Inquiry examines whether IRA had mole inside Irish police

Provisional IRA muralBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
An Irish government investigation has unearthed intelligence reports claiming that an informant within the Irish police, the Garda, helped the Provisional Irish Republican Army plan the killings of a judge and two senior British police officers in the 1980s. Sir Maurice Gibson, a Lord Justice of Appeal for the British Crown, was killed along with his wife, by a remote-controlled car bomb, as they drove over the Irish border back into Northern Ireland on 27 April 1987, following a holiday. A little less than two years later, on March 20, 1989, Royal Ulster Constabulary officers Harry Breen and Robert Buchanan, were killed in an IRA road ambush in South Armagh. The two RUC officers, who were killed as they drove back from a meeting with Garda officers in the Republic of Ireland, were targeted despite the fact that they were riding in an unmarked car. This has sparked rumors that the victims’ travel itinerary had been supplied to the IRA by an inside source, possibly an officer in the Garda. In 2000, Jeffrey Donaldson, a British Member of Parliament, told the House of Commons that Garda Detective Sergeant Owen Corrigan was the IRA mole that leaked the itineraries of Judge Gibson and the two RUC officers. The Smithwick Tribunal in Dublin, which was set up in response to Mr. Donaldson’s allegations, is scheduled to conclude at the end of this month, following public testimony by several individuals. One of those is Detective Superintendent Brian Burton, of the Dundalk Garda station, the very same station in which Det. Sgt. Corrigan served at the time of the IRA killings. Read more of this post

CIA bank accounts used to funnel oil deal money, court documents claim

CIA HQ

CIA HQ

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Court papers in a bizarre lawsuit involving $258 million in missing funds from an international oil deal, appear to show that the funds were channeled to dormant CIA bank accounts with the help of an Agency employee. The case is being ignored by US media, but has attracted attention in the Irish press, because an Irishman, Ed O’Neill, is the primary defendant in the lawsuit. O’Neil was the main consultant broker who helped facilitate a 2008 oil deal between involving NIB Petroleum of Venezuela and Russia’s Gazprom, both of which sold oil to Turkey’s UP Petroleum. Among O’Neil’s tasks was ensuring that six consulting companies were paid a total of $258 million for helping facilitate the complex deal. The Turkish company, UP, paid the funds to O’Neil, but they never arrived to the six companies. The latter are now suing O’Neil for the missing money. But Irish quality broadsheet The Independent, says it has seen copies of the court papers, filed in the US state of Illinois. According to the documents, O’Neil told his clients, who were awaiting the money, that he was having trouble wiring it to them, and that he had enlisted the assistance of a friend of his, by the name of Carlos Jesus Navarro, who was a CIA operative. According to the testimony of the plaintiffs, O’Neil told them that Navarro had access to several dormant CIA bank accounts, which could be used to wire the money around the world. With Navarro’s alleged help, the funds were then transferred to banks in Luxembourg, Lichtenstein and the island of Guernsey, before making their way to the Cayman Islands. From there they were transferred to Germany’s Commerzbank, and finally to a Bank of America branch in New York City. The money was supposed to be transferred one last time to the plaintiffs’ bank accounts in Chicago; but this last transfer never took place. Read more of this post

New Gaza flotilla organizers accuse Mossad of sabotaging ships

Gaza Freedom Flotilla raid

2010 Flotilla raid

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
International organizers of a new fleet of ships that is preparing to sail for the Gaza strip, in a bid to challenge the Israeli embargo, have accused Israeli intelligence services of secretly sabotaging two of the vessels. The first announcement emerged on Tuesday from the crew of the Juliano, a Swedish/Norwegian ship harbored in Piraeus, Greece. The organizers, who said that their technicians had documented the results of the sabotage on video, claimed in a statement that “hostile divers had destroyed the [ship’s] propeller house and cut the propeller shaft”. A day later, Irish organizers onboard the MV Saoirse, which is currently docked in Turkey, told Reuters that the vessel experienced major technical damage as it was sailing for refueling to the harbor town of Göcek. The ship was eventually inspected by a marine engineer, who confirmed that it had been sabotaged. Speaking to Irish media, former Irish rugby international Paul Trevor Hogan, who is one of the activists onboard the MV Saoirse, said the damage was “identical [to that of] the Swedish boat and you don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to figure out who is behind this”. Another member of the ship’s crew, Irish Member of the European Parliament Paul Murphy, called on the government in Dublin to expel the Israeli ambassador to the country. Read more of this post

