Tag Archives: Shin Bet

Shin Bet busts Hezbollah arms smugglers in north

Israel suspects terror group planned to use its connection with Israeli-Arab drug runners to plot a terror attack

The Shin Bet security agency in July, working in concert with police, detained a cell of Israeli-Arab citizens operating in the north who are believed to be drug smugglers working in league with Hezbollah in Lebanon to bring illegal narcotics and weapons into Israel, security officials said Thursday.

Israeli police and the Shin Bet said that the Israeli network was in cahoots with a group of Hezbollah-linked Lebanese drug dealers, who planned to use the connection to smuggle weapons into Israel and possibly to carry out a terror attack inside the country.

Continue reading Shin Bet busts Hezbollah arms smugglers in north


A Former Mossad Agent Just Revealed The Last Words Of Nazi War Criminal Adolf Eichmann

Adolph Eichmann on trial holocaust nazis wwII

The last words of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann before he was hanged by Israel for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the Jewish people, were “I hope that all of you will follow me,” the Israeli intelligence officer who accompanied him to the gallows said.

Rafi Eitan, who had commanded the operation to capture Eichmann in Argentina in 1960, told an Israeli TV documentary broadcast on Monday night that he was standing behind Eichmann at the gallows, at Ramle jail in 1962. “I accompanied him to the hanging. I saw him from the back. I did not speak with him at that moment,” Eitan said.

Did Eichmann say anything? the interviewer asked. “What he said was, ‘I hope that all of you will follow me,'” Eitan said.

That was what he mumbled before he was hanged? the interviewer asked. “Correct,” Eitan said.

Eichmann’s last words have generally been reported as having been: “Long live Germany. Long live Argentina. Long live Austria. These are the three countries with which I have been most connected and which I will not forget. I greet my wife, my family, and my friends. I am ready. We’ll meet again soon, as is the fate of all men. I die believing in God.”

Eitan, speaking on the Uvda investigative news program on Israel’s Channel 2, described the task of capturing Eichmann in Argentina, operationally speaking, as “one of the easiest missions we did.”

He described the physical maneuver performed on Eichmann to twist him quickly into the back seat of the car in which he was taken to a Mossad safe house after being captured in Buenos Aires, and recalled the Nazi’s head resting on his knees in the silent car.

In the safe house, they stripped him naked, blinded his eyes, and checked to make sure he was not carrying poison on his body or in his mouth.

The Shin Bet interrogations officer assigned to the team, Zvi Aharoni, asked Eichmann once for his name, Eitan recalled, and was told Otto Henninger. He asked a second time and was told Ricardo Klement.

The native German speaker then asked Eichmann for his SS number and was given the precise ID number. Then, Eitan said, Aharoni asked for his name again and he said, Adolf Eichmann. “Immediately afterward he says, ‘May I have a glass of red wine,'” Eitan recalled.

Charged with washing and feeding Eichmann, Eitan said he found himself curious about the man’s capabilities and whether he was superior to him. “I found that I was his better,” Eitan said, noting that Eichmann was loyal to his new masters, adhering to all of the Israelis’ orders. “That would not have happened to me. If I was in his situation, that would not have happened to me.”

Rafi EitanYonathan Weitzman/REUTERSIsraeli Pensioners Party leader Rafi Eitan, 79, at a gathering of new parliament members at the Knesset in Jerusalem on April 6, 2006.

The TV program provided a look into the interior world of Eitan, formerly one of Israel’s top spy masters — an unrepentant man who deemed regret a “non-practical word” for which he, even at age 88, has no use.

Eitan, in a blue dress shirt and black Adidas sneakers, spoke of the first time he was asked to take a life for his country, in the mid-1940s. His officer chose him and another man to lay an ambush for the German – often pro-Nazi – Templers, who remained in pre-state Israel and to kill some of them to deter their co-coreligionists from returning to Palestine after the Second World War.

Eitan, then 19, found the appropriate spot, stopped the carriage near the Jezreel Valley town of Alonei Abba, and quickly and randomly shot two men.

He said he remembered their faces well but neither now nor then felt any need to learn their names. “We did not feel any feeling of guilt,” he said. “On the contrary, we felt we were doing our duty as sons of the Jewish People.”

