DEBKAfile Special Report February 24, 2010
debkafile's intelligence and counter-terror sources rate Rigi's capture one of Iranian intelligence's biggest coups and a stinging setback for Western undercover operations against the Islamic regime in
DEBKAfile Special Report January 27, 2010
"Two German diplomats using fictitious names were arrested" last month during clashes at the Ashura festival, an unnamed Iranian deputy intelligence minister said Wednesday, Jan. 27.
During the day, Israeli president Shimon Peres told the Reichstag he was sure
DEBKAfile Special Report January 6, 2010
DEBKAfile Special Report January 5, 2010
The year 2010 will see a new Israeli military operation in
DEBKAfile Special Report December 29, 2009
US president Barack Obama, in his second speech in 24 hours, said: "Data was not shared and a systemic failure occurred. I consider that totally unacceptable."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 22, 2009
Saturday, Nov. 14, Iran's state Press TV ran verbatim debkafile's exclusive disclosure on Nov. 12 of an extraordinary secret summit of the intelligence chiefs of four nations in Amman earlier this month to discuss the crisis over Iran's nuclear program and the possible outbreak of a regional war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 4, 2008
By extending the Mossad director, Meir Dagan's tenure for another year until the end of 2009, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has put in place a vital constituent for a possible eleventh-hour unilateral strike at Iran's nuclear facilities.
In his six years on the job, the 61-year old external intelligence has proved his covert mettle in a variety of counter-terror operations, graduating most recently to a highly successful intelligence coup leading up to the demolition of Syria's North Korean plutonium reactor in al Kebir last September.
Appointed by former prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2002, Dagan's first four years as the Mossad's tenth chief were dedicated to counterterrorism rather than tracking Iran's nuclear activities or monitoring Iran's burgeoning strategic ties with Syria and Hizballah.
From mid-2006, the former general shifted the agency's priorities to include these targets, while the Mossad continued to show its fearsome counter-terror paces in Damascus, Beirut and other Arab capitals.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2006
The abrupt resignation (ouster?) of Porter Goss as director of the Central Intelligence Agency lays bare the rocky state of America's most prestigious secret service amid critical missions on three fronts, Iraq, Afghanistan and the war on al Qaeda. US forces are not getting to grips with either of the two segments of the Iraqi guerrilla insurgency: the mostly secular Baathists and the extremist Islamist Iraqi groups and al Qaeda. The continuous upsurge of violence in Iraq means the CIA has failed by and large to penetrate the most dangerous insurgent groups.
While the Taliban-al Qaeda rebellion rages in Afghanistan, Abu Musab al Zarqawi's Iraq wing - far from being crushed - has in the last six months opened up new terror fronts in Sinai, Egypt, Palestinian territories and Algeria.
Porter Goss started out by trying to steer the secret agency in the right direction for overcoming these grave shortcomings. His attempts to reform and shake up key personnel were quickly challenged by the upper and professional echelons, which meted out the treatment traditionally reserved for "outsiders."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2005
Pope John Paul II broke out of the conventional papal mold in many ways that will engage generations of historians. Above all, he was the most democratic of any of his predecessors, always in close rapport with Catholic communities in every corner of the globe and possessed of an unfailing instinct for the times in which he lived. But the character of his papacy was also influenced critically by a chance episode that occurred more than a year before his investiture. This unreported episode and its epic aftermath are revealed here for the first time by debkafile's and DEBKA-Net-Weekly's intelligence experts. He and Mr. Brzezinski opened a private channel between the White House and the Holy See, which National Security Council operatives dubbed the Vatican hot line. It was a link that Jimmy Carter and John Paul II soon made operational with a personal correspondence of extraordinary breadth ...an unprecedented exchange between an American Baptist president and a Polish-born Roman Catholic pontiff. "
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 14, 2005