British citizen among Mossad assassins intrigues investigators

Christopher Lockwood

Lockwood

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Only a handful of the 33 members of an Israeli assassination squad, who killed a senior Hamas member in Dubai last January, carried non-fraudulent passports. Most of the assassins, who in all probability worked for Kidon, an elite assassination unit within Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency, used forged British, Irish, German, Australian, and other passports. Dubai officials investigating the murder of Hamas weapons procurer Mahmoud al-Mabhouh have identified at least one British citizen among non-fraudulent passport holders in the Mossad assassination team: he is 62-year-old Christopher Lockwood (photo), who helped facilitate al-Mabhouh’s assassination by transporting some of the Mossad members around Dubai “in a [rented] white minivan with tinted windows”. Read more of this post

Ireland not to recall passports following Mossad forgeries

Forged passports

Forged passports

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The government of Ireland has decided against recalling millions of passports issued before 2005, following the discovery of several forged Irish passports used by Israeli intelligence agency Mossad. At least seven of the Mossad operatives who took part in last January’s assassination of senior Hamas military official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai, used forged Irish passports to enter and exit the United Arab Emirates. An official investigation into the affair by the Irish government uncovered an extensive Israeli document forgery network in Ireland, and led to the expulsion of an Israeli embassy official from the country. But Irish government officials, tired of the long history of forged Irish passports used by intelligence agencies around the world, flirted with the idea of recalling all Irish passports issued before 2005, when sophisticated security features were introduced. Read more of this post

Analysis: An Economic Security Role for European Spy Agencies?

Economic espionage

Economic spying

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Last February, Spain’s intelligence service began investigating alleged suspicious efforts by foreign financial speculators to destabilize the Spanish economy. According to newspaper El País, the Spanish government asked the country’s Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI) to probe links between speculative moves in world financial markets and a series of damaging editorials “in the Anglo-Saxon media”. There are indications that the National Intelligence Service of Greece (EYP) is following in the CNI’s footsteps. In February, when Athens and Brussels began to realize the magnitude of the financial crisis threatening the European common currency, several news outlets suggested that the EYP was cooperating with Spanish, Irish and Portuguese intelligence services in investigating a series of coordinated speculative attacks on money markets, most of which allegedly originated from London and Washington. Read more of this post

Analysis: Forged Irish passports have long history

Passports

Passports

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
At least six of the nearly 30 Mossad assassins who killed Hamas military official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh last January in Dubai, used forged Irish passports to enter and leave the United Arab Emirates. This upset the Irish government, but did not surprise intelligence observers familiar with the long history of forged Irish passports in the international espionage and smuggling worlds. The Mossad and the CIA are among several intelligence agencies known to routinely rely on cloned Irish passports to enable their agents to move around the world undetected. In 1986, several Iran-Contra affair insiders, including US National Security Council member Oliver North, covertly traveled to Iran using forged Irish passports. The Provisional Irish Republican Army is also known to possess significant quantities of false Irish passports, which it uses to enable its senior members to network with supporters abroad. Read more of this post

Ireland seeks Israeli spy who assembled forged passport data

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Al-Mabhouh

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
As the number of suspects involved in the assassination of Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh rose to 26 yesterday, Irish government sources said they suspect an Israeli agent in Dublin of orchestrating the acquisition of several Irish passports used in the assassination. Six of the 26 identified members of the Israeli hit squad who killed al-Mabhouh in Dubai last January used forged Irish travel documents to enter the United Arab Emirates from a variety of international locations. There are rumors in Dublin that at least three more forged Irish passports, which were utilized in the assassination operation, will soon be added to the growing list. According to Ireland’s Independent newspaper, the unnamed Dublin-based Israeli spy collected and collated most of the misleading information that was used to apply for the passports, under the names of real, living Irish citizens, all of whom have now been traced by Irish authorities. Read more of this post

Answers to questions about al-Mabhouh’s assassination

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Al-Mabhouh

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The intelNews email inbox is literally bulging with messages about the recent assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the co-founder of Hamas’ military wing, who was found dead in Dubai last month. Here are brief answers to a selection of readers’ questions. Q. Is there any doubt that Mossad was behind the assassination? A. Almost none. By no means was Israel al-Mabhouh’s sole enemy. In fact, his killing caused little distress among Fatah’s leadership, and at least two Palestinians are believed to have assisted in the assassination. Nevertheless, the operation has all the hallmarks of a state-sponsored action, something particularly evident in the sophisticated travel documentation forgery involved. Moreover, the tactics of the hit squad, its composition, as well as its methods, point almost directly to the Mossad.  Q. Were those passports real, or not? If not, who are the people in the photos? The eleven known members of the hit squad utilized British, Irish, German, and one French (the squad leader) passports. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0284

