Thursday, May 17, 2012
A report in the Times of London shows that Wikileaks may have exposed Majid Fashi, a 24-year old Iranian ‘Mossad agent’ who was executed earlier this week for his alleged role in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist (Hat Tip: Memeorandum).
The Times of London reported Wednesday that a document from the US Embassy in Baku, Azerbaijan, seemingly drew attention to Fashi. The September 2009 US diplomatic document — identified by the code 09BAKU687 — quotes an Iranian source who was a licensed martial arts coach and trainer as describing to his American contacts pressure from the Iranian regime to train soldiers and militiamen in martial arts.
Fashi was reportedly in Baku for an international martial arts competition only days before the US Embassy document was written.
The suggestion is that the Iranian authorities identified Fashi as someone who was in illicit contact with the West on the basis of the document. He was arrested days after the publication of the document by WikiLeaks in December of 2010 and charged with carrying out the January 2010 assassination of nuclear scientist Masoud Ali-Mohammadi on behalf of the Mossad.
The British report Wednesday quotes a UK academic, Birmingham University professor Scott Lucas, speculating that the diplomatic cable may have been a critical piece of evidence or simply a pretext on which to arrest Fashi. “It could have been used as a pretext against him; to set him up as a person who could take the fall for the assassination,” Lucas said.
There is nothing in the US document pertaining to Israel. Continue reading
Posted in Counter-Terrorism, Intelligence, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Terrorism, War & Conflicts
- Tagged Baku, Birmingham University, Israel, Masoud Alimohammadi, Mossad, Times, United States, WikiLeak
Published: 02 April, 2012, 12:29
AFP Photo / Abbas Momani
Israeli intelligence are scaling down their covert operations in Iran and spy recruitment, Israeli security officials say. This would also imply a cutback in alleged high-profile missions such as assassinations and detonations at missile bases.
Senior security officials told TIME magazine that the move was met with “increased dissatisfaction” by Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency. One security official said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was afraid that the operations would get exposed by Iran. The official notes that this fear is primarily driven by Mossad’s failure to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal back in 1997, when Netanyahu served his first term as Prime Minister.
“Bibi [Benjamin Netanyahu] is traumatized from the Mashaal incident,” the official said. “He is afraid of another failure, that something will blow up in his face.”
Western intelligence officials told TIME that Iran had uncovered one cell trained and equipped by Mossad. They also said that the televised confession of Majid Jamali Fashid, who admitted to being an Israeli spy behind the plot to assassinate nuclear scientist Massoud Ali Mohmmadi, was genuine.
If similar revelations emerge now, they could undermine the international effort to pressure Iran to give up its nuclear program via sanctions and diplomacy. Iran could effectively blame Israel for an aggressive spy campaign. This could also have ramifications for Israel’s relations with the United States, which has lately been opposed to a preliminary Israeli strike against Iran.
Posted in Intelligence, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Politics, War & Conflicts
- Tagged Barack Obama, Benjamin Netanyahu, Iran, Israel, Mark Fitzpatrick, Mossad, Tehran, United States
U.K. media is reporting that Hamas leaders have denied that the organization will attack Israel in the course of any war with Iran. According to a BBC report:
Leaders of the Palestinian Islamist movement, Hamas, say they will not help Iran militarily in any conflict between Israel and the Islamic Republic. There is speculation in Israel that if it attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities, it could face rocket fire from Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Both are long-time allies of Iran. But Mahmoud Zahhar, a senior leader of Hamas in Gaza, denied the group would get involved and told the BBC: “We are not part of any political axis.” ”If Israel attacks us we will respond. If they don’t, we will not get involved in any other regional conflict,” he added. Mr Zahhar questioned Hamas’s ability to offer support from the Palestinian territory to the south of Israel, even if it wanted to. ”Don’t exaggerate our power. We are still suffering from the occupation, the siege and two wars in recent years,” he said. Israel tightened its blockade of Gaza in 2007 after Hamas seized control of the territory from forces loyal to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah movement. Ideological differences Another senior Hamas official in Gaza, who did not want to be named, also insisted that Hamas would stay out of any conflict between Israel and Iran.
Posted in Hamas, Iran, Islam, Islamic Terrorism, Israel, Middle East, Muslim Brotherhood, War & Conflicts
- Tagged Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Iran, Israel, Mahmoud al-Zahar, Syria, Union of Good
Posted on February 15, 2012
Every day, thousands of trucks containing shipments of civilian goods enter Gaza.
Gaza Strip land crossing activities for the last week
Overall, 921 truckloads carrying 22,916 tons of civilian goods were unloaded at the crossings between February 5th and February 11th. Israel strives to allow normal civilian life in Gaza,
Posted in Israel, Middle East, Military, Politics, Security, Terrorism, War & Conflicts
- Tagged Gaza, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Israel, Middle East, Unemployment, West Bank, World Food Programme
Posted on March 6, 2012
The IDF has many ways to protect Israeli citizens from rocket fire–chief among them being the anti-missile defense systems. The technology was developed, together with the US Army, in order to combat the increasing missile and rocket proliferation of Israel’s enemies. Here’s a detailed look at the IDF’s three leading systems:
IDF’s Iron Dome is on-call and ready.
1. Iron Dome
The first tier of Israel’s multi-layered defense system is the Israeli-developed Iron Dome system which was designed in response to the rockets and mortar shells fired from Gaza. The Iron Dome system can determine where an incoming rocket will land,and intercept projectiles that pose significant threats in mid-flight .
The Iron Dome system has three main components:
- Tracking radar – locates the rockets and calculates landing site
- Battle management and weapon control system – operator’s seat
- Missile firing unit – fires an intercepting missile
The decision to build Iron Dome was made by the Ministry of Defense in 2007, following a particular turbulent year on Israel’s northern border with the Hezbollah terrorist organization during the Second Lebanon War.
Posted in Counter-Terrorism, Israel, Middle East, Military, Security, Technology, War & Conflicts
- Tagged Arrow (missile), Gaza, Gaza Strip, Iron Dome, Israel, Israel Defense Forces, Missile defense, United States
The Israeli government has reportedly decided not to forewarn the United States if and when it decides to launch military strikes against Iran’s nuclear energy program. Citing a US intelligence insider, the Associated Press reported on Monday that American officials have been given the message “in a series of private, top-level” meetings with senior Israeli leaders. Tel-Aviv’s decision not to notify Washington about a possible attack on Tehran has been allegedly communicated to US officials by none other than Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.
The US intelligence official, who tipped off the Associated Press anonymously, said that the two men have been relaying the same message to a host of American officials who have visited Israel in the past several weeks. The officials include the US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, as well as several senior American lawmakers. The intelligence source told The Associated Press that Tel Aviv’s decision to keep its cards on Iran close to its chest was solidified following a series of meetings last week between the Israeli leadership and White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon (pictured). The American official relayed to Netanyahu, Barak and others, the opinion of the White House that a military attack on Iran would be both dangerous and counterproductive.
Posted in Intelligence, Iran, Israel, Middle East, Military, Nuclear, US, War & Conflicts
- Tagged Associated Press, Benjamin Netanyahu, Ehud Barak, Iran, Israel, Tel Aviv, United States, Washington