Expelled Israeli spy was after Russian-Arab arms deals, says FSB

Vadim Leiderman

Vadim Leiderman

By IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
The military attaché at the Israeli embassy in Moscow, who was unceremoniously expelled by the Russian government last week, was allegedly gathering intelligence on Russian arms exports to the Arab world. The FSB, Russia’s foremost counterintelligence agency, said Soviet-born Vadim Leiderman, a colonel in the Israeli army, was “caught red-handed” during a sting operation in Moscow, which is said to have occurred on May 12. His arrest led to the first expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from Russia in over two decades. Commenting on the case, a spokesperson from Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Kremlin had intended to conceal Leiderman’s expulsion from the media, as a “gesture of goodwill” to Israel. But its effort to keep the operation secret collapsed after Russia’s RBC TV aired a surveillance video of Leiderman’s arrest by a group of FSB officers, as the seemingly unsuspecting Israeli diplomat was dining with another man at an exclusive Moscow restaurant. Read more of this post

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Israel diplomats angry at ex-Mossad man’s ambassadorial appointment

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Israel’s hardline foreign minister has reportedly angered several Israeli diplomats after announcing that a former Mossad official will be Israel’s ambassador to Turkmenistan. Earlier this week, foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman announced the pending appointment of Reuben Dinal as Israel’s first-ever ambassador to the central Asian nation. Intelligence observers probably remember that Dinal headed the Mossad’s bureau in Russia in the early 1990s, until he was expelled by Moscow in 1996 for allegedly engaging in “undeclared intelligence activities”. Since Turkmenistan’s independence from the Soviet Union, Israel has regarded the central Asian nation as particularly sensitive, not only because of its wealth in energy resources and the predominantly Muslim faith of its population, but also because it borders the Islamic Republic of Iran. Read more of this post

Conflicting information on expulsion of Israeli diplomat from Russia

Nativ logo

Nativ logo

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
There is conflicting information about the reasons that led to the expulsion of an Israeli diplomat from Russia. The Russian government said on Thursday that Israeli diplomat Shmuel Polishuk was apprehended by Russian security forces and was asked to leave the country on charges of espionage. But Israeli diplomats claim that Polishuk was not expelled due to espionage activities, but because of “personal behavior inappropriate for a diplomat”, which does not relate to his official work. Other sources said that the Russians agreed not to expel Polishuk on espionage charges after Israel threatened “a counter move”. Interestingly, until his expulsion, Polishuk headed Israel’s Nativ delegation in Russia. Read more of this post