Thursday, 14 February 2013

Mossad covert operations jeopardise Pak-US ties

Agents with Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency posed as American CIA agents in operations to recruit members of Jundallah, the Pakistan-based militant group, to conduct the Jewish state’s ‘covert, bloody, and ongoing campaign’ against Iran, a report in an influential US magazine said.

“It’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with,” a US intelligence officer told the Foreign Policy about the operations that took place in London.

“Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought,” the official was quoted as saying in the report citing memos from 2007 and 2008.

The Israelis, “flush with American dollars and toting US passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives – what is commonly referred to as a ‘false flag’ operation,” the report by Mark Perry, an author and historian, said. According to the report, this information reached the CIA then Director of Operations Stephen Kappes, his deputy Michael Sulick, and the head of the Counterintelligence Center. Making its way to the White House, former President George Bush ‘went absolutely ballistic’ when briefed on its contents, according to the currently serving US intelligence officer. The report said the CIA and the White House were both asked for comment on the Israeli operations, but they did not respond. The Mossad was also contacted, in writing and by telephone, but failed to respond, the report said.

“There is no denying that there is a covert, bloody, and ongoing campaign aimed at stopping Iran’s nuclear programme, though no evidence has emerged connecting recent acts of sabotage and killings inside Iran to Jundallah,” the US intelligence officer was quoted as saying. Many reports have cited Israel as the architect of this covert campaign, which claimed its latest victim on Jan 11 when a motorcyclist in Tehran slipped a magnetic explosive device under the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young Iranian nuclear scientist. The explosion killed Roshan, making him the fourth scientist assassinated in the past two years. The United States adamantly denied it is behind these killings. Israel’s relationship with Jundallah, which operates from Pakistan’s Balochistan province, continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel’s activities jeopardised the administration’s fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined US claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on US personnel, the report said.

“It’s easy to understand why Bush was so angry,” a former intelligence officer was quoted as saying. “After all, it’s hard to engage with a foreign government if they’re convinced you’re killing their people. Once you start doing that, they feel they can do the same.” More

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