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Israel to kill on U.S., allies'' soil

Posted on 01/15/2003 1:45:12 PM PST by Dallas

Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forbidden the practice until now, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI.

With the appointment of Meir Dagan, the new director Israel's Mossad secret intelligence service, Sharon is also preparing "a huge budget" increase for the spy agency as part of "a tougher stance in fighting global jihad (or holy war)," one Israeli official said.

Since Sharon became Israeli prime minister, Tel Aviv has mainly limited its practice of targeted killings to the West Bank and Gaza because "no one wanted such operations on their territory," a former Israeli intelligence official said.

Another former Israeli government official said that under Sharon, "diplomatic constraints have prevented the Mossad from carrying out 'preventive operations' (targeted killings) on the soil of friendly countries until now."

He said Sharon is "reversing that policy, even if it risks complications to Israel's bilateral relations."

A former Israeli military intelligence source agreed: "What Sharon wants is a much more extensive and tough approach to global terrorism, and this includes greater operational maneuverability."

Does this mean assassinations on the soil of allies?

"It does," he said.

"Mossad is definitely being beefed up," a U.S. government official said of the Israeli agency's budget increase. He declined to comment on the Tel Aviv's geographic expansion of targeted killings.

An FBI spokesman also declined to comment, saying: "This is a policy matter. We only enforce federal laws."

A congressional staff member with deep knowledge of intelligence matters said, "I don't know on what basis we would be able to protest Israel's actions." He referred to the recent killing of Qaed Salim Sinan al Harethi, a top al Qaida leader, in Yemen by a remotely controlled CIA drone.

"That was done on the soil of a friendly ally," the staffer said.

But the complications posed by Israel's new policy are real.

"Israel does not have a good record at doing this sort of thing," said former CIA counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson.

He cited the 1997 fiasco where two Mossad agents were captured after they tried to assassinate Khaled Mashaal, a Hamas political leader, by injecting him with poison.

According to Johnson, the attempt, made in Amman, Jordan, caused a political crisis in Israeli-Jordan relations. In addition, because the Israeli agents carried Canadian passports, Canada withdrew its ambassador in protest, he said. Jordan is one of two Arab nations to recognize Israel. The other is Egypt.

At the time, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, "I have no intention of stopping the activities of this government against terror," according to a CNN report.

Former CIA officials say Israel was forced to free jailed Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and 70 other Jordanian and Palestinian prisoner being held in Israeli jails to secure the release of the two would-be Mossad assassins.

Phil Stoddard, former director of the Middle East Institute, cited a botched plot to kill Ali Hassan Salemeh, the mastermind of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre. The 1974 attempt severely embarrassed Mossad when the Israeli hit team mistakenly assassinated a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway.

Salemeh, later a CIA asset, was killed in Beirut, Lebanon, in 1976 by a car bomb placed by an Israeli assassination team, former U.S. intelligence officials said.

"Israel knew Salemeh was providing us with preventive intelligence on the Palestinians and his being killed pissed off a lot of people," said a former senior CIA official.

But some Israeli operations have been successful.

Gerald Bull, an Ontario-born U.S. citizen and designer of the Iraqi supergun -- a massive artillery system capable of launching satellites into orbit, and of delivering nuclear chemical or biological payloads from Baghdad to Israel -- was killed in Belgium in March 1990. The killing is still unsolved, but former CIA officials said a Mossad hit team is the most likely suspect.

Bull worked on the supergun design -- codenamed Project Babylon -- for 10 years, and helped the Iraqis develop many smaller artillery systems. He was found with five bullets in his head outside his Brussels apartment.

Israeli hit teams, which consist of units or squadrons of the Kidon, a sub-unit for Mossad's highly secret Metsada department, would stage the operations, former Israeli intelligence sources said. Kidon is a Hebrew word meaning "bayonet," one former Israeli intelligence source said.

This Israeli government source explained that in the past Israel has not staged targeted killings in friendly countries because "no one wanted such operations on their territory."

