Is CIA collaborating with Palestinian spy agencies?
December 23, 2009 1 Comment
By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
A British newspaper has alleged that Palestinian security agencies in the West Bank are working with the CIA so closely that CIA officials “consider them as their property”. London-based quality broadsheet The Guardian said that CIA agents routinely advise and supervise the work of the two main security agencies of the Fatah-aligned Palestinian National Authority, namely the General Intelligence service and the Preventive Security Organization. The trouble with this arrangement is that both services have been documented to resort to severe torture of West Bank members of rival Palestinian group Hamas, which has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2006. And the CIA has had more than a little trouble with torture in recent times. So is the CIA guiding overzealous Palestinian National Authority security agents in extracting intelligence by torturing Hamas sympathizers? Speaking to The Guardian, the Authority’s interior minister, Sa’id Abu-Ali, seemed to acknowledge that the interrogation of suspects “is solely a Palestinian affair, but the Americans help us”. The following day, however, the Authority’s security spokesperson, Adnan Damiry, condemned The Guardian article as “untrue […], rootless [and] fabricated”. His condemnation was echoed by the CIA’s representative, Paul Gimigliano, who said that “[t]he notion that [the CIA] somehow runs other intelligence services […] is simply wrong”. The Guardian allegations include the explosive claim, made by a Western official, that the two West Bank security agencies are so close to the CIA that they operate as “an advanced arm of the war on terror”. Allegations of such close ties between Palestinian and US intelligence agencies appear far-fetched, but it is worth pointing out that they are in line with recent claims of unprecedented collaboration between West Bank and Israeli intelligence agencies. Last August, Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz reported that Israeli agents of Shin Bet guard Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on their trips around some parts of the West Bank.