|Mossad’s latest agent? (Ynet)|
My longtime readers are already aware of the insidious Mossad plots to train regional fauna as spies: first there was the shark attack in Sharm al-Sheikh that an official blamed tourn the Israeli intelligence service (especially sneaky since a lot of the tourists at Sharm are in fact Israelis). Then there was the spy vulture found in Saudi Arabia with a GPS tracker and (sneakiest of all) a leg band from an Israeli university. (Obviously a plot, right? Mossad agents always wear identifying marks, don’t they? Do their human agents wear armbands that say “Israel?”) Not to mention that Iran has reportedly caught pigeons and squirrels in the act as well (though it was hinted those were Western agents, not Mossad’s). And the Israeli press always makes fun of these stories, which means something if you have a suitably conspiratorial mind.
Well, the Animal Division of Mossad has struck again! Israeli media is quoting Turkish reports that a Turkish farmer discovered a dead European bee-eater (like the one in the picture) complete with a leg-band that said Israel. (You’d think Mossad would have learned by now not to put “Israel” on legbands of their spy birds, but who knows?)
But that’s not all: according to Yediot Aharanot’s English website Ynet News:
The band, however, was not the most damning piece of evidence against the bee-eater: Its nostrils were.
The bird-beak in question reportedly sported “unusually large nostrils,” which – combined with the identification ring – raised suspicions that the bird was “implanted with a surveillance device” and that it arrived in Turkey as part of an espionage mission.
The bird’s remains were originally handed over to the Turkish Agriculture Ministry, which then turned in over to Ankara’s security services.
I suspect the Turkish security services are professional enough to politely accept the dead bird, perhaps, but not to actually spend taxpayers’ lira examining its nostrils. Of course I could be wrong.
“… “Bibi is traumatized from the Meshaal incident,” the official says. “He is afraid of another failure, that something will blow up in his face.”
Iranian intelligence already has cracked one cell trained and equipped by Mossad, Western intelligence officials earlier confirmed to TIME. The detailed confession on Iranian state television last year by Majid Jamali Fashid for the January 2010 assassination by motorcycle bomb of nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohmmadi was genuine, those officials said, blaming a third country for exposing the cell.
In that case, the public damage to Israel was circumscribed by the limits of Iran’s credibility: Officials in Tehran routinely blame setbacks of all stripes on the “Zionists” and “global arrogance,” their labels for Israel and the United States. But that could change if the Islamic Republic produced a captured Israeli national or other direct evidence…………. allowing Iran to cast itself as victim, or simply by recasting the nuclear issue itself, from one of overarching global concern into a contest confined to a pair of longtime enemies.
Some warn that the assassinations already run that risk. After the most recent killing, of nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan in January, the United States “categorically” denied involvement in the death and issued a condemnation. Western intelligence officials say he was at least the third Iranian scientist killed by Mossad operatives, who lately are running short of new targets, according to Israeli officials.
“It undercuts the consensus, the international consensus on sanctions,” says Mark Fitzpatrick, a former State Department nuclear proliferation specialist who opposes the assassinations….”
The cat pictures are the newest permutations of a social media campaign started over the weekend by two Israeli graphics designers that is called “We Love Iranians,” aimed at raising public awareness against the steady march to war the Likud government has been taking Israel on towards Iran.
The meme has “gone viral” in Israel, and while it’s spawned a number of sensible parodies (such as noting that the same tone was on display for Iraqis to hear – if they could hear over the ack-ack – by George W. Bush in 2003) and is inevitably going to lead to a “slacktivism” discussion, at least it’s demonstrating that public opinion against war with Iran in Israel is growing. Israel is ostensibly a democracy, so the best case outcome is that all those national security specialists and “cultural icons” who have been keeping quiet realize there is a base of domestic support for them to tell Bibi to can the Holocaust references.