This has become irrelevant, he said.

Dagan, the new hard-driving director of Mossad, will implement the new changes, former Israeli government officials said.

Dagan, nicknamed "the gun," was Sharon's adviser on counter-terrorism during the government of Netanyahu in 1996, former Israeli government officials say. A former military man, Dagan has also undertaken extremely sensitive diplomatic missions for several of Israel's prime ministers, former Israeli government sources said.

Former Israel Defense Forces Lt. Col. Gal Luft, who served under Dagan, described him as an "extremely creative individual -- creative to the point of recklessness."

A former CIA official who knows Dagan said the new Mossad director knows "his foreign affairs inside and out," and has a "real killer instinct."

Dagan is also "an intelligence natural" who has "a superb analyst not afraid to act on gut instinct," the former CIA official said.

Dagan has already removed Mossad officials whom he regards as "being too conservative or too cautious" and is building up "a constituency of senior people of the same mentality," one former long-time Israeli operative said.

Dagan is also urging that Mossad operatives rely less on secret sources and rely more on open information that is so plentifully provided on the Internet and newspapers.

"It's a cultural thing," one former Israeli intelligence operative explained. "Mossad in the past has put its emphasis on Humint (human intelligence) and secret operations and has neglected the whole field of open media, which has become extremely important."

Regarding Mossad's new policy and budget increase, Kim Farber an Israeli Embassy official said, "There is so little information available on this, there is nothing I can add."

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; Israel; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 01/15/2003 1:45:12 PM PST by Dallas
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2 posted on 01/15/2003 1:46:53 PM PST by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: Dallas
This article is written like a scare piece, as if this sort of thing doesn't already happen. I am not alarmed, since Mossad and I have the same enemies. Besides, they'll make it look like Tyrone, Leroy and Hakim did it...
3 posted on 01/15/2003 1:55:10 PM PST by Always A Marine
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: Dallas
if israel dares to come to the USA to carry out targeted murder there will be hell to pay for all concerned...

US citizens do not want the troubles in israel being solved here...

israel can only hurt israel by doing that...

5 posted on 01/15/2003 1:57:43 PM PST by krodriguesdc
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To: Dallas
A congressional staff member with deep knowledge of intelligence matters said, "I don't know on what basis we would be able to protest Israel's actions."

How about this - As a matter of policy, we don't do "targeted killings" in this country. Nor do we permit other countries to do so here - even Israel.

If Israel does go forward with targeted killings in this country, it will be messy. The agents can be arrested and subjected to the legal process. If they manage to return home and extradition is refused, a major diplomatic crisis will ensue.

6 posted on 01/15/2003 1:58:43 PM PST by HAL9000
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To: Dallas
Suppose the Israelis make a mistake, as they did in Norway, and execute a U.S. citizen. What will happen then?
7 posted on 01/15/2003 2:00:18 PM PST by Archangelsk (Losing is never an option.)
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To: Always A Marine
you nailed it ... Gerald Bull was an intelligent fool ... the CIA has a (necessary) job to do but financing Saddam Hussein's war machine was not smart business ... of course it's not easy politics in the Middle East ... impossible to solve IMHO ...
8 posted on 01/15/2003 2:02:27 PM PST by Bobby777
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To: HAL9000
Nor do we permit other countries to do so here

yep, but right now I'd say Saudi and Egyptian agents did the largest number of targeted killings in this country ... in one fell swoop ... i.e., 9/11/2001 ... Saudi Arabia's terrorist telethons belie their true intentions ...
9 posted on 01/15/2003 2:05:36 PM PST by Bobby777
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Comment #10 Removed by Moderator

To: Bobby777
yep - and they are paying for it now!
11 posted on 01/15/2003 2:07:10 PM PST by krodriguesdc
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To: krodriguesdc
US citizens do not want the troubles in israel being solved here...

You must admit they have the right idea and would be filling a void we don't seem to grasp.

So, not to sound too vengeful. Do you think we could at least get George to close off the Borders?

