable cruelty in order to win their greater battle.

In Lebanon itself, there is also a separate battle taking place between those who are for and against the Syrian regime, and those who support and oppose Da’esh (ISIS), which also has begun to encroach upon what until now has been primarily territory ruled by the Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorist organization.

Among those fighting for the Syrian regime are fighters from Russia and Iran, as well as the Hezbollah guerrilla forces which today also comprise a large part of Lebanon’s military strength. Lebanon and Syria never made peace with Israel, and Hezbollah has broken its own “ceasefire” agreement with the Israeli armed forces countless times since the 2006 Second Lebanon War.

Over the past six years, more than 100 people have been accused of spying for the Jewish State in Lebanon. There has been no response from the Israeli government, which does not comment on such matters.

Hana Levi Julian

US Won’t Let Pollard Out of Country for Five Years

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Jonathan Pollard will be a free man in November, but not totally free.

His supporters were happy to hear this week that parole will be granted in November, but hopes that he would move to Israel were squelched by the Obama administration.

The White House said that Pollard had committed “very serious crimes” and Alistair Baskey, a spokesman for the White House’s National Security Council added:

The president has no intention of altering the terms of Mr. Pollard’s parole.

Parolees are not allowed to leave the United States for five years without permission

Pollard was convicted for providing Israel with sensitive classified information. but spy charges were dropped. Nevertheless, prosecutors equated his crime with those of some of America’s most notorious spies.

Obama administration officials deny that Pollard’s pending release is tied to the nuclear deal with Iran, which Israel vociferously tried to prevent. The American government previously has tried to use Pollard as a wild card to tempt Israel into serious concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

In November, Pollard will have served 30 years in jail, making him automatically eligible for parole and switching the burden of proof from those appealing for an early release to prosecutors to provide evidence why he should not be freed.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Movie Based on Pollard Case to be Produced by Jackal Group

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group is developing a feature film based on the case of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, Deadline Hollywood reported.

The announcement came following the news that Pollard, who was sentenced to life in prison for passing top-secret information to the Israelis, will be paroled in November.

The film will be based on Martin Blank’s play “The Law Of Return,” about Pollard’s work for the US Navy, and the process of his becoming a spy. Blank will write the script, Berman and SVP Film Development’s Rory Koslow are producing for Jackal Group.

Martin Blank is the author of 10 plays.”The Law of Return” was produced at Center Stage Theater, Jerusalem, and the Maryland Ensemble Theatre.

His one-act comedy, Avenue of the Americas, was produced Off Broadway at the Tank Theater. He has received new play commissions from the American Jewish Theater, Theatre Ariel, and the Georgetown Theatre Company.

Blank has served as Artistic Associate for the American Jewish Theatre.

Gail Berman used to be President of Paramount Pictures. Before joining Paramount, she was President of Entertainment for Fox Broadcasting Company.

JNi.Media

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