Eitan also revealed that he turned his back on US spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard, giving the order to bar Pollard from the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C., in 1985 as Pollard attempted to enter and gain asylum.

For all intents and purposes, he further divulged that former Prime Minister Shimon Peres and defense minister Yitzhak Rabin were well aware of the fact that Israel was running an agent within the US armed forces.

Asked whether the two Israeli leaders were aware of the spy’s actions prior to his capture, he said, after some deliberation, “of course.”

Pollard, a civilian intelligence analyst for the US Navy, passed reams of classified material to Israel from the summer of 1984 until November 1985. He has been serving a life sentence in US federal prison since 1987 and will be eligible for parole in November 2015.

Described by his wife Miriam as “destructively emotionally detached,” Eitan said in the TV interview that he felt no regret at the way the Pollard affair played out. Although it was he who gave the order “to throw him out” of the Israeli embassy on Nov. 21, 1985, he said that he made his decision “in accordance with the interests of the state of Israel” and that anyone “who is in a role such as mine and decides otherwise, is mistaken.”

pollardWikimedia CommonsJonathan Pollard in a photo dated April 10, 2011.

He further alleged that Pollard had an escape plan that he failed to execute — a suspect claim, because the American US Navy analyst was under tight surveillance — and that “the moment he decided to come to the embassy as he decided to come, he decided on his own that he was going to prison.”

That night he went to Peres and Rabin and told them that Pollard had been arrested.

Pressed to express regret or to admit to a guilty conscience, Eitan told the interviewer Ben Shani, “look for that on other people. I’m built differently.”

Pollard was recruited by an up-and-coming Israel Air Force officer, Col. Aviem Sella, and run by Eitan.

He described the crucial moment when he learned that Pollard had fled to the embassy, bringing his FBI tail to the gate.

A call from the embassy’s encoded phone explained the predicament to Eitan. “What do you say to yourself then?” the interviewer asked Eitan.

“I don’t say anything [to myself],” he recalled. “I said right away: throw him out.”

According to the documentary, Eitan knew about Pollard’s impending arrest three days before it occurred, and informed the prime minister and defense minister that Pollard would soon be detained.

Peres, a 2012 recipient of the Medal of Freedom, the US’ highest civic award, is portrayed in Michael Bar-Zohar’s authorized biography as being “stricken by shock” upon Pollard’s capture, leaving the reader uncertain as to whether the cause for surprise was the capture or the espionage.

Visibly bemused, Eitan recalled in the TV interview: “I said in advance, I take all of the responsibility on me. I gave the order. Only I gave the order. No one authorized me.”

That arrangement, he added, “solved the problem for the people of Israel.”

Former Shin Bet Head Returning to Politics on Likud List

Avi Dichter

Avi Dichter returns to Likud after brief hiatus, says he supports peace deal – but also that Israel should defang Gaza.


Former Minister and Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) leader Avi Dichter will be returning to politics, Walla! News reports Monday – this time, running in the Likud primaries, to be held on Wednesday.

Dichter returns to politics after leaving Kadima in 2012 to join Likud, and after briefly serving until March 2013 as Home Front Command Minister at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s request during the 19th Knesset.

Despite Netanyahu’s support, Dichter did not manage to get enough votes from party members to formally join the Likud party during the last elections, falling short by 380 votes for the threshold.

Now, he says, he is taking stock of past experiences in his cautious return to the political scene. He explained that while last time, he launched a six-week campaign to woo members’ support for his Likud candidacy, he has been systematically building support throughout several “headquarters” throughout the country ahead of the 2015 elections.

Dichter explained that he identifies with the Right, but not the “extreme Right,” as he puts it, and believes that Likud must remain “Center-Right” in order to remain the ruling party and to build a coalition for the 20th Knesset.

When asked what “Center-Right” entails, he dodged the question slightly, but did note that, in his view, it includes acceptance of the idea of “Two States for Two Peoples.”

“Any intelligent person realizes that a one-state solution with the six million Jews and seven million non-Jews – mostly Muslims – is irresponsible,” Dichter stated to Walla!. “It is to set for ourselves a reality which is clearly unreasonable.” Dichter added that Netanyahu takes this view as well.