The prominence Israel afforded the outpost report and the decision to abbreviate the evacuation period paradoxically conceals their rationale, namely, the unfolding new reality which produced them both. Last week, Lt. Gen William Ward, the newly appointed US security coordinator for Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the Palestinians, secretly moved into heavily guarded offices in central Tel Aviv, according to debkafile's exclusive military sources. He was sent post haste to Tel Aviv to take charge of the intelligence pincer already at work on the West Bank and Gaza Strip. An Egyptian military intelligence delegation led by the head of the Palestinian desk at Egyptian intelligence, General Ibrahim Bakhri, took up position in the Gaza Strip. Operating in conjunction with the Egyptians and from the same offices is a British MI6 Secret Service mission of 25 agents. The West Bank arm is run by a Jordanian military intelligence group working with an American Central Intelligence Agency team.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 19, 2005
The major US offensives waged in the Iraqi towns of Najef last June-July and Fallujah last November brought a stern lesson home to American counter-terror strategists. It is that broad-based, large-scale operations to subdue entire towns in order to eradicate terrorist hotbeds - even if successful - do not achieve their principal objective of cutting down the scale of violence emanating from those terrorists. In Iraq, the US army has deployed for the first time a 42nd Infantry Division unit known as "Intel Snipers", i.e. sniper-trained soldiers of the division's 173rd Long Range Surveillance Detachment. They are armed with newly-issued M-14 rifles which have never been surpassed as a marksman's weapon. Some 1,000 km to the west, Israel has belatedly deployed for full-scale operations behind enemy lines in the Gaza Strip the same kind of elite unit, the IDF's Shimshon Battalion 92, reinforced by scores of intelligence snipers trained to target small terrorist units.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 16, 2004
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A mystery-submarine's intrusion into Israeli territorial waters last week provided the sequel for another unfinished tale: the one about Israel's failure to intercept a Hizballah drone that flew over the northern Israeli town of Nahariya on November 8.
Examination of the images the drone MIrsad-1 carried back to its senders, as shown four days later by Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah over al Manar television Friday, November 12, raises serious questions in the minds of debkafile's military sources.
For unknown reasons, the Patriot anti-missile missile battery normally posted in western Galilee to monitor Israel-Lebanese border airspace had been removed on that particular day. Deployed there was only an improved Hawk missile battery. The Patriot's radar would have spotted the Hizballah drone and transmitted the information early enough for it to be downed. Because the Hawk's radar is incapable of picking up a small flying object, the little invader-craft had at least 12 minutes for leisurely surveillance without fear of being shot down by Israel's anti-air defenses or air force.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 7, 2004
Israel's 6th Ofek (Horizon) plummeted to a watery death in the Mediterranean Sea when it was test-fired Monday, September 6, from Palmahim. Malfunction of the third stage of the Israeli-designed Shavit booster was blamed for the loss of the $50m Ofek-6, the latest in the series of spy satellites developed by a consortium led by Israel Aircraft Industries. The first was launched in 1988. Number 5 has been orbiting 300 to 700 kilometers above earth every 90 minutes for two years out of a life span of five. The latest malfunction occurred ten days after Arrow II failed to shoot down a dummy missile designed to perform similarly to the Iranian Shehab-3 intermediate missile in a test-firing off the California coast. These two failures are a grave setback to Israel's deterrent ability at a dangerous juncture. In the next two-three years, Israel will need all its resources to face Iran's advancing nuclear threat and burgeoning terrorist offensive. Ofek-6 was intended to give Israel an edge in this contest.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 20, 2004
Former president Bill Clinton's national security adviser, Sandy Berger, is under criminal investigation and subject to FBI searches of his home and his office since he was caught - probably by hidden cameras - purloining copies of highly classified terrorism documents and his own handwritten notes from a secure reading room at the National Archives in Washington. This event took place, according to the Associated Press, during preparations to testify at the Sept. 11 commission hearings after Clinton asked him to review and select the administration documents to be turned over to the panel. This year, Berger has been informally advising Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 22, 2004
Obeying a tradition of more than a quarter of a century, the Syrian army shifts some officers around twice a year - in summer and winter. It is a game of musical chairs with little impact on the armed forces as a whole. This time was different. On June 1, DEBKA-Net-Weekly exclusive military sources uncovered the largest single purge in the annals of Syria's armed forces that was carried out on the orders of President Bashar Assad. Forty percent of the staff officers with the general command in Damascus were dismissed or forced into retirement; half the Syrian divisional commanders in Syria and Lebanon relieved of their duties - laid off or assigned to minor staff positions in Damascus and elsewhere. The top level of the Syrian air force has been peeled off and replaced with younger men - except for the top commander and the head of its intelligence branch.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 28, 2004
