Revealed: German neo-Nazi who helped Palestinians was CIA agent

Willi Pohl, a.k.a. Willi VossBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A German far-right militant, whose animosity against Jews led him to aid Palestinians kill Israeli athletes in the 1972 Munich massacre, says he was later recruited by the United States Central Intelligence Agency. Willi Pohl, also known as Willi Voss, 68, was arrested by German authorities a few weeks after Palestinian terrorist group Black September stormed the Olympic village in Munich and took hostage 11 Israeli athletes. All of them were eventually killed by their captors during a botched escape attempt at the nearby Fürstenfeldbruck airport. Voss, who was a known neo-Nazi activist at the time, was charged with possession of weapons and providing logistical support to the Black September militants. However, after his sentence was suspended, Voss managed to secretly emigrate to Beirut, Lebanon, where he was recruited as an agent of Jihaz el-Razd, the intelligence service of the Fatah, the main group in the Palestine Liberation Organization. But in 1975, while on a PLO mission in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, he decided to switch sides. He made the decision after discovering that the car he and his girlfriend were transporting on behalf of the PLO from Beirut to Belgrade contained weapons and highly unstable explosives. He says that the PLO had apparently failed to mention the existence of the hidden items when they asked him to transport the car to Europe. According to Voss’ new book, which has just been published in Germany under the title UnterGrund (Underground), the guns and explosives were discovered by customs officers in Romania (then Rumania); but because at that time the communist country was an ally of the PLO, Voss and his girlfriend were allowed to travel to Belgrade, minus the car and the weapons. Read more of this post

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Comment: Are Clinton’s Cyberattack Protests Hypocritical?

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS* | intelNews.org |
The Chinese have accused the US government of hypocrisy in criticizing Beijing for its alleged role in organized hacking attacks, which recently drove Google to abandon its operations in China. Speaking last Thursday, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton argued that “[c]ountries or individuals that engage in cyberattacks should face consequences and international condemnation”. But a subsequent editorial in government-owned The People’s Daily essentially said that China is not the only country that engages in cyberwarfare; the US does it too. Is this true? Most likely, yes. Read more of this post

Who tried to burn down the US embassy in Skopje in 1999?

Dragan Pavlovic-Latas

Pavlovic-Latas

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
On March 25, 1999, approximately 200 people broke off from a much larger crowd of pro-Serbian demonstrators in downtown Skopje, Macedonia, and, in a military-style operation, tore down the security perimeter around the US embassy and occupied its courtyard for several hours. With the US ambassador, Christopher Hill, and most of the embassy staff inside the building, the occupiers set fire to embassy cars and tried to set the building alight. By the time they were dispersed by police, the rioters had managed to destroy all the cars parked in the embassy’s courtyard, as well as a large part of the embassy building’s exterior. The demonstrators were protesting US and NATO airstrikes against Yugoslavia, which had begun on the previous day, sparked by brutal ethnic clashes in the Kosovo region. But the question remains: who, if anyone, organized the attempted burning down of the US embassy? Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0105

  • Trial of Serb former intelligence chiefs opens today. The trial of Jovica Stanišić, Director of Serbia’s State Security Service from 1990 until 1998, and Stojan Župljanin, commander of the Bosnian Serb police during the Bosnian war, opens today at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, in The Hague. As intelNews has reported before, at least two eponymous CIA agents have admitted that Stanišić was a CIA collaborator from 1991 until 1998.
  • Lithuanian Prime Minister was KGB agent, says board. A Lithuanian commission tasked with uncovering pro-Moscow informants and intelligence agents during the country’s communist period, has concluded that Kazimira Danutė Prunskienė, Lithuania’s first Prime Minister after the country’s 1990 declaration of independence from the Soviet Union, secretly collaborated with the Soviet KGB.
  • Congo says it won’t execute Norwegian alleged spies. Norway’s foreign minister says he has been assured that the two Norwegians who were sentenced to death by a Congolese military tribunal last week on spying charges will not be executed.