12 posted on 01/15/2003 2:07:11 PM PST by chachacha
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To: chachacha
I do not admit that they have the right idea...

this can only bring more vengeance and attacks towards The USA with the loss of more innocent americans - we do not need to be put into the middle of this by mossad conducting tageted murders here on US soil!

yes I would close the borders!

13 posted on 01/15/2003 2:09:43 PM PST by krodriguesdc
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To: Dallas
I sure don't want Israeli agents, protected by diplomatic immunity and unbound by the US constitution, free to run around murdering US citizens they don't like.
14 posted on 01/15/2003 2:10:06 PM PST by Deathmonger
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To: HAL9000
The U.S. kills its terrorist enemies on other nations' soil. And rightly so.
15 posted on 01/15/2003 2:14:11 PM PST by tomahawk
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To: Dallas
When the local trash removal agency is not doing its job, sometimes you have to bring in outside contractors.
16 posted on 01/15/2003 2:24:12 PM PST by per loin
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To: Dallas
Jihad they want; jihad they get. And to somehow think that these fanatics will somehow be persuaded not to kill innocent Americans by our refusal to work with the Mossad is simply ludicrous. You simply cannot persuade or reason with hate filled fanatics. We are at war.All we can do is send 'em to hell.
17 posted on 01/15/2003 2:42:03 PM PST by JeeperFreeper
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To: HAL9000
The next sentence after your quote might be of problem to us - this has to do with the Predator attack conducted in Yemen a few months ago where we killed 5-6 terrorists, including one American citizen.

I hope this hasn't set off some type of precedent...because innocent people will die in these black bag jobs.
18 posted on 01/15/2003 2:55:42 PM PST by Aaron_A
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To: Dallas
Heres a story about some terrorists that deserve targeted killings, especially that slime Sheinbein.

February 27, 1998

Israel extradition law offers help to alleged criminals MATTHEW DORF

Jewish Telegraphic Agency

WASHINGTON -- Are Israelis committing crimes in the United States and fleeing home to avoid prosecution? In some cases, yes. But recent developments suggest that while these alleged criminals can run, they can't necessarily hide.

The issue emerged in September, when a Maryland teenager claimed Israeli citizenship in an effort to avoid a murder trial in the United States.

The case of Samuel Sheinbein came before the Israeli courts this week as Israeli officials, seeking to comply with a U.S. request for extradition, argued that despite the youth's claim, he is not an Israeli citizen.

While Sheinbein's case is extreme, his flight from U.S. prosecutors has focused some unwanted attention on Israel's extradition policy.

Like most European countries and many South American nations, Israel does not extradite its citizens. But it does allow prosecutions in its own courts for crimes committed abroad.

But the fear of prosecution at home has not stopped at least a half-dozen Israelis from fleeing the United States in recent months.

The recent trend has elicited much concern among U.S. law-enforcement personnel and prosecutors, who fear that Israeli criminals will use the Jewish state as a refuge.

After a Miami couple jumped bond in late December to avoid a trial on charges they were involved with a multimillion-dollar money-laundering scheme, the local prosecutor told reporters that he is afraid Israelis will "abuse that protection in Israel" by using the Jewish state as a "safe haven."

Prosecutors say the Israelis are gambling that U.S. law-enforcement officials will not have the resources or motivation to pursue cases in Israel.

Prosecutors are quick to point out that many Israelis accused of crimes in the United States do not flee. But a State Department official said local district attorneys have contacted its legal department to discuss the problem.

There is hardly an "epidemic," this official said, but it is "on our radar screen."

The case of the 17-year-old Sheinbein has been the most visible one in recent months.

The Maryland teenager fled to Israel days after police say he murdered and dismembered his friend Alfredo Enrique Tello, 19, in a Washington, D.C., suburb.

Sheinbein, who had never before claimed Israeli citizenship, contended that his father's status as an Israeli extends to him.