Following the theme of a grand plan for the Middle East, the former Shin Bet leader added that Gaza must be demilitarized – and that if the international community does not step in to do so, Israel must do so itself.

“Gaza is a terrorist entity controlled by Hamas, a terrorist organization, no matter what the European Union says,” he explained. “They have no idea what Hamas is.”

“We will have to disarm Gaza,” he continued. “Destruction of the terrorist infrastructure is something that will have to happen. Either the Egyptians and the Palestinian Authority will do this, or the time will come for Israel’s Operation Defensive Shield in Gaza. This is something you need to plan – it’s not something you do in response to rocket fire. We cannot leave it like it is.”

Dichter added that in his view, the Nation-State or Jewish State Law – the law blamed with bringing down the 19th Knesset – will eventually pass. The former Minister was the first to introduce his own version of the law, with Netanyahu’s blessing, as a Kadima MK during the 18th Knesset.

World Intelligence Agencies Must Cooperate to Combat IS

A Kurdish fighter hold a position overlooking IS-controlled territory in Iraq

Israeli Defense Minister says Islamic State can only be defeated if intelligence agencies learn the lessons of 9/11 and cooperate.


Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Tuesday called for world intelligence agencies to work together against the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group.

“In order to stop and overcome the Islamic State, we have learnt since 9/11 that there must be cooperation between intelligence agencies from across the free world, a sharing of experience and operational cooperation,” he told public radio.

Ya’alon’s comments follow a speech he made Monday night, in which he criticized the international community for focusing on criticizing Israel instead of targeting state sponsors of terrorism – naming Qatar and Turkey as two of the most prominent such states, along with Iran.

The Islamic State (IS) group, formerly known as ISIS, is at the forefront of a sweeping militant assault that has overrun swathes of Iraq and holds significant areas of territory in neighboring Syria.

The ultra-violent group has imposed strict Islamic law on areas under its control, and has embarked on a campaign of mass-killings of non-Muslims and rival Muslim sects which Amnesty International recently described as ethnic-cleansing on an “historic scale”.  

US President Barack Obama on Friday called for a broad coalition to defeat the IS jihadists and he is to chair a key UN Security Council session on the threat on September 24.

The US has carried out over 130 airstrikes in Iraq, backing Kurdish and pro-government ground forces who are battling Islamic State jihadis.

Asked about the proposed international coalition, former military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin indicated Israel would likely share its intelligence with its allies.

“The intelligence that we gather in the Middle East – which deals with threats from Iran, (Lebanon’s Shiite) Hezbollah, what’s happening in Syria, terrorist organisations in Sinai and the Gaza Strip – is of very good quality and we share it with our allies,” he told the radio.

Israeli intelligence services have already reportedly been providing their foreign counterparts with intelligence, including satellite imagery, on IS positions in Iraq.

Last week, Ya’alon adopted a recommendation by the Shin Bet internal security agency (also known as the Shabak or Israel Security Agency) and designated both the Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades as an “illegal organisation” under Israeli law.

The move allows for legal measures to be taken against both organisations as well as anyone found to be supporting or financing them.

Last week, IS released a video showing the beheading of US journalist Steven Sotloff, who also reportedly held Israeli nationality, in the second such execution of a US journalist within a fortnight.

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades is a Lebanese jihadist group linked to Al Qaeda which periodically claims rocket fire on Israel.

Israeli army, police, Shin Bet set up joint East Jerusalem intel team

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces in East Jerusalem.

The idea is to quell potential terrorism stemming from East Jerusalem without revealing the Shin Bet security service’s methods.


The Shin Bet security service, the police and the Israel Defense Forces aim to set up a joint intelligence desk to coordinate information on potential terrorists in East Jerusalem.

The three sides’ legal advisers have spent the past few days seeking a way to make the arrangement work.

The law actually limits the transfer of information from the Shin Bet to the police because the security service is not subject to the same legal restrictions on its investigations and interrogations. This is especially the case regarding invasion of privacy and the need to obtain warrants for searches and similar operations.

