Bush “did nothing” about Mossad using US passports to recruit terrorists
January 16, 2012 4 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Current and former American intelligence officials have accused Israeli spy operatives of posing as US citizens to recruit members of a Pakistani terrorist group in a covert war against Iran. In an explosive exposé, the respectable US-based journal Foreign Policy has revealed that officers of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency used forged US passports to pose as American personnel of the Central Intelligence Agency. They used their fake American identities to contact members of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jundallah, which is responsible for numerous brutal strikes against civilian targets in Iran. Jundallah (soldiers of God) is an extremist militant organization that claims to be fighting for the rights of Sunni Muslims in Iran. Most of its members belong to the Baluch ethnic group, which is concentrated along the Iranian-Pakistani border. The Foreign Policy article cites interviews conducted over the past 18 months with six anonymous US government officials, including two serving intelligence officers and at least two others who “have monitored Israeli intelligence operations from senior positions inside the US government”. They told the journal that, in 2007, during the concluding years of the administration of President George W. Bush, the CIA discovered that the Mossad was using forged US passports and US currency to court and fund Jundallah operatives, in a series of secret meetings in London, England. One US government source told Foreign Policy that American officials “were stunned by the brazenness” of the Mossad, saying: “it’s amazing what the Israelis thought they could get away with [...]. They apparently didn’t give a damn what we thought”. A retired CIA officer told the journal that Agency analysts drafted official memoranda that made their way “up the US intelligence chain of command”, eventually reaching the White House. The CIA officer added that President Bush “went absolutely ballistic” when briefed on the Mossad operation. Moreover, the article notes that the revelation ignited a “divisive debate” among the Bush administration’s national security team, with some wondering “just whose side these guys [in Israel] are on”. But the White House allegedly decided to do nothing about the issue, even though it “continued to roil the Bush administration until the day it left office”. The reason for the inaction, given by the anonymous US intelligence officials, is that “it was just easier to do nothing than to [...] rock the boat”. It was only after the White House changed hands that President Barack Obama “drastically scaled back joint US-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran”, according to the Foreign Policy exposé. The article adds that President Obama has since authorized US intelligence agencies to collaborate with the Israelis on some intelligence-collection programs targeting Iran’s nuclear program, but alleges that these “do not involve covert actions”. Another US government source added: the Israelis are “supposed to be a strategic asset. Well, guess what? There are a lot of people now, important people, who just don’t think that’s true”. The journal says it asked the CIA, White House, and the Mossad to comment on the story, but received no responses. Israeli daily Ha’aretz has since quoted an unnamed Israeli official who dismissed the Foreign Policy report as “absolute nonsense”.