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August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Israeli Intelligence’

Kerry Refuses Israeli Intel on Assad’s Use of Chemical Weapons

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

Israel’s senior intelligence analyst  said on Tuesday that Syrian President Bashar Assad has used chemical weapons against the rebels, but U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted there is no proof.

“To the best of our understanding, there was use of lethal chemical weapons. Which chemical weapons? Probably sarin,” Brigadier-General Itai Brun told a Tel Aviv security conference.

President Barack Obama has said that he would order military action in Syria if chemical weapons are used.

Videos of Syrian civilians, many of them children, suffering from the effects of chemical weapons have surfaced at least three times this year. Britain and France also have said that they have been used.

But the American government wants documented proof and whatever else they can come up with to get out of acting on its word. Obama talked himself not a corner because it has become clear that no matter what happens in Syria, everyone loses in  the nears-term.

Kerry not only rejected Israeli intelligence but also tried to throw the responsibility on NATO.

“We should also carefully and collectively consider how NATO is prepared to respond to protect its members from a Syrian threat, including any potential chemical weapons threat,” Kerry said at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers.

That is a clever way of taking the monkey off of Obama’s back, but it is pretty nervy to reject Israeli intelligence. First of all, Israel and Syria are next –door neighbors. Secondly, you can bet your bottom shekel that Israel has more intelligent agents than the United States who know Syrian turf and speak the language.

Thirdly, the United States has a history of making itself look silly by rejecting Israeli intelligence. Several years ago, Israel warned American officials that Iran was secretly working on its nuclear power program, but Washington categorically rejected the information. Its own bright-eyed experts knew 100 percent that Iran had dropped its plans for making a nuclear weapon.

Around two years ago, the U.S. government said, well, y’know, it looks like the Israelis are right again. And now the world is paying the price.

But just to be sure, how does General Brun know for a fact that Assad’s forces have unleashed the unthinkable?

He showed previously published pictures of a child, either dead or wounded, and said foam seemed to be coming out of the mouth.

But that still is not the hard proof the United States is demanding.

Brun is certain he is right. “The very fact that they have used chemical weapons without any appropriate reaction is a very worrying development, because it might signal that this is legitimate” he said.

Enter John Kerry. He knows that Israel has no proof of the use of chemical weapons because he talked with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who “was not in a position to confirm that in the conversation that I had.”

“I don’t know yet what the facts are,” Kerry added. “I don’t think anybody knows what they are.” Not even Gen. Brun?

No one knows what the context of the Prime Minister’s remarks were. Nor does anyone know if Prime Minister Netanyahu would prefer not to fall into a trap of telling the Secreatru of State and than being told to keep quiet. Or perhaps Netanyahu does not want to put Obama in a corner right now, despite Gen. Brun’s comments.

Meanwhile, the White House keeps pounding the podium that the use of chemical weapons is unacceptable and continues to wag fingers, saying woe to Assad if he is proven to have deployed them.

Back in the State Department, reporters are siding with Israel’s version.

At Tuesday’s daily media briefing, reporters peppered acting spokesman Patrick Ventrell with questions.

Asked about General Brun’s statements and about British and French claims of the use of chemical weapons, Ventrell said, “The bottom line is [to] continue to support an investigation of all credible allegations of chemical weapons used to establish the facts of exactly what did or didn’t happen. ”

The reporter shot back, “You are saying that we are supporting these investigations, but we all know the Syrian regime has been refusing UN team. How you are going to able to investigate it if the regime is not allowing you to do that? Or how long you are going to use this rhetoric even though nothing is happening on the ground?”

Hamas Court Jails Palestinian for Terrorism

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

In a rare show of the pot calling the kettle black, a military court in Gaza City on Tuesday sentenced a Fatah military leader Zaki al-Sakani to 15 years in jail, the Palestinian Ma’an news agency reports.

Zaki, 48, from Gaza City’s Shujaiyya neighborhood, was detained four years ago and held in a Gaza jail.

After Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in July 2008, the security services of Hamas stormed al-Sakani’s home in the Zaytoun neighborhood, but he escaped, Fatah sources said. Hamas forces confiscated his handgun, a homemade projectile, and several mortar shells and explosives, as well as a computer.

On July 25, 2008, five high profile leaders of the Hamas’ military wing were killed in an explosion near the beach in Gaza City and about 40 civilians were injured. Hamas then accused al-Sakani of being behind that explosion.

In August 2008, the Hamas-affiliated website Palestine Today quoted sources privy to the details as saying that security services in Gaza detained four suspects including Zaki al-Sakani, a Fatah-affiliated explosives expert.

Al-Sakani was in al-Shifa hospital when he was arrested and jailed, having survived an assassination attempt on himself a day earlier. A group of gunmen had opened fire on al-Sakani and he had undergone surgery before he was jailed by Hamas’ security.