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Analysis: Ex-CIA Agent Involved in Arms Scandal

Imants Liepiņš

Imants Liepiņš

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
Liberia’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission has heard allegations that a retired agent of the CIA was instrumental in facilitating a vast diamonds-for-arms smuggling operation on behalf of Liberian warlord Charles Taylor. Taylor, who headed the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), became the country’s President in 1997. He is currently held by the United Nations in The Hague, pending trial for crimes against humanity. Roger D’Onofrio Ruggiero, an Italian-American 40-year veteran of the CIA, worked with Charles Taylor and others to channel diamonds into Europe through a number of front-companies. According to the allegations, D’Onofrio helped organize the smuggling operation with Ibrahim Bah, a Senegalese with Libyan connections, who was connected with D’Onofrio in the 1970s, when the former was funded by the CIA to join the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan in the war against the Soviet Red Army. In the early 1990s, Bah, who by then had established al-Qaeda connections, became Charles Taylor’s “Minister for Mineral Resources”, a post that enabled him to handle the majority of NPFL’s diamonds-for-arms deals. Read article →

French intelligence operatives’ trial resumes in Belgrade

Petrušić

Petrušić

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The trial of a three-member group of French intelligence operatives arrested in Yugoslavia in 1999, on charges of planning to assassinate Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, has resumed for a fourth time in the Serb capital Belgrade. The sensational charges against the three are not unique. Although the intelligence history of NATO’s 1999-2000 war in Yugoslavia has yet to be written, the limited information currently available points to significant intelligence and espionage activity by several European nations in the former Yugoslavia. Most notably, in August 2000, the Yugoslav army captured a covert group of two British (Adrian Pragnell and John Yore) and two Canadian (Shaun Going and Liam Hall) operatives who were captured on Yugoslav soil reportedly without visas and in possession of materials for making sophisticated explosives. All four were eventually released by the post-Slobodan Milosevic Yugoslav government. In another case, a team of four Dutch undercover commandos was intercepted while attempting to cross into Serbia from Montenegro.  Read more of this post

Former UN prosecutor says CIA prevented Serb war criminals’ arrest

Carla Del Ponte

Carla Del Ponte

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Observers of the most recent Balkan Wars in the former Yugoslavia will remember Carla Del Ponte, who was the United Nations’ Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY). Ms. Del Ponte, who is now Switzerland’s Ambassador to Argentina, has always regretted the UN’s failure to arrest during her ICTY tenure wanted Serb war criminals Radovan Karadzic (who was eventually captured in 2008 ) and General Ratko Mladic. She relays these regrets in her new book, Madame Prosecutor, which was published on January 20 by Other Press. Interestingly, the book has been essentially ignored by the mainstream Western media. A single review was published on January 22 in The Economist. Amazingly, the British journal, which is known for its attention to detail, omitted one stunning revelation in Ms. Del Ponte’s book. Namely that, during her ICTY tenure, the UN’s hunt for Karadzic and Mladic was actually obstructed by the CIA and by its then Director George Tenet. Read more of this post

Further details on German spy arrests in Kosovo

Further detailed information has seen the light of day in relation to the recent arrest of three German intelligence agents in Kosovo. The three spies, which were arrested while investigating the scene of an explosion at the EU offices in Pristina, were part of a constant presence in the Kosovar capital of the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service. Their cover was being employed by a BND front company called LCAS (Logistics-Coordination & Assessment Service), which was registered in Munich in April of 2007, and has “offices” in Pristina. The operation was so secret that “the official BND attaché stationed at the German Embassy in Pristina knew nothing of it. The German ambassador was likewise in the dark”, according to a new report by Der Spiegel. This would also explain (though not necessarily justify) why it was these agents, and not the BND resident at the German Embassy, who were sent to investigate the explosion at the EU building on November 14. The Kosovar government is now expected to use the information it gained from the arrest of the three agents, as well as from raiding the LCAS office in Pristina, to uncover the “extensive network of informants among high-ranking functionaries of the KLA and the Kosovar administration [...] which is more extensive in Kosovo than in most countries around the world” and which the BND has maintained since the early 1990s in this former region of Serbia. Specifically, the Spiegel article further states that “the Kosovo government may now arrest large numbers of informants who have provided the BND with valuable information”. [JF]

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Analysis: German intelligence in Kosovo

The epicenter of the latest round of intelligence positioning in the Balkans is the tiny Albanian-dominated region of Kosovo, which declared its independence from Serbia in February 2008. In the early hours of November 14, Kosovo Police arrested three individuals suspected of detonating an explosive device at the International Civilian Office, an urban landmark in capital Pristina that houses the office of the European Union’s (EU) special envoy to Kosovo. The three turned out to be German Federal Intelligence Service agents, employees of Bundesnachrichtendienst, or BND, Germany’s foreign intelligence service. What is more, all of them appeared to be working in deep cover (“in private capacity”, as the Kosovo Police spokesperson put it), having no affiliation with the German Embassy in Pristina, no diplomatic passports and no diplomatic immunity. Would the BND really instruct its agents to place a bomb at the EU mission in Pristina? And what is the BND doing in Kosovo anyway? Joseph Fitsanakis explains. [JF]

 

REFERENCES CITED IN THIS REPORT:

Fitsanakis, J. (2008) “German Intelligence Active in Kosovo”, intelNews, November 29

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