EIR Executive Alert First Reported
Israeli Spy Teams in United States
Dec, 13, 2001 (EIRNS)—The Dec. 4 issue of EIR's Executive Alert provided the first public exposure of the presence of hostile Israeli intelligence teams on U.S. soil prior to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and mooted Israeli foreknowledge of the attacks. On Dec. 12, Fox News provided a more detailed account of the ongoing U.S. government probe of Israeli operations directed against the United States. Both items appear below:
The following item was reported in the Executive Alert for Dec. 4:
A Sharon spy network in the Americas?
A well-placed Washington source has alerted EIR that there is growing suspicion among U.S. government law enforcement and intelligence agencies that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has dispatched special operations teams into North America. The warning came in the context of a discussion about the recent deportation of five Israelis who were detained on Sept. 11 for suspicious behavior. The five men were on a rooftop in Hoboken, N.J., looking across the Hudson River at the World Trade Center as it was going up in flames, and police were alerted. The five men were all in the U.S. on expired visas. They worked for a local moving company.
A New York Times story on Nov. 21 reported on the deportation of the men, noting, "The five were asked to take polygraph tests before being allowed to leave. But Paul Kurtzberg refused on principle to divulge much about his role in the Israeli Army or subsequent work for people who may have had ties to Israeli intelligence." Kurtzberg's attorney, Steven Noah Gordon, said that his clients eventually all agreed to the polygraph exams. One of Kurtzberg's interrogations lasted seven hours. The other four Israelis are Oded Ellner, Omer Gavriel Marmari, Sivan Kurzberg, and Yaron Shmuel.
The Times noted that two Israelis are also being detained in Cleveland, both of whom had just completed their service in the Israeli Defense Forces. At least 50 Israelis have been held since Sept. 11, and most are still in detention in San Diego, Houston, Kansas City, St. Louis, New York, and Cleveland.
In what may prove to be a related development, Mexican authorities arrested two Israeli men on Oct. 10, as they attempted to enter the Legislative Palace in Mexico City, armed with 9-mm pistols, nine grenades, explosives, three detonators, and 58 bullets. The two men, Salvador Gersson Smike and Sar Ben Zui, were wrestled to the ground by a group of Mexican workers, and were then detained by the Attorney General's office, according to Cronica de Hoy, a Mexico City daily newspaper. According to Cronica, Smike is a retired Israeli military officer who has become a naturalized Mexican citizen, and Zui is an Israeli citizen. According to Cronica of Oct. 13, the Israeli embassy in Mexico City confirmed that Sar Ben Zui is an Israeli citizen. They said that no visas are required for Israelis to enter Mexico, and the embassy does not monitor Israeli visitors to the country.
Dec. 12 (EIRNS)--DID ISRAELI SPIES INSIDE THE U.S. HAVE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THE SEPT. 11 ATTEMPTED COUP D'ETAT? is the question raised by the Dec. 12 article in Fox News Channel by reporter Carl Camerson.
The following article by Fox, printed here in full, should be read from the informed vantage point of EIR's reports of discussions with well-placed U.S. sources who had indicated that there has been an ongoing investigation of Israeli espionage against the U.S., before, during and after the Sept. 11 attempted coup d'etat. At the end of November, we reported that the more than 60 Israelis detained in the U.S. were members of secret Sharon commando units. (See reports below.)
The Fox report, printed here in full, details more of the operation:
"Suspected Israeli Spies Held by U.S."
Wednesday, December 12, 2001
By Carl Cameron
WASHINGTON Some 60 Israelis, who federal investigators have said are part of a long-running effort to spy on American government officials, are among the hundreds of foreigners detained since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Fox News has learned.
The Israelis, a handful of whom are described as active Israeli military or intelligence operatives, have been detained on immigration charges or under the new Patriot Anti-Terrorism Law. Federal investigators said some of them failed polygraph questions inquiring about alleged surveillance activities against and in the United States.
There is no indication the Israelis were involved in the Sept. 11 attacks, but investigators suspect that they may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance and not shared it.
A highly placed investigator told Fox News there are "tie-ins," but when asked for details flatly refused to describe them. "Evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified, I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It is classified information," the source said.
An Israeli Embassy spokesman offered categorical denials, and said any suggestion of Israelis spying on or in the United States is simply not true.
But Fox News has learned that one group of Israelis spotted in North Carolina recently is suspected of keeping an apartment in California to spy on a group of Arabs who the U.S. authorities are investigating for links to terrorism.
Numerous classified documents obtained by Fox News indicate that even prior to Sept. 11, as many as 140 other Israelis had been detained or arrested in a secretive and sprawling investigation into suspected espionage by Israelis in the United States.
Investigators from numerous government agencies are part of a working group that has been compiling evidence in the case since the mid-1990s. These documents detail hundreds of incidents in cities and towns across the country that investigators say, quote, "may well be an organized intelligence-gathering activity."
Investigators are focusing part of their efforts on Israelis who said they are art students from the University of Jerusalem or Bezalel Academy and repeatedly made contact with U.S. government personnel by saying they wanted to sell cheap art or handiwork.
Documents say they "targeted" and penetrated military bases, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, dozens of government facilities and even secret offices and unlisted private homes of law enforcement and intelligence personnel.
Another part of the investigation has resulted in the detention and arrest of dozens of Israelis working at kiosks in American malls, where they had been selling toys called "Puzzlecar" and "Zoomcopter."
Investigators suspected a front. Shortly after the New York Times and Washington Post reported the detentions of Israelis on immigration charges last month, the carts began vanishing.
Why would Israelis spy in and on the United States?
A General Accounting Office investigation referred to Israel as Country A and said, "According to a U.S. intelligence agency, the government of country A conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the U.S. of any U.S. ally."
A Defense Intelligence report said Israel has a "voracious appetite for information."
"The Israelis are motivated by strong survival instincts which dictate every fact of their political and economic policies," the DIA report said. "It aggressively collects military and industrial technology and the U.S. is a high priority target.
"Israel possesses the resources and technical capability to achieve its collection objectives," the document concludes."