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August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mossad’

Israel Halted Iranian Assassination Campaign at US Urging

Sunday, March 2nd, 2014

The Obama administration pressured Israel to stop assassinating Iran’s top nuclear scientists, according to a CBS News report.

Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency ran an assassination campaign for several years, during which time at least five Iranian scientists were killed, most by bombs planted on their cars, national correspondent Dan Raviv reported Saturday on the CBS News website.

“Remarkably, the Israeli assassins were never caught — obviously having long-established safe houses inside Iran — although several Iranians who may have helped the Mossad were arrested and executed,” Raviv wrote.

His report was published a day before the book Raviv co-authored, “Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars,” was coming out with an updated edition.

“Recently, as I sought to update a book I co-wrote about the history of Israel’s intelligence agencies, sources close to them revealed that they felt pressure from the Obama Administration — more than a hint — to stop carrying out assassinations inside Iran,” he wrote, without elaborating.

Raviv, citing sources “close to” Israel’s intelligence agencies, reported that Mossad officials decided that the campaign had become “too dangerous” and decided to pull out before any of their spies were caught and killed.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the Mossad to concentrate on finding evidence that Iran is violating the interim agreement it signed with the world powers in November, Raviv reported.

Australian Book: Prisoner X Leaked Information to Iran

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

Ben Zygier, the Australian-born Mossad agent previously known as Prisoner X, leaked sensitive information about Israel’s espionage operations against Iran, according to a new book.

In the book titled “Prisoner X,” the code name given to Zygier after he was taken and imprisoned by Shin Bet in early 2010, Australian journalist Rafael Epstein claims Zygier revealed intelligence about operations he had been involved in to an Iranian businessman he was with at Monash University in Melbourne in 2009.

“It was this Iranian who played a key role in his downfall,” Epstein wrote in an exclusive extract published in The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne’s The Age newspapers Saturday.

“Put simply, Ben said too much to the wrong person at the wrong time,” according to Epstein, who claims that “sources in Australia and Israel say [Zygier] revealed details of his work to an Iranian businessman who was at Monash University’s Caulfield campus while Zygier was also studying.”

Epstein suggests that “sources in Australia and Israel claim the Iranian knew that what he was hearing was valuable, and relayed the information to Iran. Tehran’s security services started talking about the Mossad agent, and the details revealed by Zygier then became part of the electronic traffic between Iran and a European capital city. This electronic communication traffic was then picked up by the massive surveillance network operated by Israel.”

“Zygier was also the subject of a significant ASIO operation at the time, with concern over his use of his Australian passports for Mossad operations overseas,” Epstein writes, adding that “details of Zygier’s work, and of another Australian Mossad agent he was working with in Italy, were leaked by Australian intelligence sources to then Fairfax journalist Jason Koutsoukis. One of Koutsoukis’ sources claimed to have been following Zygier on the streets of Melbourne.

Epstein’s thesis contradicts previous media reports, which claimed that in 2008 Zygier flew independently to Eastern Europe in a bid to turn a Hezbollah associate into a double agent. But his apparent attempt to prove his worth to his Mossad superiors reportedly backfired and he allegedly exposed two Lebanese nationals working for the Mossad.

“It comes as no surprise then that when Ben babbled in Melbourne, the Mossad heard about it in Tel Aviv via Tehran,” according to Epstein.

JTA content was used in this report.

Egypt Charges Two Egyptians and Two Israelis with Spying

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014

Egyptian authorities said Tuesday they have charged two alleged Israeli Mossad intelligence agents and two Egyptians with plotting to spot on behalf of Israel by gathering information with “the intent of damaging national interests in exchange for money and gifts and sex.”

Egypt’s public prosecutor identified the Israelis as Samuel Ben Ze’ev and David Wisemen, but it was not clear if they still are in the country, Reuters reported. The prosecutor ordered that they, along with Egyptians Ramzy Mohammed and a woman named Sahar Ibrahim, “be sent to a Cairo criminal court for spying for the interests of the state of Israel.”

Mohammed was accused of “sleeping with women who work in Israeli intelligence” and recruiting Ibrahim to spy.

Mossad Now Under Rabbinic Supervision

Monday, February 17th, 2014

As the number of observant Jews increases within Israel’s renowned spy agency, Mossad, halachic questions have been coming up more and more frequently in the daily interaction among agents, Maariv reports today. And so, it now can be told, an agency posek, a rabbinic arbiter on Jewish law, was hired some years ago, and he has been ruling on complex halachic questions, including regarding secret operations overseas.