The Shin Bet is also not required to submit all its investigative materials to courts during trials, unlike the police. There is thus a concern that intelligence cooperation might expose the Shin Bet’s sources or operating methods.

The probable solution will be to have a representative of each organization on the new desk; each would redact the information from his respective organization as necessary before passing it on for joint analysis.

Since tensions began rising in East Jerusalem several months ago, the police have cited a difficulty obtaining a complete intelligence picture of events on the Temple Mount and in the Arab neighborhoods. This problem is highlighted by the fact that many recent attackers have been Jerusalem residents with Israeli ID cards.

The police are generally the agency to deal with rioters and criminal elements that might also be involved in terror, but after terrorist attacks Shin Bet investigators usually take the lead; this is also the case with intelligence about the Temple Mount. As a result, the Shin Bet often has information that is unknown to the police.

Before the shooting of right-wing activist Yehuda Glick, for example, the police were not aware of the conference on the Temple Mount that Glick had attended just before he was attacked. It was a small, closed event that did not require a police presence; only afterward did the police learn that the Shin Bet had known about the meeting.

People involved in the matter say that at no stage would the Shin Bet get involved in regular criminal investigations. The intent is for each organization to operate in its own realm while making vital new information available to the other two agencies.

U.S. denies claim FBI withheld info on missing Israeli soldier in Gaza war

An APC near the Gaza border, July 20, 2014

Accusation comes from rightist American researcher Steven Emerson, considered close to Jewish-American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson.


Senior officials in the American administration said Sunday that the FBI had conveyed information to the Shin Bet security service about the Facebook account of IDF soldier Oron Shaul, in an attempt to locate him during the recent war in Gaza.

The officials denied reports of the past few days in three Israeli media outlets that on an “order from above,” the FBI had not conveyed information that Israel had asked for.


On Friday morning Israel Hayom and the Jerusalem Post, and on Friday night Channel 1, published reports by Steven Emerson, executive director of the Investigative

Project on Terrorism, claiming that after Oron’s APC blew up in the Shujaiyeh quarter of Gaza City during Operation Protective Edge, Israeli intelligence officials had asked the FBI for information about Shaul’s Facebook page and been turned down.

The Israeli request came after Hamas hacked into Shaul’s Facebook page and posted claims that it had captured him. Emerson said the Israelis believed that by checking activity on Shaul’s Facebook account they could glean information as to his whereabouts, as at the time he was still classified as missing in action.

Israel wanted the FBI to use its authority to obtain a court order to receive the relevant information directly from Facebook’s server.

According to Emerson, the FBI approached the Justice Department about obtaining the order. The response, which Emerson claimed came from Attorney General Eric Holder’s office, was negative.

Emerson said that although the request was on a life and death matter, the Justice Department gave a technical reason for its refusal: that Israel and the United States do not have a treaty on legal cooperation.

Senior officials in the U.S. administration called Emerson’s claims “incorrect and misleading.

” The officials said that the three media reports “only contribute to the public’s misunderstanding about the extent of efforts that both the U.S and Israeli government undertook in the search for Corporal Shaul.”

Contrary to Emerson’s claims, the officials said the FBI did convey the information Israel had asked for. “

There was significant cooperation between the USG and the GOI in developing information in support of the search for Corporal Shaul. The FBI did immediately pass useful intelligence information to Israeli authorities related to Corporal Shaul’s social media account which answered the initial Israeli request,” the officials said.

A senior American official added that in trying to locate Shaul, the FBI conducted additional investigative activities “consistent with its legal powers,” following additional Israeli requests for information.

Emerson, who represents himself as a journalist and researcher on Islamic extremism, is a controversial figure in the United States.

Members of the Muslim community and the left in the United States say he is islamophobic and that he incites against the Islamic community. Emerson has written a series of articles in recent years against the Obama administration, particularly with regard to Obama’s attitude toward Israel.

Emerson, a right-wing Republican, is considered close to Jewish-American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. According to a 2007 article by Guy Leshem in TheMarker, Emerson is a “personal friend” of Adelson and is the latter’s “ambassador in the American administration.”

In an article in 2008 by Nahum Barnea in Yedioth Ahronoth, Emerson was described as a person whom Adelson asks advice about terror.