It is not surprising that Israel's Mossad and military intelligence service - Aman - are furious over the fault-finding of a parliamentary subcommittee probing Israeli secret services` performance in the Iraq War. They have never faced open criticism before. But they also rebut some of the points as being made more for the sake of settling personal accounts than to seriously scrutinize where Israel's secret services got it wrong in the Iraq War. A conflict of orientation and objectives stands out in some of the assertions appearing in the published section of the sub committee's report, such as: "The military and political echelons are responsible for an intelligence foul-up regarding Iraq and Libya." On Libya, the panel found Israeli intelligence wanting in failing to pick up on Muammar Qaddafi's race for a nuclear weapon. That criticism, at least, is simply refuted. debkafile's intelligence sources assert: A. Israeli intelligence knew about Libya's nuclear program in fine detail. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon twice - in 2002 and 2003 - warned of the danger of Libya beating Iran to a nuclear bomb.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 26, 2004
The process of selecting Gemal Jimmy Mubarak to succeed his 76-year old father as Egyptian president is nearly over, notwithstanding Mubarak Sr.'s denials. A book just out in Cairo, "Gemal Mubarak - Revival of National Liberalism," performs an excellent PR job on the incoming president. The book, clearly written to order by Gahad Awda, a member of the ruling party's central committee, introduces young Mubarak's political agenda and his vision for the future of his country. Much less glossy reading matter was handed to President Hosni Mubarak earlier this month. It was put in his hands, gift-wrapped as a special package, ahead of his trip to Washington next month.
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE. On May 19, DEBKA-Net-Weekly revealed its contents: a large stack of Iraqi intelligence documents that US forces seized in Baghdad and which expose the deep penetration of the Mubarak regime achieved by the deposed Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2004
No secret agent ever admits freely to being spy, certainly not someone like internationally known political cartoonist ex-Israeli Ranan Lurie, who today resides in New York. So it was not surprising that in his exclusive interview with debkafile, the artist, whose finely detailed caricatures of world leaders are familiar to readers everywhere, was reluctant to part with too many details of his own undercover past. The interview moves from questions about the Mossad's purchase of a weekly magazine in Israel to provide the young cartoonist with a springboard to international journalism, to the training given every U.S. agent, including lessons in guerrilla warfare and parachute jumps with the 101st Airborne Division.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 16, 2004
In just a few weeks, X will step out from the extraordinary cover under which he lived and operated in secret for half a century as a spy for the Israeli Mossad and US Central Intelligence Agency. He does not promise to tell quite all, but what he has to disclose is sensational enough to cause a flutter in many quarters. debkafile was given an exclusive advance peek at these about-to-be-revealed secrets. At the early age of 16, Mossad headhunters spotted X's potential as a high-flying media star and began the long process of grooming him for the task of moving with ease around the most powerful circles of international influence. After five years of basic studies, he spent another five at the Mossad "Academy" being exhaustively tutored for his role as future super-spy, a career on which he embarked in the early 1950s.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 8, 2004
In the last five months, Israel's central intelligence agency has undergone a metamorphosis in typically deep hush. Once fabled for planting its agents anywhere and everywhere where important military or diplomatic happenings were played out, the Israeli Mossad has retired from the business of espionage and turned itself into a body devoted to special operations.
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click HERE. Many Mossad overseas stations have been shut down or re-staffed according to the new guidelines. According to DEBKA-Net-Weekly's exclusive intelligence sources, Mossad aspires to match its past excellence as a gatherer of intelligence by providing equally first-rate operations units, possibly unique in scale, whose broad mission is to secure and protect Israel's vital interests around the world and preserve the Jewish state against existential perils.