More comforting, though, has been news that 1) Mossad once again concludes with the U.S’s intelligence services that Iran has neither the capability nor political will to pursue weaponization now, 2) some Iranian leaders are saying they’re willing to make concessions at the new P5+1 roundtable, and 3) Netanyahu has failed to convince his kitchen cabinet that he knows what he is talking about on Iran, and considering some of the people in that cabinet, that is saying something — not least because one of the skeptics is in fact the Intelligence and Atomic Energy Minister, a post Netanyahu’s Likud party established in 2009 to have a kind of go-to-guy looking over Shin Bet and Mossad, a la Dick Cheney.
Still, no one is out of the woods yet, Mossad assessment and grinning Israeli couples’ pinterest tags aside. Netanyahu has deliberately set the bar for Iranian concessions so high it’s difficult to believe progress can be made in talks1 – i.e., asking the Iranians to do things no other NPT signatory is expected to do when Israel itself isn’t even an NPT signatory – and the U.S. has made it pretty clear it will take military action if it feels “compelled” to do so in the region by either an Israeli or Iranian “action.”
PS Israeli Mossad planted a story in some Arab (Saudi) websites, like the sleazy trash website, Elaph, at the outset of the Israeli war on Lebanon in 2006 which faked an interview with singer Hayfa Wahbah in which he ostensibly opposed Hizbullah. (In reality, this Arab sex symbol is a big fan of Hasan Nasrallah). Mossad also planted stories about dead three Iranian soldiers found in South Lebanon. But Mossad lies are too obvious now and people laugh at them.
alarabiya.net, Iran considers partial ban on Samsung after Israeli ad shows bombing of nuke facilities, 3 Feb 2012 “A commercial in Israel featuring Mossad agents disguised as Iranian veiled women who end up blowing up an Iranian nuclear plant using a Samsung tablet has earned the wrath of the Islamic republic."
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The CIA took an internal poll not long ago about friendly foreign intelligence agencies.
The question, mostly directed to employees of the clandestine service branch, was: Which are the best allies among friendly spy services, in terms of liaison with the CIA, and which are the worst? In other words, who acts like, well, friends?“Israel came in dead last,” a recently retired CIA official told me the other day.Not only that, he added, throwing up his hands and rising from his chair, “the Israelis are number three, with China number one and Russia number two,” in terms of how aggressive they are in their operations on U.S. soil.Israel’s undercover operations here, including missions to steal U.S. secrets, are hardly a secret at the FBI, CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies. From time to time, in fact, the FBI has called Israeli officials on the carpet to complain about a particularly brazen effort to collect classified or other sensitive information, in particular U.S. technical and industrial secrets.The most notorious operation employed Jonathan Pollard, the naval intelligence analyst convicted in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison for stealing tens of thousands of classified documents for Israel.One of Israel’s major interests, of course, is keeping track of Muslims who might be allied with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, or Iran-backed Hezbollah, based in Lebanon…. “There have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab-American communities and have falsely represented themselves as ‘U.S. intelligence,’ ” Giraldi wrote recently in American Conservative magazine.“Because few Muslims would assist an Israeli, this is done to increase the likelihood that the target will cooperate. It’s referred to as a ‘false flag’ operation.”Giraldi’s piece continued, “Mossad officers sought to recruit Arab-Americans as sources willing to inform on their associates and neighbors. The approaches, which took place in New York and New Jersey, were reportedly handled clumsily, making the targets of the operation suspicious.”“These Arab-Americans turned down the requests for cooperation,” Giraldi added,”and some of the contacts were eventually reported to the FBI, which has determined that at least two of the Mossad officers are, ironically, Israeli Arabs operating out of Israel’s mission to the United Nations in New York under cover as consular assistants.”“Oh, sure, they do that,” the other former CIA official said, waving a dismissing hand, when I asked about Giraldi’s story. “They’re all over the place.”The FBI did not respond to repeated requests for comment.But a retired senior FBI counterintelligence official told SpyTalk, “They have always been extremely aggressive, and seem to feel they can operate whenever and wherever they want, in spite of being called on the carpet more than any other country by probably a factor of three times as often.”