News you may have missed #730

Majid Jamali FashiBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Iran executes man convicted of killing nuclear physicist. Iran on Tuesday hanged Majid Jamali Fashi, convicted of playing a key role in the 2010 murder of Iranian nuclear scientist Masoud Ali Mohammadi, and of spying for Israel. Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University who was killed in a bomb attack outside his home in January 2010.
►►Bahrain sentences man accused of spying for Iran. Bahraini authorities accused the unnamed 47-year-old man of having leaked high-level information on Bahrain’s military, Interior Ministry and US Naval Base. He was allegedly paid more than BD27,000 on behalf of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard by two Iranians who lived in Kuwait. The two Iranians, who worked as diplomats in the Iranian Embassy in Kuwait, were convicted in absentia for selling military, industrial and economic information to Iran between 2002 and last April.
►►NSA declassifies document after publishing it. The National Security Agency last week invoked a rarely-used authority in order to declassify a secret document that was mistakenly posted on the NSA website with all of its classified passages intact. The article (.pdf) is a historical study entitled Maybe You Had to Be There: The SIGINT on Thirteen Soviet Shootdowns of US Reconnaissance Aircraft. It was written by Michael L. Peterson and was originally published in the classified journal Cryptologic Quarterly in 1993.

‘We killed Iranian scientist’ claims Israel intel source

Daryoush Rezaei

Daryoush Rezaei

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
A source in Israeli intelligence has told a quality German newsmagazine that Israel was behind the recent killing of an Iranian physicist in Tehran. The 35-year-old physicist, Darioush Rezaei, was shot twice in the throat on July 23, by two men on a motorcycle, as he and his wife were picking up their four-year-old daughter from kindergarten. Iranian authorities dismissed early reports that Rezaei was a nuclear academic, saying that there had been “some confusion” about the dead man’s identity, and that Rezaei was simply studying for a masters’ degree in electronics. It later became clear, however, that Rezaei’s electronics expertise was in the use of high-voltage switching systems for triggering nuclear warheads explosions. Rezaei was the fourth Iranian physicist or nuclear expert to be assassinated since 2007, after Ardeshire Hassanpour,  Masoud Ali Mohammadi and Majid Shahriari. Another nuclear scientist, Fereydoon Abbasi, who was injured in a separate bomb attack on the same day Dr Shahriari was killed, now heads Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization. There is little doubt in intelligence circles that the attacks on the Iranian researchers are part of a wider Western and Israeli covert action program that includes —apart from assassinations— sabotage and cyberwarfare. Now an article in German quality newsmagazine Der Spiegel quotes an unnamed “Israeli intelligence source” as saying that Rezaei’s July 23 assassination “was the first serious action taken by the new Mossad chief Tamir Pardo”. Read more of this post

Blasts target Iranian nuclear scientists, killing one [updated]

Shahriari's car

Shahriari's car

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
Teams of unknown assailants chose the first day of the WikiLeaks diplomatic revelations to attack two senior Iranian nuclear scientists in capital Tehran, managing to kill one of them. While the world is preoccupied with the WikiLeaks releases of United States diplomatic cables, two teams of motorcyclists, each consisting of a driver and a backseat rider, targeted the two scientists during the morning rush hour in Tehran, as they were driving to work with their wives in their cars. They attached small bombs to the car windows of their targets and detonated them from a relatively safe distance before speeding away through heavy traffic. The attackers managed to kill Dr. Majid Shahriari, a senior nuclear researcher and prominent professor at the Shahid Beheshti University in the northern suburbs of Tehran, who had taught at the Iranian armed forces’ Supreme National Defense University. Dr. Shahriari’s wife was injured in the attack. A separate bomb attack injured Dr. Fereydoon Abbasi Davan, who also teaches at Shahid Beheshti, and is described in Iranian media reports as “one of a handful of [Iranian] experts who are able to isolate isotopes” for the purpose of manufacturing uranium required for both nuclear energy and weapons. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0257 (assassinations edition)

  • Who tried to kill the Israeli diplomats in Jordan? “Whoever placed the bomb targeting the two armored embassy vehicles on their way from Jordan to the Allenby Bridge, last Thursday, appears to have had very good intelligence. They knew that many Israeli diplomats, who normally live in Amman without their families, usually depart for Israel for the weekend on Thursday afternoon, and they knew how to identify the two-car convoy”.
  • Iran insists in Israeli link to Mohammadi assassination. Last week’s assassination of Iranian scientist Massoud Ali-Mohammadi was carried out in a “Zionist style”, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said in his first direct comment on the killing.
  • Pakistanis urge US to stop drone attacks. Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has renewed calls on the US to stop its CIA-operated targeted assassinations, using unmanned Predator drone attacks on Pakistani soil, as they “kill civilians and ruin its efforts to isolate militants sheltering with tribes in the border region”.

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More on Iranian physicist’s assassination

Blast site

Blast site

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
American intelligence and State Department officials, some anonymous, have denied any connection with the assassination yesterday of Iranian physicist Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, in Tehran. Meanwhile, The Washington Post reports that Ali-Mohammadi was among several Iranian researchers who had regular contacts with Israeli and Arab physicists, through a United Nations-sponsored scientific collaboration project based in Amman, Jordan. The program, known as Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), was focused on non-nuclear physics applications in the medical industry and nanotechnology. To further complicate the issue, the Iranian opposition issued a report late last night saying that photographs taken at the scene of the bombing shortly after the blast, reveal the presence at the site of Abu Nasser Hossein, assistant to Manif Ashmar, who is Hezbollah’s public face in Iran. Read more of this post

BREAKING NEWS: Bomb blast kills Iranian physicist

Masoud Ali Mohammadi

Dr. Mohammadi

By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS| intelNews.org |
Iran’s state broadcaster has said a government physicist was “martyred” earlier this morning in a suspicious blast outside his home. The Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) news agency reports that police forces have sealed off the area around the Tehran residence of Masoud Ali-Mohammadi, whom it described as a “dedicated revolutionary professor”. Dr. Ali-Mohammadi was reportedly killed by a remotely controlled explosive device that was planted at the entrance of his residence. Iranian officials hint that the remnants of the device point to the work of “outside intelligence agencies”, and some implicate the Mossad. Read more of this post