Indian intelligence infiltrated Islamic State in ‘unprecedented operation’

New Dehli IndiaA joint Indian-American counterintelligence operation, described as “unprecedented in its scale and scope”, reportedly foiled a major suicide attack by the Islamic State in New Delhi and helped achieve “a string of victories” against the group in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Citing “top diplomatic and intelligence sources”, the New Delhi-based daily The Indian Express said that the “audacious” operation took place a year ago, but details about it were only made available to its reporters in recent days.

The paper said that the operation lasted 18 months and involved the systematic surveillance of numerous suspects in Dubai, New Delhi and several cities in Afghanistan. It also involved substantial intelligence-sharing between Indian and American security agencies, as well as constant intelligence-gathering by as many as 80 Indian physical-surveillance experts. Intelligence gathered from physical surveillance was reportedly combined with information collected through telephone intercepts. Eventually it became clear that the Islamic State had recruited and trained 12 suicide bombers across several secret camps in Pakistan. The recruits were tasked with carrying out suicide bomb attacks throughout Pakistan, Afghanistan and India.

One such recruit, the 25-year-old “son of a wealthy [Afghan] businessman”, had been sent by the Islamic State to New Delhi to carry out his deadly mission. In order to escape the attention of the authorities, he had enrolled in a private engineering college in New Delhi. But he was arrested by Indian intelligence and quickly transported to Afghanistan, where he was interrogated by American officers. According to The Indian Express, intelligence gathered from these interrogations helped the United States-led coalition in Afghanistan achieve “a string of successes” against former Taliban forces aligned with the Islamic State. The Afghan would-be suicide bomber remains in Afghanistan under US custody, according to the paper.

Author: Joseph Fitsanakis | Date: 17 July 2018 | Permalink

News you may have missed #767

Omar SuleimanBy IAN ALLEN | intelNews.org |
►►Aussie spy chief warns of ‘digital footprints’. For the first time in the 60-year history of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS), Australia’s main external spy agency, its Director has spoken publicly. Nick Warner used this unprecedented opportunity to reflect on where ASIS has come in the last 60 years, and the challenges it faces into the future. Among them, he said, are “developments in the cyber-realm”, which “are a two-edged sword for an agency like ASIS; they offer new ways of collecting new information, but the digital fingerprints and footprints which we all now leave behind complicate the task of operating covertly”.
►►India arrests alleged Pakistani spy. Indian authorities have announced the arrest of Zubair Khan, 37, of Uttar Pradesh, who was allegedly caught with several Indian Army documents in his possession. He had been reportedly asked to gather information on Air India pilots, military bases in the country, journalists who frequently visit Pakistan, and relatives of officials working in the Indian High Commission in Pakistan. Maps of cantonment boards and details of many battalions have been recovered from him, according to Indian media reports. Investigators are also said to have identified one of Khan’s handlers, a man named “Talib”, who works at Pakistan’s High Commission in New Delhi.
►►Egypt spies try to repair image as ex-Director dies. Egypt’s top spy agency, the General Intelligence Service —known as the “Mukhabarat” in Arabic— is taking a small but unprecedented step out of the shadows, in an apparent attempt to win the public’s support in the new Egypt. In an unusual move, the agency released a 41-minute-long documentary boasting of its achievements, presenting itself as the defender of the nation and vowing to continue to protect the country. The effort comes as the Mukhabarat’s former Director, the notorious Omar Suleiman, has died in the United States.

News you may have missed #693: Israel edition

Meir DaganBy IAN ALLEN| intelNews.org |
►►India soon to announce Iranian role in New Delhi bomb attack. The Delhi Police has cracked the Israeli embassy car blast case and traced the conspiracy to Iranian secret agents. According to sources privy to the investigation, it has now been “conclusively established” that Syed Mohammad Kazmi, the freelance journalist recently arrested in the case, was in touch with an Iranian intelligence officer and had even visited Iran as part of the conspiracy. Sources in the Indian security establishment said that the breakthrough in the February 13 blast on an Israel diplomat’s car, will be announced by the New Delhi Police in a “day or two.” They added that another couple of detentions have been made in the case.
►►Ex-Mossad chief says Iran’s response to attack would be devastating. An Israeli attack on Iran would lead to a missile attack on Tel Aviv that would have a “devastating impact” on the ability of Israelis to continue their daily lives, Meir Dagan, former head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad, said on Monday. Dagan said that Iran doesn’t have only four nuclear sites, but it has “dozens” of them. He seemed quite skeptic over the effectiveness of an Israeli attack on Iran, saying that no military attack could halt the Iranian nuclear project. “The attack could only delay it”, he said.
►►Ex-Mossad chief says Iran regime is ‘very rational’. The Iranian regime is “very rational” and is moving deliberately in its secretive nuclear program, the former head of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency says. “Maybe it’s not exactly rational based on what I call ‘Western thinking’, but no doubt that they are considering all the implications of their actions”, Meir Dagan said in an interview with CBS‘ 60 Minutes that aired Sunday.

Israeli-Iranian ‘dirty war’ nearing point of no return

Bomb blast in New DelhiBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The ongoing intelligence war between Israel and Iran appears to be reaching unprecedented levels following the exposure earlier this week of a simultaneous bombing campaign against Israeli targets in Europe and Asia. The wife of Israel’s Defense Attaché in New Delhi, India, was among four people injured on Monday, after a magnetic bomb attached to her car exploded just 500 yards from the gates of the Israeli embassy. Three thousand miles away, in Tbilisi, Georgia, a sharp-eyed employee of the Israeli embassy there discovered a bomb attached to a diplomatic car; the device was eventually diffused by Georgian counterterrorist authorities. A few hours later, the government of Thailand announced that two Iranian nationals had been detained following an explosion at a rented house in the capital Bangkok, which critically injured one of the arrestees. A second man was reportedly arrested in Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport while he was trying to board a flight to Malaysia. At least two other men, also Iranian nationals, remain at large, though Thai officials suspect they have already fled to Iran. (Update: Thai authorities have confirmed the bombers’ targets were Israeli diplomats). Speaking anonymously to Bloomberg news agency, US intelligence officials said that operations directed at Israeli targets were also “disrupted” in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, as well as in Bulgaria. Observers have also noted that the attack that injured the wife of the Israeli diplomat was carried out in one of Israel’s strongest allies in Asia, thus delivering a two-fold message to both Tel Aviv and New Delhi. India’s Home Affairs Minister, Palaniappan Chidambaram, told journalists yesterday that the attack in the Indian capital was conducted by a “well trained” motorcyclist, who attached “a magnetic device” to the car before speeding away. Read more of this post

News you may have missed #0255 (espionage edition)

  • South Korea jails alleged spy for 10 years. A 37-year-old college professor, identified only as Lee, has been handed a 10-year prison sentence for allegedly spying undercover on behalf of North Korea for 17 years. South Korean authorities said Lee, who was charged in November, was recruited by the North in 1992, while studying in New Delhi, India.
  • New details in Nozette spy case. Maryland scientist Stewart Nozette, who is accused of giving classified defense information to an FBI agent posing as an Israeli intelligence officer, may have impersonated a naval research official in order to acquire classified information, according to new court documents.
  • I didn’t kill Islamic Jihad members because I was busy spying for Israel“. Mahmoud Qassem Rafeh, a retired Lebanese Internal Security Forces official, has already confessed to having “collaborated with Israeli intelligence agents” between 1993 and 2006. But he denies having participated in the 2006 assassinations of two Islamic Jihad leaders in Lebanon, because on the night of the assassinations he was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Lebanon on behalf of Israeli spy agency Mossad.

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