Arab Plot Against Bush - More Israeli Intelligence Activity?
Previous case points to staged intel operations
Six arabs have been arrested and accused of trying to set up an
al Qaeda cell in Israel, but given previous accounts of such plots
turning out to be the direct work of Israeli intelligence, why
should we believe any different this time?
Israel's Shin Bet counter-intelligence agency arrested
the men, whom it says had plans to carry out attacks as well as
shoot down helicopters used by president Bush while on visits
to the country.
The Shin Bet identified four of the suspects as
Palestinian residents of Arab East Jerusalem and two as Israeli
Further details are scant, however, a similar case
dating back to late 2002 may shed more light on the situation.
(Article continues below)
On the 4th of December 2002, an announcement by
then Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon that al-Qaeda militants
were operating in the Gaza Strip and Lebanon was widely
Sharon declared (rather ludicrously) that the phantom
al Qaeda cell was cooperating with Lebanon's Shi'ite militia Hizbollah.
Two days later on the 6th, Col. Rashid Abu Shbak,
head of the Palestinian Preventive Security Services in the Gaza
Strip, held a press conference to reveal, as Ha'aretz reported,
"that his forces had identified a number of Palestinian collaborators
who had been ordered by Israeli security agencies to 'work in
the Gaza Strip under the name of al-Qaeda.' He said the investigation
was ongoing and evidence would be presented soon."
In the hours that followed, the BBC, AFP, Reuters and others reported
that Palestinian security forces had arrested a group of Palestinians
for collaborating with Israel and posing as al Qaeda operatives.
Morning Herald quoted an unnamed Palestinian official:
"The Palestinian Authority arrested a group
of collaborators who confessed they were working for Israel,
posing as al-Qaeda operatives in the Palestinian territories,"
said the official, on condition of anonymity.
He said the alleged collaborators sought to "discredit
the Palestinian people, justify every Israeli crime and provide
reasons to carry out a new (military) aggression in the Gaza
then reported that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat
also said that Israel had set up the mock al qaeda cell in order
to justify attacks in Palestinian areas.
Reuters reported that Palestinian Information Minister Yasser
Abed Rabbo pinned the blame on Mossad, saying: "There are
certain elements who were instructed by the Mossad to form a cell
under the name of al-Qaeda in the Gaza Strip in order to justify
the assault and the military campaigns of the Israeli occupation
army against Gaza."
As the case made major headlines around the world, people began
to question Mossad's hasty declaration that "al-Qaeda"
had been responsible for a Nov. 28 attack on a hotel in Mombasa,
Kenya, where three Israelis were killed in an incident that also
involved an attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter flight taking
off from Mombasa with 261 passengers.
Israel said the act was purportedly claimed by al-Qaeda on an
Islamic website and went on an immediate propaganda rampage announcing
worldwide revenge. However, there was no identification of the
bombers within the first five days of the incident and authorities
in Kenya also denied any al-Qaeda link.
A further press conference, addressed by Colonel Shbak, and by
Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation
Nabil Shaath was detailed in the mainstream media and is summarized
here by the Executive
Intelligence Review Journal.
Shbak told the international representatives that, "Over
the past nine months, we've been investigating eight cases in
which Israeli intelligence posing as al-Qaeda operatives recruited
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip." Colonel Shbak said that
3 men were under arrest, and 11 had been released. He explained
that those released had voluntarily provided information going
back to May 2002, about the contacts that had been made asking
them to operate as an "al-Qaeda" group. The alleged
al-Qaeda recruiters were traced to Israeli intelligence, said
Colonel Shbak. He detailed incidents, some of which were described
in official documents, of cell phone calls and e-mails, where
Palestinians were asked to "join al-Qaeda." Shbak
said, "We investigated the origin of those calls, which
used [wireless phone] roaming, and messages, and found out they
all came from Israel," reported the publication, IslamOnline.
He said that the potential "recruits," had been given
money and weapons, "although most of these weapons did
not even work." He also noted that the money for these
targeted Palestinians "was transferred from bank accounts
in Jerusalem or Israel."
Minister Shaath announced at the press conference that the
P.A. had "handed ambassadors and consuls of the Arab and
foreign countries, documents revealing the involvement of the
Israeli intelligence in recruiting citizens from Gaza Strip
in a fake organization carrying the name of Qaeda." He
said the ploy was intended "to create a new excuse to escalate
the aggression on Gaza Strip."
Yet another press conference was held two days later on the 10th
December where Colonel Shbak and the Palestinian authorities presented
the Mossad's potential recruiter to the international media.
At this point, the controlled western media started to take less
interest in the story, meaning the only details came from foreign
Islamic Association for Palestine Press reported:
A Palestinian citizen from Gaza has revealed how the Israeli
Service, the Mossad, had been trying to enlist him to set up
a terrorist cell in
Palestine under the name of al-Qaida, the group headed by Osama
Ibrahim (not his real name) said during a news conference in
Gaza Monday night
that he had been contacted by a man who identified himself as
Haj Yousuf from
the city of Akka, who told him that he was working for Osama
Bin Laden and that
he was able to carry out bombings in Tel Aviv and Haifa and
other Israeli towns.
Ibrahim said his contacts with Haj Yousuf (the Mossad agents)
frequent, adding that at one point the Mossad agent offered
him a monthly salary
of up to 3000 US dollars.
In an interview with the London-based Arabic daily Al-Hayat,
after the press conference, Ibrahim stated, that "the man
told him that mega military operations will be conducted inside
Israel, and that these operations would be announced through Ibrahim."
This meant that as soon as he got the signal after a major terrorist
act against Israeli civilian targets, Ibrahim and his group would
send word to the press, claiming responsibility for the attack.
All the while this activity was being monitored by the Palestinian
Preventive Security agency, which decided to intervene when the
Mossad agent began to ask for information about known members
of Hamas, saying he wanted them "to join al-Qaeda."
The Palestinians then passed the evidence to the U.S. and other
foreign intelligence agencies, whereupon it was simply ignored.
The precedent is clear, Israeli intelligence has, in the past,
used the mythical existence of a coordinated "al qaeda"
terrorist network in order to justify attacks on its enemies.
In light of this one might ask, how long will it be before it
is reported that the new al qaeda cell in Israel is working with
Shi'ite militias backed by Iran?
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