Details emerge on Israeli bombing of Syrian nuke reactor

Ibrahim Othman

Ibrahim Othman

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
German newsmagazine Der Spiegel has published a most detailed examination of the background to Operation ORCHARD, the 2007 Israeli air attack on what is thought to have been a Syrian nuclear reactor. The attack was carried out by Israeli fighter jets in the night of September 6, 2007, at Al-Kibar, a site deep in the Syro-Arabian Desert, twenty miles from Deir el-Zor. Neither Syria nor Israel have commented on the attack, which is widely thought to have targeted Syria’s so-called Al-Kibar nuclear reactor. Der Spiegel’s article is based on interviews with nuclear and security experts, as well as “with individuals involved in the operation, [and] have only now agreed to [speak], under conditions of anonymity”, according to the authors. The article claims that the initial tip about Al-Kibar was given to the Israelis in 2004 by the US National Security Agency, which “detected a suspiciously high number of telephone calls between Syria and North Korea”. More importantly, the Mossad managed to acquire vital clues about the Al-Kibar building site by installing a stealth “Trojan horse” program on the laptop of a Syrian government official, while he was visiting Britain. It was apparently through that electronic penetration that the Israelis got hold of a photograph taken at Al-Kibar, showing Dr. Ibrahim Othman, director of Syria’s Atomic Energy Commission posing next to Chon Chibu, a leading figure in North Korea’s nuclear program. Incidentally, the Israelis have been claiming since December of last year that Syria has resumed its nuclear program.

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