Jailed US spy gave Israel information on Pakistan nuclear program
December 18, 2012 2 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
An American intelligence analyst, who was jailed in 1987 for spying for Israel, gave his spy handlers information on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program, according to declassified documents. Former United States Navy intelligence analyst Jonathan Jay Pollard is currently serving a life sentence for selling classified information to the Israeli government between 1985 and 1987. On December 14, the Central Intelligence Agency declassified its official damage assessment of Pollard’s espionage, who some counterintelligence officials believe was the most prolific mole that ever spied on the US government for a foreign country. This was the second time that the CIA declassified the document, titled The Jonathan Jay Pollard Espionage Case: A Damage Assessment, following an appeal by George Washington University’s National Security Archive. Even though this latest version of the declassified document is still heavily redacted, it contains some new information. One new revelation is that Pollard’s Israeli handlers specifically asked him to acquire intelligence collected by the US government on the Pakistani nuclear weapons program. In a section titled “Implications of Compromises: What Israel Gained from Pollard’s Espionage”, the CIA assessment states that Pollard focused on “Arab and Pakistani nuclear intelligence” and gave his Israeli handlers information on a secret Pakistani “plutonium reprocessing facility near Islamabad”. Further information in the declassified report about this subject is completely redacted. The question is, what kind of information on Pakistan’s nuclear weapons program did Tel Aviv acquire from Pollard? According to A.Q. Khan, the so-called father of the Pakistani nuclear bomb, Islamabad was able to detonate a nuclear device “within a week’s notice” by as early as 1984. IntelNews has also reported that the US was aware of Pakistan’s plans to build the bomb in the 1970s and had been working along with other Western countries, including the United Kingdom, to prevent Pakistan’s covert attempts to purchase ‘gray area’ technologies for its nuclear weapons program. In 2009, Imtiaz Ahmad, former director of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence directorate, spoke of a 1979 ISI operation called RISING SUN, which involved the alleged unmasking of Rafiq Munshi, a US-trained Pakistani nuclear scientist, who Ahmed says was a CIA agent. The operation also resulted in the exposure of several undercover CIA agents, posing as diplomats, stationed in the US embassy in Islamabad and the consulate in Karachi. Another question is whether Israel knew by 1987 that CIA operations against the Pakistani nuclear weapons program ended soon after Ronald Reagan was elected US President. His administration actively supported the Pakistani nuclear program in light of Pakistan’s adversarial relationship with the Soviet Union.