Israel Has Long Spied on U.S., Say Officials

(Los Angeles Times) Israel secretly maintains a large and active intelligence-gathering operation in the U.S. that has long attempted to recruit U.S. officials as spies and to procure classified documents, U.S. government officials said. FBI and other counterespionage agents, in turn, have covertly followed, bugged, and videotaped Israeli diplomats and intelligence officers, the officials said. Israel's unique status as an extremely close U.S. ally presents a dilemma for U.S. counterintelligence officials. "They probably get 98% of everything they want handed to them on a weekly basis," said a former senior U.S. intelligence officer who has worked closely with Israeli intelligence. "They're very active allies. They're treated the way the British are." Another former intelligence operative who has worked with Israeli intelligence said, "The relationship with Israeli intelligence is as intimate as it gets." Officials said Israel was acutely interested in U.S. policies and intelligence on the Middle East, especially toward Iran, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. In 1997 and 1998, the FBI investigated whether Scott Ritter, then a U.S. intelligence official working with UN weapons inspectors in Iraq, was improperly delivering U.S. spy-plane film and other secret material to Israeli intelligence. Ritter was never charged in the case.

2004-09-03 00:00:00

Full Article


Visit the Daily Alert Archive