is undoubtedly the largest case of Israeli spying in the United
States – that has been made public – since 1986. In June 2001,
an investigative report detailed the activities of more than one-hundred
Israeli agents, some presenting themselves as fine arts students,
others tied to Israeli high-tech companies. All were challenged
by the authorities, were questioned, and a dozen of them are still
imprisoned. One of their tasks was to track the Al-Qaida terrorists
on American territory – without informing the federal authorities.
Elements of this investigation, taken up by American television
Fox News, reinforce this thesis: that Israel did not transmit
to the United States all the evidence in its possession on the
preparation of the September 11 attacks.
latest issue of the Online
Intelligence Letter, a publication specializing in questions
of information, has revealed that a vast Israeli spy network operating
on American territory was dismantled.
is the biggest affair involving the Mossad (the Israel’s external
security agency) in activity against the United States since Jonathan
Pollard, an employee of the US Navy, was condemned to life in
prison, in 1986, for spying for Israel’s benefit. Which was the
real scale of this network? The facts evoked by an American investigative
report do not indicate if the network obtained the information
it was after, or if the authorities dismantled it in its initial
to the chief editor of Online Intelligence, Guillaume Dasquié,
this "vast network of Israeli intelligence agents was neutralized
by the counter-espionage services of the Department of Justice."
The Americans "would have apprehended or expelled close to 120
Dasquié gives a report on a "61-page review article" from
June 2001, given to the American justice department by a "task
force" made up of agents of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration)
and some INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) agents "who
were associated with the FBI and the office of investigation of
the US Air Force." Questioned by Le Monde, Will Glaspy,
of the Public Affairs department of the DEA, authenticated this
report, and said the DEA "holds a copy."
is not the first time that information relating to Israeli espionage
appeared in the United States since the Pollard affair. In June
1999, the review Insight had described, at length, a "secret"
investigation by division 5 of the FBI regarding Israeli phone-tapping
targeting the White House, the State Department and the National
the attacks of September 11, very little detailed information
had come out about the arrest of some sixty Israelis. Finally,
from the 11th to the 14th of December 2001, the Fox
News television channel aired an investigation in four parts into
Israeli espionage in the United States, in the broadcast "Carl
Cameron Investigates." The Israeli embassy in Washington immediately
responded by stating that it did not contain "anything true."
American Jewish organizations such JINSA (Jewish Institute for
National Security Affairs), AIPAC (America-Israel Political Action
Committee) and others, denounced the report as a "machination."
Fox withdrew from its Internet site, one day and half after its
posting, all the material related to this investigation.
Monde requested three times with Fox News to provide a tape
of the broadcast. It was never done. On February 26, Fox told
our correspondent in New York that sending it posed "a problem,"
without being specific. Le Monde, however took note of
the whole script in this investigation. Carl Cameron evokes "a
vast secret investigation held there" relating to "140 Israelis
made to pass for students of the University
of Jerusalem or Betzalel Academy of Arts [which have] unceasingly
sought to come into contact with civil servants and, according
to a document, targeted and penetrated military bases, dozens
of buildings of the DEA, FBI, and others."
investigation focused on two aspects. Firstly, could the Israelis
have had preliminary knowledge of the September 11 attacks and
not informed the Americans? His sources, explains Carl Cameron,
tell him: "The principal question is ‘how they could they have
not known?’" On the screen, his editor-in-chief tells him
thus: "Certain reports confirm that the Mossad sent representatives
to the United States to warn them, before September 11, of the
imminence of a major terrorist attack. That does not go
the direction of an absence of warning." Cameron’s response: "The
problem is not the absence of warning, but the absence of useful
details" compared to those which American services suspect Israel
of having held.
second round of the investigation touched on Israeli companies
providing administrative services for American companies, which
would conceal information. It was aimed at the manufacturer of
Amdocs software, placed on Wall Street, which lists, for the 25
major telephone companies of the United States, all the calls
coming into and originating from American territory, as well as
the companies Nice and Comverse Infosys,
the latter providing the data-processing programs to American
law enforcement agencies authorized to eavesdrop on private phone
conversations. Comverse is suspected of having introduced into
its systems of the "catch gates" in order to "intercept, record
and store" these wire-taps. This hardware would render the "listener"
himself "listened to."
to Cameron: "Are there reasons to believe the Israeli government
is implicated?" Answer: "No, none, but a classified top-secret
investigation is underway." The broadcast had been shown beforehand
to the highest persons in charge of the CIA, the FBI, the NSA
(the agency in charge of phone-taps), the DEA
and the American Justice Department, none of which objected to
report submitted to the American Justice Department, to which
Le Monde had access, shows that many of the "fine-arts
students" suspected of illicit activity have a military past in
Israeli information or advanced technology units. Some entered
and left the United States on several occasions, remaining each
time for short periods. Several are related to the hi-tech Israeli
companies of Amdocs, Nice and Retalix.
a "coed" saw her guarantee of $10,000 paid by an Israeli working
at Amdocs. Questioned, two others admitted being employed by Retalix.
Monde obtained other information not contained in this report.
Six of the intercepted "students" had a cellular telephone bought
by an Israeli ex-vice-consul in the United States. Two others,
at an unspecified time, arrived in Miami by direct flight from
Hamburg, and went to the residence of an FBI agent, to try to
sell him artwork, left again for the Chicago airport to go to
the residence of an agent of the justice department, then again
took a plane directly for Toronto – all in one day.
than a third of these "students," who, according to the report,
moved in at least 42 American cities, stated they resided in Florida.
Five at least were intercepted in Hollywood, and two in Fort Lauderdale.
Hollywood is a town of 25,000 inhabitants to the north of Miami,
close to Fort Lauderdale. At least 10 of the 19 terrorists of
9/11 were residing in Florida.
of the five members of the group that diverted American Airlines
flight number 11 – Mohammed Atta, Abdulaziz Al-Omari, Walid and
Waïl Al-Shehri, as well as one of the five terrorists of
United flight 175, Marwan Al-Shehhi – resided all at various times
in... Hollywood, Florida. As for Ahmed Fayez, Ahmed and Hamza
Al-Ghamdi and Mohand Al-Shehri, who took over United flight 75,
like Saïd Al-Ghamdi, Ahmed Al-Haznawi and Ahmed Al-Nami,
of United flight 93 which crashed September 11 in Pennsylvania,
and Nawaq Al-Hamzi, of AA flight 77 (crashed into the Pentagon),
they all at one time resided at Delray Beach, in the north of
convergence is, inter alia, the origin of the American
conviction that one of the tasks of the Israeli "students" would
have been to track the Al-Qaida terrorists on their territory,
without informing the federal authorities of the existence of
enigmas remain. Why was the Israeli network a priority of drug
enforcement agents? An assumption: the DEA is the main American
agency inquiring into the money laundering. A network such as
Al-Qaida used "dirty" [funding], and the Taliban’s Afghanistan
was the primary exporter of opium in the world. Why this astonishing
"cover" of false students canvassers for poor artwork? The Israeli
network seemed to hold lists of names. Its members knew at which
office or which private residence to go. The objective was apparently
to make contact, even for a short time.
to an Israeli specialist in espionage, "this story is a ridiculous
joke, and is not serious." Contacted, the services of the Israeli
Prime Minister still had not, as of Monday evening March 4, answered
our questions. The American Justice Department indicated to us
that "a dozen" of these "students" would still be imprisoned indefinitely,
and all the others had been released or deported. The FBI indicated
to us that it will not make "any comment at this stage." The CIA,
the FBI, the DEA, the INS, the NSA, the Justice Department and
the Pentagon have all designated an investigator on this file.