  • Real IRA faction killed MI5 informant, says Irish police. The Gardai have concluded that a Real IRA faction executed Denis Donaldson, a former Sinn Fein official who turned informer for MI5 and the Police Service of Northern Ireland. Last year, the Real IRA took responsibility for the 2007 killing.
  • NATO spy station up for sale. A Canadian NATO spy station in Nova Scotia that operated between 1983 and 2006 is for sale for US$1.4 million. It appears that the site’s current owner, who doesn’t want to be identified, bought it from the Canadian Defense Department after the base was closed down.
  • Analysis on the Binyam Mohamed disclosures and UK-US spy cooperation. This analysis, by Michael Clarke, director of Britain’s Royal United Services Institute, is probably the best synopsis of the meaning of the recent court order to disclose Binyam Mohamed’s torture records, which has complicated US-UK spy relations.

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Three women among al-Mabhouh assassins, says journal

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Al-Mabhouh

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Three women were among ten members of a Mossad assassination team that killed a top Hamas official last month in Dubai, according to Intelligence Online. The Paris-based, subscription-only website also said that all members of the Israeli assassination squad that killed Mahmoud al-Mabhouh used European passports to enter the United Arab Emirates. Earlier this week, Dubai police announced that the team consisted of seven people, at least four of whom had used fraudulent Irish passports to enter the Emirates. According to Intelligence Online, one female member of the Mossad hit-team played a central role in the operation, by dressing herself in a generic hotel uniform before knocking on the door of al-Mabhouh’s room at the luxury Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel. Read more of this post

Al-Mabhouh assassins used Irish passports, says Dubai police

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh

Al-Mabhouh

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
At least four of the seven people believed to have participated in last month’s assassination of a senior Hamas military official in Dubai, used forged Irish passports to enter and exit the United Arab Emirates, according to local police. The body of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, co-founder of the Palestinian Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas’ military wing, was discovered by staff at Dubai’s luxury Al-Bustan Rotana Hotel, where al-Mabhouh was a guest, on January 20. Nine days later, on January 29, Hamas accused Israeli intelligence service Mossad of having killed al-Mabhouh. Now the Dubai police alleges that four of the seven assassins, which included at least one woman, used real Irish travel documents with falsified identities to enter the Emirates, and used them again to “flee to a European country” several hours before al-Mabhouh’s body was discovered.   Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0201

  • New book claims historic IRA commander was British spy. John Turi has authored England’s Greatest Spy, a new book, which claims that Éamon de Valera, who founded Irish republican party Fianna Fáil and later became the first President of the Irish Republic, secretly became a British intelligence officer in 1916. Tim Pat Coogan, one of de Valera’s most prominent biographers, reviews the book.
  • Japan launches spy satellite targetting North Korea. Japan’s H-2A No. 16 rocket, which was launched on Saturday, carries an advanced space satellite that will spy on North Korean military and other sites. The satellite is said to carry the most advanced high-resolution imaging equipment of all of Japan’s intelligence-gathering satellites.
  • US Secret Service 9/11 text messages disclosed. Hundreds of thousands of lines of transcribed pager messages exchanged between US civilian and military users on 9/11 were anonymously published on the Internet on Wednesday. They include messages exchanged between US Secret Service agents.

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News you may have missed #0159

  • US Congress wants to change locks in document safes. Some Congress members have revived “a decade-old debate” on replacing security locks on government safes for storing classified documents with new electromechanical locking mechanisms. According to one independent security consultant, existing mechanical locks in classified document safes “can be penetrated surreptitiously within 20 minutes”, and older barlock containers still in use “can be penetrated within seconds”.
  • A US spy in wartime Ireland. The interesting story of Major Martin S. Quigley, one of three US spies sent by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS, CIA’s forerunner) to Ireland, on a mission to find out whether the country’s government, which was officially neutral in the War, was actually siding with Nazi Germany.

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Irish leader used British-supplied bugs to spy on opponents: book

Charles Haughey

Charles Haughey

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Charles Haughey, Ireland’s Taoiseach (head of government) in the late 1970s, and on two instances in the 1980s, used audio surveillance devices supplied by a British security officer to spy on his domestic political opponents. This allegation is made by George Clarke, a former officer in the Special Branch of the Royal Ulster Constabulary (the name of the British police force in Northern Ireland until 2001), in his book Border Crossing, which was published last week. In it, Clarke says he purchased the devices at a specialist store in London, in 1979, and later lent them to an intelligence officer in the Garda, the police of the Republic of Ireland, for use in spy operations against the Irish Republican Army (IRA). Several months later, however, when Clarke requested that the devices be returned to him, he was told that they were in the possession of Charles Haughey, and that he was so fond of them that he simply refused to give them back. Read more of this post