Comment: Aussie ex-spies comment on Israeli forged passports affair

Australian passport

Australia passport

Regular IntelNews readers are aware of the current crisis in Israeli-Australian relations, which broke out as a result of the use of several forged Australian passports by the Israeli intelligence services. The passports were among several Western identity documents employed by Israeli Mossad agents in targeting Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was assassinated in a luxury Dubai hotel last January. The revelation prompted Canberra to announce the expulsion of Israel’s senior Mossad representative in the country. The dust has yet to settle, and the recent shooting of an Australian citizen onboard the Gaza Freedom Flotilla during last Monday’s bloody raid by the Israeli Defense Forces has the potential to worsen Australian-Israeli relations even further. What is the view of all this from Australia? IntelNews asked two Australian former intelligence officers, who offered their input on an anonymous basis. One of them, a former senior intelligence officer with the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), confirmed that “there have been occasions where our sister service ASIS [Australian Secret Intelligence Service, whose mission is equivalent to the CIA’s] has undoubtedly provided documentation for ‘friendlies’ […]”. But Australian passports, he said, are changing: “Australia [is currently] leading the way […] in producing new passports that are impossible to forge. [However,] there are loopholes everywhere. In the not too recent past, a number of new passports were stolen from Canberra but like anything else, if you have the money then you can get whatever you want. [I]t would not take much to obtain a series of blanks and enter the appropriate names and the other requirements. The question I would like asked is how many of those foreign passports were handed over to Israeli intelligence by supporters of the state”.

On his experiences in dealing with Israeli intelligence, the former ASIO officer said: “My personal dealings with Israeli services were rather limited, except when it came to discussions about the insertion of KGB assets into the migrant stream for both countries. The [Israelis] tended to be like a vacuum cleaner; sucking up every single piece of information that they could obtain and giving very little in return. I chased a couple of cases for which they provided leads but inevitably, they fizzled out and the last one I personally handled ran so close to government that it could not be pursued following directions from the top”.

Another Australian former intelligence officer, with over 30 years experience in intelligence, had this to say about the Israeli use of forged Australian passports: “I admit to being rather confused about the use of foreign passports by Mossad and the very public elimination of the Hamas official. For an organization which thrives on secrecy, duplicity and a very high degree of professionalism, the mistakes that were made appear illogical and totally out of character. The other thing I find interesting is that the Israelis have been producing high-quality forgeries for many years and that includes passports and other documents pertaining to identity; birth certificates, marriage certificates and so on. Given that it is extremely easy to obtain passports in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, without resorting to identity theft, you are left with two options. The first is that they wanted the world to know they are still in business; or alternatively, it was a very deliberate cover for something far more sensitive or deeper. However, if I can leave you with one stone cold certainty, it is that […] there will be no apologies or explanations, just obfuscation”.

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Expert news and commentary on intelligence, espionage, spies and spying, by Dr. Joseph Fitsanakis and Ian Allen.

7 Responses to Comment: Aussie ex-spies comment on Israeli forged passports affair

  1. UnconSamson says:

    Interesting analysis, though I wonder if that very same conclusion is not what most readers have even w/o experience in the spook world.

    The guy was going to be a key chokepoint in Iran/Hamas weapons dealing. Maybe the chokepoint. It has had a secondary purpose of showing to the world the true nature of Iran.

    I guess ppl have not noticed that very big point in all of the “outrage”? But people pick up on a lot and are not as stupid as they often make themselves out to be. I would guess the israelis maybe even have to operate on their higher intelligence on a routine basis to ever get any point across.

    Because it is only by this pretension to stupidity, this sleep, the unconscious life in a conscious world that ppl live and breath and have their being.

    Oh. Sorry. I wax existentialism.

    But ppl deny outright statements and facts so much. They can not deny the fact here, though: Mossad is so suspected not just because of MO, which really ppl ultimately can only guess on… but because of **motive**.

    Who else has had motive to stop a major weapons deal between Israel and Hamas? Well, of course, no one… because no one else owns that baby that is Israel. (Samson’s baby parable.)

    So.. because of that… it is clearly obvious to the whole world Israel was behind this. And it also convicts them.

    That is, the world… for caring so much more about the “outrage” of Israel’s secret defensive action… and caring nothing about the fact of what it was this guy, hamas, and Iran were plotting here.

    Hrrm. And that plot, perhaps, thickens.

    But shouldn’t everyone be concerned? Last thing anyone wants is for that situation to “blow up” anymore.

    No pun intended.

  2. Wouldn’t Iran have the Same Motives? If their weapons were being exploited?

  3. intelNews says:

    Thanks for this comment. I believe you are correct to identify the Mossad as the assassins. To my knowledge, there is now almost no discussion among knowledgeable observers about whether the Mossad was indeed behind al-Mabhouh’s assassination. [JF]

  4. Peter Wallerberger says:

    Intel News’s proactive stance on this issue
    by way of interveiwing former ASIO staff
    was a brilliant move.

    Perhaps IntelNew’s readers might do well
    to pay alittle more attention to the revelations
    made in that interveiw as they are quite
    fascinating, not to mention forthright.(If
    there are such words in the ASIO Dictionary).

    Oddly enough – The last former operatives analysis was the
    most interesting of all…..I’d realy like to meet that person !!

    Just remember though: “Take the Blinkers off” – ASIO –
    and ASIS are not the only Australian intelligence
    organisations !! Seems someone has forgotten
    the existance of the DIO which is also responsible for Counter-Terrorisim and it is
    the DIO that is heavily disciplined and by far more professional than it’s more widely acknowledged civilian counterparts.
    **If you think that no one walking the corridors
    of Victoria Barracks in NSW years ago didn’t have close ties with Mossad operatives then
    think again !! (That’s what I meant when I earlier wrote that this whole affair would be less embarrassing to Australian Government ‘agencies’ if they ordered the Israeli Embassy in Canberra to be closed !!)

    The Hamas debacle has merely publically exposed Mossad (once again) – just remember
    whilst some things are obvious and irefutable there will always be unanswered questions…
    such as ‘was another sovereign states intelligence
    apparatus involved in the organisation of the Hamas assasination ??’ (& I’m not inferring that it was Australia)

    Winston Churchill once said ” Truth is so precious that she should always be surrounded by a bodyguard of lies” (or words to that effect)

    I think readers should always keep that famous phrase in mind when digesting even the most obvious and proven facts – as due to the nature of intelligence operations, even the truth is rarely the complete record of the event(s) but often merely what the public would like to believe.In the case of (dare I mention it) U.S
    intelligence/ analysis we all now know the dangers
    of feeding the public and ‘clients’ information that ‘fits the jigsaw’ irregardless of whether those
    facts are proven or otherwise.

    I guess what I am trying to say here is that nothing is simple. The facts might be infront
    of us in a palatable form but that is not the end of the matter – there are almost certainly other
    “issues” interconnected with this complex Mossad operation that will , if ever proven – perhaps compromise and severley embarrass countrys other than Israel ??
    If so then it will be most interesting if those very same countrys were the ones that have been so vocal in their condemnation of Israel’s state sponsored assasination event .
    In fact perhaps a country might even distance its self from Israel politically to in order to show the world their abhorance of what happened.
    After all – this is a very weird world we all live in !!!!!

  5. I believe the Global community will take a
    closer look at how to deal with the state of
    Israel and the feats of Mossad and never mind
    we nor confirm, nor deny.

  6. I agree,& who cares if The World Ends or We win this War, if No One cares about the Truth! “The TRUTH Will Set You Free.

  7. Mike S Goodmann says:

    I’m sure that all intelligence services play this game.

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