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<nettime> your friendly neighborhood assassin
bc on Thu, 16 Jan 2003 11:12:59 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> your friendly neighborhood assassin

// it is interesting to read what future US policy will be, regarding
// war plans and now domestic assassinations from Ariel Sharon.
// if Tony Blair is Bush's lapdog, Bush must be Sharon's go-fer.
// Sharon says when the US will attack Iraq or will not, who else
// the US will be attacking, not unrelated to each-other's domestic
// strife.  as said before, Israel's policy is the US foreign policy 
// Israeli politics change, it seems US politics will not change, 
// the Middle-East crisis will soon be available in a neighborhood near
// you. read Tom Friedman's NYTimes column today which basically
// gives a 10-year plan based on such calculations with no end game:
// < http://www.nytimes.com/2003/01/15/opinion/15FRIE.html> . who
// is a terrorist again? that definition never seemed to be interrogated
// well enough, only that in the Patriot Act it is apparently someone 
// is not helpful to the United States. will activists be assassinated?

Israel to kill in U.S., allied nations


By Richard Sale
UPI Intelligence Correspondent
 From the Washington Politics & Policy Desk
Published 1/15/2003 4:50 PM

Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on 
terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States 
and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials 
told United Press International.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forbidden the practice until 
now, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. 
foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI.

With the appointment of Meir Dagan, the new director Israel's Mossad 
secret intelligence service, Sharon is also preparing "a huge budget" 
increase for the spy agency as part of "a tougher stance in fighting 
global jihad (or holy war)," one Israeli official said.

Since Sharon became Israeli prime minister, Tel Aviv has mainly limited 
its practice of targeted killings to the West Bank and Gaza because "no 
one wanted such operations on their territory," a former Israeli 
intelligence official said.

Another former Israeli government official said that under Sharon, 
"diplomatic constraints have prevented the Mossad from carrying out 
'preventive operations' (targeted killings) on the soil of friendly 
countries until now."

He said Sharon is "reversing that policy, even if it risks 
complications to Israel's bilateral relations."

A former Israeli military intelligence source agreed: "What Sharon 
wants is a much more extensive and tough approach to global terrorism, 
and this includes greater operational maneuverability."

Does this mean assassinations on the soil of allies?

"It does," he said.

"Mossad is definitely being beefed up," a U.S. government official said 
of the Israeli agency's budget increase. He declined to comment on the 
Tel Aviv's geographic expansion of targeted killings.

An FBI spokesman also declined to comment, saying: "This is a policy 
matter. We only enforce federal laws."

A congressional staff member with deep knowledge of intelligence 
matters said, "I don't know on what basis we would be able to protest 
Israel's actions." He referred to the recent killing of Qaed Salim 
Sinan al Harethi, a top al Qaida leader, in Yemen by a remotely 
controlled CIA drone.

"That was done on the soil of a friendly ally," the staffer said.

But the complications posed by Israel's new policy are real.

"Israel does not have a good record at doing this sort of thing," said 
former CIA counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson.

He cited the 1997 fiasco where two Mossad agents were captured after 
they tried to assassinate Khaled Mashaal, a Hamas political leader, by 
injecting him with poison.

According to Johnson, the attempt, made in Amman, Jordan, caused a 
political crisis in Israeli-Jordan relations. In addition, because the 
Israeli agents carried Canadian passports, Canada withdrew its 
ambassador in protest, he said. Jordan is one of two Arab nations to 
recognize Israel. The other is Egypt.

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, "I have no 
intention of stopping the activities of this government against 
terror," according to a CNN report.

Former CIA officials say Israel was forced to free jailed Hamas founder 
Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and 70 other Jordanian and Palestinian prisoner 
being held in Israeli jails to secure the release of the two would-be 
Mossad assassins.

Phil Stoddard, former director of the Middle East Institute, cited a 
botched plot to kill Ali Hassan Salemeh, the mastermind of the 1972 
Munich Olympics massacre. The 1974 attempt severely embarrassed Mossad 
when the Israeli hit team mistakenly assassinated a Moroccan waiter in 
Lillehammer, Norway.

Salemeh, later a CIA asset, was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1976 by a 
car bomb placed by an Israeli assassination team, former U.S. 
intelligence officials said.

"Israel knew Salemeh was providing us with preventive intelligence on 
the Palestinians and his being killed pissed off a lot of people," said 
a former senior CIA official.

But some Israeli operations have been successful.

Gerald Bull, an Ontario-born U.S. citizen and designer of the Iraqi 
supergun -- a massive artillery system capable of launching satellites 
into orbit, and of delivering nuclear chemical or biological payloads 
from Baghdad to Israel -- was killed in Belgium in March 1990. The 
killing is still unsolved, but former CIA officials said a Mossad hit 
team is the most likely suspect.

Bull worked on the supergun design -- codenamed Project Babylon -- for 
10 years, and helped the Iraqis develop many smaller artillery systems. 
He was found with five bullets in his head outside his Brussels 

Israeli hit teams, which consist of units or squadrons of the Kidon, a 
sub-unit for Mossad's highly secret Metsada department, would stage the 
operations, former Israeli intelligence sources said. Kidon is a Hebrew 
word meaning "bayonet," one former Israeli intelligence source said.

This Israeli government source explained that in the past Israel has 
not staged targeted killings in friendly countries because "no one 
wanted such operations on their territory."

This has become irrelevant, he said.

Dagan, the new hard-driving director of Mossad, will implement the new 
changes, former Israeli government officials said.

Dagan, nicknamed "the gun," was Sharon's adviser on counter-terrorism 
during the government of Netanyahu in 1996, former Israeli government 
officials say. A former military man, Dagan has also undertaken 
extremely sensitive diplomatic missions for several of Israel's prime 
ministers, former Israeli government sources said.

Former Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Gal Luft, who served under Dagan, 
described him as an "extremely creative individual -- creative to the 
point of recklessness."

A former CIA official who knows Dagan said the new Mossad director 
knows "his foreign affairs inside and out," and has a "real killer 

Dagan is also "an intelligence natural" who has "a superb analyst not 
afraid to act on gut instinct," the former CIA official said.

Dagan has already removed Mossad officials whom he regards as "being 
too conservative or too cautious" and is building up "a constituency of 
senior people of the same mentality," one former long-time Israeli 
operative said.

Dagan is also urging that Mossad operatives rely less on secret sources 
and rely more on open information that is so plentifully provided on 
the Internet and newspapers.

"It's a cultural thing," one former Israeli intelligence operative 
explained. "Mossad in the past has put its emphasis on Humint (human 
intelligence) and secret operations and has neglected the whole field 
of open media, which has become extremely important."

Regarding Mossad's new policy and budget increase, Kim Farber an 
Israeli Embassy official said, "There is so little information 
available on this, there is nothing I can add."
Copyright  2001-2003 United Press International


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