A source in the agency told Maariv that there are numerous observant Jews in different capacities at Mossad, and so, while in the past the inevitable halachic questions associated with the special work carried out were turned to the IDF chief rabbi, now the agency’s own rabbi provides the answers.

“It’s not just on issues of Kashrut,” said the source. “Sometimes, when you’re far away from here, questions come up over what is allowed and what isn’t, and operational activities that require a halachic response.”

Among other things, the Mossad rabbi has to deal with complicated scenarios involving agents staying in enemy states. What food are they permitted to eat, and what activities may they carry out on Shabbat. According to the source, these questions often presented the military rabbinate with complex dilemmas, and so, as can be surmised, an in house halachic authority would be more familiar with the background for each inquiry and be able to provide more specific and useful responses.

The name of the Mossad rabbi is being kept secret, but according to Maariv he has come up through the ranks in Military Intelligence as well as the IDF Rabbinate. Apparently he first rejected the offer, but after consulting with his own spiritual guides changed his mind.

The source speaking to Maariv that “Behind every inquiry stands a man’s faith, and in order to provide answers, the context must be well understood, in order to decide the issue. That’s why it was so important that someone on the inside be following these issues.”

According to Maariv, the Mossad rabbi meets once a week with a senior officer in the Chief Rabbinate for consultations.

Egypt Charges 3 Egyptians, 5 Israelis with Espionage

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Prosecutors for Egypt’s state security court have charged three Egyptians and five Israelis with spying on behalf of Israel, Al Ahram reported.

The defendants are accused of “espionage and providing a foreign entity with information concerning national security.” All 8 have been referred to a criminal court by the State Security Emergency Prosecution dealing with cases involving national security and terrorism.

The five Israelis, charged with collaborating with the Egyptian defendants to gain information on Egypt’s national security, are all members of Mossad, Israel’s intelligence agency, according to Al-Ahram. They will be tried in absentia.

Al-Ahram said that the three Egyptians are residents of the North Sinai city of Rafah, near the Egypt-Israel border, where they passed along information to the Israelis regarding the Egyptian armed forces and Islamic militant groups in the area.

They are also accused of accepting around $45,000 in U.S. and Egyptian currencies from the Israeli agents for the leaked information.

Last June, nine defendants were accused of passing sensitive information to Israel. They were tried in absentia.

Car Bomb Explodes at Hezbollah Post in Lebanon

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

A vehicle rigged with 100 pound of explosives exploded at a Hezbollah post in eastern Lebanon Tuesday and apparently killed one or more Hezbollah fighters, according to the Beirut Daily Star.

Sources said that Hezbollah members removed bodies before Lebanese soldiers arrived.

The Hezbollah-controlled Al Manar channel reported that Hezbollah fighters were trying to intercept the vehicle when it blew up. It was not known if a suicide bomber was inside the vehicle.

A Lebanese legislator blamed Israel for the explosion. “There is no doubt that an Israeli intelligence system is behind these incidents and is cooperating with Lebanese cells, benefitting from the presence of infidels in Lebanon to commit these heinous acts,” he said.

Israel Loses Case to Gag Witness in Bank of China Terror Trial

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

An American family, whose son was killed in a suicide attack in Israel, has won its argument in a U.S. court against the Netanyahu administration that has been trying to muzzle testimony by a former intelligence officer.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu formerly told the family of 16-year-old Daniel Wurtz that it supported letting Uri Shaya testify against the Bank of China, which is charged with having handled terrorists’ monetary transactions.

Wurtz and 10 others were killed in the attack in Tel Aviv in 2006.

The Mossad has helped the Wurtz family prepare its case, but the Israeli government last month made an about-face and told the court that testimony by Shaya might reveal state secrets.

Wurtz’ family in the lawsuit accused of surrendering to pressure from China, which happens to be Israel’s fourth largest lender.

“The complaint was filed only after the GOI (Government of Israel) repeatedly assured my attorneys that it would provide cooperation and support for our allegations,” Daniel’s father, Yekutiel Wultz, said in a written declaration, Reuters reported.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-loses-case-to-gag-witness-in-bank-of-china-terror-trial/2013/12/17/

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