Adelson is a formidable patron of the Republican Party and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and is the publisher of the Hebrew daily Israel Hayom, which supports Netanyahu and promotes his policies, and was one of the three media outlets that published Emerson’s claims.

Battle move in Israel’s cyber turf war: Shin Bet loses authority over ‘civilian space’

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks into the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walks into the cabinet meeting in Jerusalem.

Netanyahu decides to establish new government authority to protect the cyber space of bodies not under defense establishment, despite Shin Bet request to leave authority in its hands.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that a new government authority would be established to protect the “civilian space” in Israel from cyber-attacks, rejecting the recommendations of the Shin Bet security services to leave the subject in its hands.

The decision to create an “authority for operative defense against cyber” comes after nearly a year’s delay and adopts the opinion of the National Cyber Bureau in the Prime Minister’s Office.

In its announcement, the PMO said that Netanyahu has instructed NCB Director Eviatar Matania to take steps to establish it the new authority, which will bear complete responsibility and authority for defending the civilian space from cyber threats. The authority will operate alongside the National Cyber Bureau.

Netanyahu told Matania to bring the plan for the new authority within 60 days, for approval by the political-security cabinet. “The establishment of the new authority will be carried out in accordance with a multi-year plan and in cooperation with the relevant bodies,” the PMO said in its announcement, hinting at the substantial opposition to the move from within the Shin Bet and other organizations in the defense establishment.

Netanyahu told ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem that the new authority would protect not only Israeli security organizations and critical facilities and infrastructure, a task already undertaken by the Shin Bet, but would focus on protecting civilian space, as well – in other words, the major public and private corporations.

“This step is the equivalent of establishing a new air force to deal with new threats, rather than expecting existing bodies from dealing with these,” said Netanyahu. “We’re in a new world and we are organizing with new forces.”

The Shin Bet and the National Cyber Bureau in the PMO have been waging a major battle of late over the authority and responsibility for protecting Israel’s economy and civilian space from computer attacks.

Senior officials noted the need to determine who would be responsible for protecting large private companies such as Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, food conglomerate Osem and El Al Israel Airlines.

Because these firms are not defined as critical civilian industries, they are not under Shin Bet protection, but damage to them could severely hurt the Israeli economy.

Senior officials who are closely involved in the issue characterize the turf war between the two groups in the past year as one filled with passion, mudslinging, interests and politicking, all of under the radar of defense officials. In the balance is not only prestige and influence on the “sexiest” security issues and most important to the prime minister, but fat budgets as well.

Netanyahu has taken on the cyber issue as a personal project, defining such attacks as “one of the four main threats to Israel.” But he has held up the final decision over responsibilities for nearly a year.

In the past year he received at least five different opinion papers on the topic – from the NCB, the Shin Bet, former National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror, current National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen and a team headed by Maj. Gen. (res.) Yitzhak Ben Israel, who is considered one of Israel’s top experts in the field.

In a position paper, NCB director Matania and his staff recommended establishing a new state security agency directly responsible to him and argued that the proposed organization was necessary to avoid a situation in which the Shin Bet was involved in the computer systems of civilian firms.

The Shin Bet opposed the idea, and in a position paper of its own explained to Netanyahu that fighting cyber attacks required not only virtual walls but also measures such as those used to prevent terror attacks.

The security service argued that action against hackers should be taken in the early organization and planning stages, rather than waiting for an attack and hoping that the security measures were strong enough.

The Shin Bet claimed that the NCB is unable to carry out this task because it lacks intelligence-gathering capabilities, has no operational tradition of deterrence and no possibility of integration with similar security organizations worldwide.

Former National Security Adviser Amidror advised Netanyahu to adopt the NCB’s position and set up a new state agency to counter computer attacks.

Amidror’s successor, Yossi Cohen, submitted a proposal that was diametrically opposed and called for adopting the Shin Bet recommendations in full rather than creating a new authority.

Ben-Israel’s team, which included representatives from all the relevant institutions, recommended adopting the NCB’s position and creating a new cyber agency under its aegis.

Netanyahu convened a discussion with all the relevant groups last Thursday, at which point  he made the decision.