Saturday, January 14, 2012
Israeli Mossad posed as American CIA in recruiting Iranian dissidents who executed terror attacks
Mark Perry of Foreign Policy reports that Israeli Mossad agents posing as CIA operatives recruited Iranian Sunni dissidents affiliated with the organisation Jundallah in Iranian Baluchistan to engage in acts of terror inside Iran.
The Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents. According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives — what is commonly referred to as a “false flag” operation.
It is a new amazing revelation concerning theft of identity, but not the first of its kind as far as the Mossad is concerned.In an operation that was widely publicized a squad of Mossad operatives killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, an official of the Hamas movement in charge of buying weapons in a hotel in Dubai in January 2010. It turned out that the Mossad agents used false pasports belonging to citizens from the UK, Ireland, Germany, France and Austria.
Perry's revelation is based on conversations with several former and active CIA operatives. The recruiting of the Jundallah members by the Mossad occurred in 2007 and 2008. It is not known if Israel is still using contacts with Jundallah. One of them said: "It's amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with. Their recruitment activities were nearly in the open. They apparently didn't give a damn what we thought."
The fact that the Israelis were posing as CIA-agents led to several Iranian accusations vis à vis the USA and the CIA that it was backing terrorist operations by Jundallah. Jundallah carried out a string of high-profile attacks in Sistan-Baluchistan in 2008-2009, including a suicide bombing near the Pakistani border that killed 42 people, including six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders, and a bombing in a Shia mosque in Zahedan that killed 25 people.
The leader of Jundallah, Abdolmalek Rigi, was captured by the Iranians in february 2010 after Iran had been tipped by Pakistan that he was on a flight from Karachi to Kyrgyzstan. The plane was forced to land in Iran and Rigi was taken. He was hanged in June 2010. One month earlier his younger brother Abdolhamid, who had been extradited to Iran by Pakistan, was also hanged. The younger Rigi told his interrogators that his brother had had several meetings in Islamabad and Karachi and even in Europe with American agents.
Perry writes in Foreign Policy that the Iranian accusations led to a number of memos in which CIA involvement was denied and the blame was put on the Mossad. Perry's sources reveal that president Bush, the then American president, was enraged about the reports. "The report sparked White House concerns that Israel's program was putting Americans at risk," one intelligence officer told Perry. "There's no question that the U.S. has cooperated with Israel in intelligence-gathering operations against the Iranians, but this was different. No matter what anyone thinks, we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians." However, in the end nothing was done, although Perry's source tells him that there were clearly two camps in the administration as to what to do about it. Probably it is not too far fethched to assume that the conservative pro-Israeli camp within Bush's troops (Perle, Wolfowitz, Feith and others) was simply too strong...
According to Perry Israel's relationship with Jundallah continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office, this same intelligence officer noted. Israel's activities jeopardized the administration's fragile relationship with Pakistan, which was coming under intense pressure from Iran to crack down on Jundallah. It also undermined U.S. claims that it would never fight terror with terror, and invited attacks in kind on U.S. personnel.
The debate over Jundallah was resolved only after Bush left office when, within his first weeks as president, Barack Obama drastically scaled back joint U.S.-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran, according to multiple serving and retired officers.