Al-Sakani was wanted by Israel for his role in manufacturing explosives. As the second Palestinian Intifada had entered its second year, al-Sakani along with late Fatah leader Abdul-Muti al-Sabaawi designed the first homemade mortar shell and went on to produce hundreds of shells.

Israeli intelligence tried to hunt Al-Sakani down through several targeted assassinations, including one which injured him in Gaza City while he was launching mortar shells at an Israeli settlement, before the “disengagement” from Gaza.

Declassified: Pollard’s Handlers Wanted Arab and Soviet, Not US Information

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

When Naval Investigative Service analyst Jonathan Pollard spied for Israel in 1984 and 1985, his Israeli handlers asked primarily for nuclear, military and technical information on the Arab states, Pakistan, and the Soviet Union – not on the United States – according to the newly-declassified CIA 1987 damage assessment of the Pollard case, published Friday by the National Security Archive at George Washington University.

According to the GWU National Security Archive, the damage assessment (PDF) includes new details on the specific subjects and documents sought by Pollard’s Israeli handlers, such as Syrian drones and central communications, Egyptian missile programs, and Soviet air defenses. The Israelis specifically asked for a signals intelligence manual that they needed to listen in on Soviet advisers in Syria. The document describes how Pollard’s handler, Joseph Yagur, told him to ignore a request, from Yagur’s boss, for U.S. “dirt” on senior Israeli officials and told Pollard that gathering such information would terminate the operation.

Under the heading “What the Israelis Did Not Ask For,” the assessment remarks that they “never expressed interest in US military activities, plans, capabilities, or equipment.”

Jonathan Pollard's I.D. Photograph

Jonathan Pollard’s I.D. Photograph.                                                       Photo: U.S. Naval intelligence

The assessment also notes that Pollard volunteered delivery of three daily intelligence summaries that had not been requested by his handlers, but which proved useful to them, and ultimately handed over roughly 1,500 such messages from the Middle East and North Africa Summary (MENAS), the Mediterranean Littoral Intelligence Summary (MELOS), and the Indian Ocean Littoral Intelligence Summary, in addition to the more than 800 compromised documents on other subjects that Pollard delivered to the Israelis in suitcases.

The damage assessment (PDF) also features a detailed 21-page chronology of Pollard’s personal life and professional career, including his work for the Israelis, highlighting more than a dozen examples of unusual behavior by Pollard that the CIA suggests should have, in retrospect, alerted his supervisors that he was a security risk. Prominent on the list were false statements by Pollard during a 1980 assignment with Task Force 168, the naval intelligence element responsible for HUMINT collection. Pollard is now serving a life sentence in prison for espionage.

The CIA denied release of most of the Pollard damage assessment in 2006, claiming for example that pages 18 through 165 were classified in their entirety and not a line of those pages could be released. The Archive appealed the CIA’s decision to the Interagency Security Classification Appeals Panel, established by President Clinton in 1995 and continued by Presidents Bush and Obama. The ISCAP showed its value yet again as a check on systemic overclassification by ordering release of scores of pages from the Pollard damage assessment that were previously withheld by CIA, and published today for the first time.

According to Jeffrey T. Richelson, writing for the GWU Archive, until his arrest, Pollard delivered approximately 800 documents, many of which were classified top secret or codeword. In addition, he stole an estimated 1,500 current intelligence summary messages.

The documents provided information on PLO headquarters in Tunisia; specific capabilities of Tunisian and Libyan air defense systems; Iraqi and Syrian chemical warfare productions capabilities (including detailed satellite imagery); Soviet arms shipments to Syria and other Arab states; naval forces, port facilities, and lines of communication of various Middle Eastern and North African countries; the MiG-29 fighter; and Pakistan’s nuclear program. Also included was a U.S. assessment of Israeli military capabilities.

Pollard’s disclosures were alarming to U.S. officials for several reasons, some of which were noted in their official declarations (Document 6, Document 8). One, despite the fact that both the U.S. and Israeli considered each other legitimate intelligence targets, was Israel’s willingness to run a human penetration operation directed at the U.S. government. Another, was the damage to the intelligence sharing arrangement with Israel – since its acquisition of material from Pollard weakened the U.S. position vis-a-vis intelligence exchanges with Israel.

In addition, there was no guarantee that such documents, revealing both sources and methods as well as assessments, would not find their way to the Soviet Union via a Soviet penetration of the Israeli intelligence or defense community – as had happened with a number of other allies. Further, since Israel was a target of U.S. intelligence collection – particularly technical collection – operations, the documents could be used by Israeli counterintelligence and security organizations to help Israel neutralize or degrade U.S. collection operations.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/declassified-pollards-handlers-wanted-arab-and-soviet-not-us-information/2012/12/15/

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