Israeli officials say otherwise. While they have not questioned the elder Sheinbein's citizenship, Israeli officials, including the attorney general, say the youth is not an Israeli because his father, born in prestate Palestine, left the country at a young age.

But Sheinbein's attorney argued in Jerusalem District Court on Sunday that Sheinbein is an Israeli citizen.

On Wednesday, Judge Moshe Ravid proposed a compromise, suggesting that Sheinbein voluntarily return to the United States to stand trial, and, if convicted, be permitted to serve out his sentence in Israel.

The compromise, if accepted by the defense and prosecution in the case, would sidestep the U.S. extradition request.

The youth's lawyer, David Libai, said the compromise was reasonable, "and worthy of favorable consideration."

The prosecution requested time to study it. Both sides are to convey their response on Monday.

Until 1977, there was an extradition treaty between the United States and Israel. But an Israeli law, passed in 1977 and intended to protect Israelis from legal actions abroad motivated by anti-Semitism, superseded that treaty, according to an Israeli official in Washington.

Since then, the Israeli law barring extradition of its citizens has come under fire in the United States.

The Sheinbein case reopened the issue, resulting in congressional pressure not only to extradite Sheinbein, but also to change the law to prevent similar situations in the future.

Israeli officials are quick to point out that Sheinbein will face prosecution in any event. Israel has vowed to prosecute him in the Jewish state if the courts rule that Sheinbein cannot be extradited.

Israeli officials in Jerusalem and Washington also have gone to great lengths to explain that their justice system -- including its extradition policy and the option of domestic prosecution -- is far from unique.

Nonetheless, the law against extradition is currently under review in the Knesset.

Since Sheinbein fled in September, at least five Israelis also have attempted to avoid prosecution:

*The Miami case of alleged money laundering involved three Israelis -- Yehuda and Kineret Kashti, and Danny Fisher. They all had surrendered their passports to the courts, but somehow were able to take an El Al flight to Israel.

Prosecutors had hoped to link the defendants with an Israeli mob scheme to cooperate with Colombian cocaine cartels.

*In New York, a Brooklyn couple, Dov and Ayala Engel, fled to Israel after banking investigators accused them of committing fraud in securing millions of dollars in loans. The FBI has now joined the investigation.

Although the status of those cases in Israel is not clear, Israeli officials cite a 1987 murder case as evidence that Sheinbein, and any others who flee, will not escape prosecution in Israel.

Jack and Carmen Hively were murdered in 1987 in California by two Israeli hit men hired by the family's son-in-law.

California prosecutors traveled to Israel to work with Israeli prosecutors in Israeli courts to convict Nadav Nackan and Yair Orr for the Hively murders after they fled to Tel Aviv. After a four-month trial in 1990, both were sentenced to life in an Israeli prison.

Nackan's sentence was eventually reduced after he cooperated with the U.S. legal team and implicated the Hively's son-in-law in the murder-for-hire scheme.

Israel has also extradited Americans who have sought safe haven in Israel if they became citizens after committing a crime abroad.

Robert and Rachel Manning were extradited to the United States after sending a fatal letter bomb to a secretary at a California computer company in 1980. They fled to the West Bank town of Kiryat Arba and claimed Israeli citizenship under the Law of Return, which grants such status to all Jews.

After losing a well-publicized, two-year fight against extradition, Robert Manning was convicted in a U.S. court and sentenced to life imprisonment in February 1994.

His wife was in an Israeli prison, having just lost her own battle against extradition, when she died of a heart attack in March 1994.

Also extradited because he was not an Israeli citizen at the time he committed a crime was Eddie Antar, better known as "Crazy Eddie," the electronics giant who fled to Israel in the 1980s to avoid charges of U.S. tax evasion.
19 posted on 01/15/2003 2:58:55 PM PST by norinos
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To: JeeperFreeper
as you say you can't argue with sick minds...

this will be resolved, though, on that you can bet :)

20 posted on 01/15/2003 3:01:16 PM PST by krodriguesdc
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