News you may have missed #701

Mohammed MerahBy IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
►►Ex-NASA scientist gets 13 years for spying for Israel. Former US government scientist Stewart Nozette was once on the cutting edge of space exploration, but he will spend 13 years in prison for trying to sell some of his country’s most closely guarded secrets. In 2009 Nozette sought to sell classified information to someone he thought was an Israeli Mossad officer but was in fact an FBI agent in an undercover sting operation. As intelNews explained back in 2010, Nozette was not simply a Mossad agent-wannabe, but had actually passed information to Israel in the past.
►►French intel under fire over Toulouse gunman. The French government went on the defensive last week amid questions over why its intelligence service had failed to deal with Mohammed Merah. The self-confessed al-Qaeda militant died in a police assault on his flat last Thursday, where he was tracked down after murdering seven people, including three children and three soldiers, in a series of attacks. With hindsight, Merah’s past appears to make him an obvious suspect —he had at least 15 criminal convictions, some with violence, had become a radical Islamist and travelled to Pakistan and Afghanistan. One press report said that in 2010 Merah forced a youth to watch videos of al-Qaeda hostage beheadings. When the boy’s mother complained, Merah allegedly attacked her, putting her in hospital for several days.
►►Ex-Mossad chief says Israel will know when Iran begins producing nukes. Former Mossad head Meir Dagan said he believes Israel will be aware when Iran moves to the stage of nuclear weapon production —for example, enriching uranium to a degree of 90 percent. Dagan said that at that stage Israel would have to attack the Iranian nuclear sites if the international community does not stop its program. Dagan said he believed the Israeli Air Force has the capability to significantly damage Iran’s nuclear sites, yet repeated previous warnings that such a strike will have serious repercussions.

Israel abducts American survivor of USS Liberty bombing onboard Gaza flotilla

USS Liberty

USS Liberty

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
Among nine US citizens abducted in international waters by Israeli troops on Monday was a survivor of the attack on the USS Liberty, an American intelligence ship that was napalm-bombed by the Israeli Air Force in 1967. US Navy veteran Joe Miduras, of Corpus Christi, Texas, was among the nearly 700 civilians from 40 different countries, who were illegally abducted by the Israeli Defense Forces following a bloody raid on the Gaza  Freedom Flotilla on May 31. The 67-year old veteran was a soldier onboard the Liberty, an unarmed US National Security Agency communications surveillance vessel, when it was napalm-bombed in international waters by Israeli jets during the fourth day of the 1967 Six-Day War. Although the ship did not sink, Israeli jets machine-gunned the Liberty lifeboats carrying American servicemen, ultimately killing 34 and seriously injuring over 150 US crew members. Read more of this post

Latest from Hungary and Turkey on Budapest assassination

Trache murder

Trache murder

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
Despite the overwhelming silence in Western media about last week’s suspicious murder in broad daylight of a Syrian man in Hungary, the story continues to make headlines in Israel, the Arab world, Turkey and Hungary. IntelNews reported on Friday that a Bassam Trache, a Syrian man who had lived in Hungary for 20 years, was shot dead in Budapest on Wednesday morning, as he was driving his car. Witnesses reported that the assailant stole a small black briefcase from the 52-year-old victim’s vehicle, before fleeing the scene of the crime on foot. It also emerged that, in the week prior to the mysterious shooting, Hungarian air controllers located two Israeli Gulfstream spy planes hovering over the Hungarian capital, close to the airport, where Wednesday’s shooting occurred. Read more of this post

More information on alleged Mossad hit in Budapest

Crime scene

Crime scene

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
IntelNews reported on Friday that a Syrian man was shot dead in Budapest on Wednesday morning, as he was driving his car. Witnesses reported that the assailant stole a small black briefcase from the 52-year-old victim’s vehicle, before fleeing the scene of the crime on foot. It also emerged that, in the week prior to the mysterious shooting, Hungarian air controllers located two Israeli Gulfstream spy planes hovering over the Hungarian capital, close to the airport, where Wednesday’s shooting occurred. Is this Dubai reloaded? Late on Friday, Reuters news agency reported the dead Syrian-born man’s name as Bassam Trache, 52. Meanwhile, Hungarian officials continue to deny any link between Trache’s murder and the alleged Israeli spy planes. Hungarian government spokesman, Domokos Szollar, said the overflight was “routine” training that was cleared in advance with Hungary’s National Transport Authority by the Israelis. However, Hungarian “defense ministry officials appear not to have been informed” of the alleged training exercise. Read more of this post

Another Mossad assassination, this time in Hungary?

Crime scene

Crime scene

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
IntelNews got word last night that an unidentified Syrian man was shot dead in Budapest early on Wednesday morning, as he was driving his car. Witnesses reported that the assailant stole a small black briefcase from the 52-year-old victim’s vehicle, before fleeing the scene of the crime on foot. A few hours later, it emerged that, in the week prior to the mysterious shooting, Hungarian air controllers located two Israeli Gulfstream spy planes hovering over the Hungarian capital, close to the airport, where Wednesday’s shooting actually occurred. The Hungarian government is so far refusing to release precise information as to the identity of the Syrian victim in Wednesday’s shooting. The country’s Ministry of Defense has also refused comment on the Israeli spy planes, except to say that they were “on a diplomatic mission”. Read more of this post

Mossad deputy chief resigns amid internal strife

Meir Dagan

Meir Dagan

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
It emerged yesterday that the deputy director of the Mossad, Israel’s premier external intelligence agency, has stepped down. The official, known only as “T.”, appears to have resigned in protest over the Israeli government’s decision to extend the Mossad director’s tenure for an unprecedented eighth year. It has also emerged that  “T.” first warned the government two months ago that he would resign if the decision was made to retain Meir Dagan as Mossad director for yet another year. “T’s” resignation marks the fourth resignation of a Mossad deputy chief during Dagan’s directorship. There are rumors that Dagan refuses to leave his post until he agrees to a successor, which according to Israeli daily Ha’aretz, “will come neither from the ranks of the Israel Defense Forces nor Mossad”. Read more of this post

Israel said to be behind mystery airstrikes on Sudan

Port Sudan

Port Sudan

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Sudanese government officials revealed on Tuesday that Sudanese territory was hit thrice by foreign warplanes last January and February, killing hundreds. The airstrikes appeared to target convoys travelling in Sudan’s desert coastal region near Port Sudan on the Red Sea coast. The revelation was confirmed on Thursday by Fatih Mahmoud Awad, an official at Sudan’s Ministry of Transport, who claimed that the three airstrikes destroyed dozens of vehicles and killed “as many as 800 people”. Shortly afterwards, an Associated Press report cited Ali Youssef, a Sudanese official from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who confirmed Awad’s revelations, but refused to speculate on the exact number of casualties. Interestingly, the Sudanese government did not disclose the airstrikes at the time, probably because it “was embarrassed to acknowledge that its sovereignty and air space could be violated so easily”, according to one observer. The question is who was behind the attacks. Read more of this post