THE SECRET WAR IS NOW OUT IN THE
By: Justin Raimondo
The story of Israels vast
underground apparatus in the US and its key role in the events leading up to 9/11
was too big to be ignored, and too obviously true to be denied for much longer. Now we have it from an
unimpeachable source: no, not some obscure French newsletter, nor from the nether
regions of the Internet, but straight from the
oldest Jewish publication in the US, the Forward:
"Despite angry denials by Israel and
its American supporters, reports that Israel was conducting spying activities in the
United States may have a grain of truth, the Forward has learned. However, far from
pointing to Israeli spying against U.S. government and military facilities, as reported in
Europe last week, the incidents in question appear to represent a case of Israelis in the
United States spying on a common enemy, radical Islamic networks suspected of links to
Middle East terrorism."
A GIANT GRAIN OF TRUTH
Theres more to this grain than meets the
eye, however. As we cut through the "spin" oh no, they just couldnt
have been spying against the US government, could they? this much is clear: Carl Cameron of Fox News was right
when he reported that Israeli intelligence operatives were watching Al Qaedas
American cells in the weeks and days prior to 9/11. As to what they knew, and when they
knew it: Camerons sources in law enforcement are saying that the Mossad had
"foreknowledge" of the 9/11 terror attacks, and my regular readers are no doubt
familiar with my own views on this subject but why dont we leave it to a
congressional investigation to discover the specifics?
Its interesting to note the phraseology
here: "The Forward has learned"
from whom? They
dont say, but its fair to guess that this information is coming directly from
the primary source by way of an admission. Of course, only nutballs of a certain sort
believe the Forward and other Jewish publications have a direct line to the Mossad,
but its logical that the Israelis would pick such a venue to "spin" the
truth and minimize the damage. They werent spying on the US, you see, but on "a
common enemy," blah blah blah. Yeah, but they were doing it in America,
presumably without our knowledge, and this admission gives us a new perspective not only
on the events of 9/11 but also on the aftermath of war and furious diplomatic maneuvering
in the Middle East.
A TWO-PRONGED ASSAULT
Fox News reported on "a vast Israeli spy
operation" in the US, and the vastness of it no doubt exceeds the dimensions measured
so far by Carl Cameron, LeMonde,
OnlineIntelligence.com, and the
present writer. But even what we know, or think we know, now gives us an outline of a
truly massive Israeli underground operation in the US, a two-pronged assault on
- The US Government, specifically seeking to penetrate law
enforcement agencies, such as the INS, the DEA, the FBI, as well as military facilities,
such as Tinker Air Force Base, and
- Al Qaeda, with its cells incubating in Florida, California,
North Carolina, and god knows where else.
Its important to realize, however, that
there is no evidence so far that the Israelis took any action other than
strictly observing. They watched, and only in the immediate aftermath of the terror that
struck Manhattan did they act
JUMPING FOR JOY ON 9/11
In my last column I told the story
of how, hours after the hijackers struck the World Trade Center, the police picked up a
van full of Israelis who been reported as jumping for joy at the sight of the twin towers
burning. They were spotted in Liberty State Park, overlooking Manhattan, where they had a
good view of the catastrophe. As smoke billowed up into the pellucid sky, obscuring the
sun, they laughed and joked and took pictures of each other against a backdrop of
unspeakable horror. Outraged witnesses called the cops, who swooped down and picked them
up. These "Middle Eastern-looking men," as witnesses described them, turned out
to be Israelis: they were found with box cutters in their van, $4,000 in cash, and
multiple passports. The van was registered as the property of "Urban Moving
Systems." Police interrogated them for hours, and transferred them to a maximum
security facility. A raid on the Urban Moving Systems warehouse (whose owner, Dominik Suter, has
since fled to Israel) yielded computers, documents, and other evidence of what?
BY SOME REPORTS
Now The Forward reports these guys were
"subjected to an unusual number of polygraph tests and interrogated by a series of
government agencies including the FBI's counterintelligence division, which by some
reports remains convinced that Israel was conducting an intelligence operation."
"According to one former high-ranking
American intelligence official, who asked not to be named, the FBI came to the conclusion
at the end of its investigation that the five Israelis arrested in New Jersey last
September were conducting a Mossad surveillance mission and that their employer, Urban
Moving Systems of Weehawken, N.J., served as a front."
KISS IT, BUD
I wonder what Daniel Pipes has to say now:
is The Forward spreading an "urban myth" with "anti-Semitic"
overtones? Will the insufferably smug James Taranto, who thinks
"the best evidence" that "theres nothing to this story" is that I
have "seized on it" now admit that he was wrong, wrong, wrong and perform
an appropriate act of contrition like kissing my (OO)?
SECOND LINE OF DEFENSE
Now that their spy nest has been exposed, and
denials no longer work, the Israelis have been driven back to their second line of
defense: Yes, we were watching Al Qaeda, "our common enemy," but, as The
Forward is quick to add:
"Sources emphasized that the release
of all the Israelis under investigation indicates that they were cleared of any suspicion
that they had prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks, as some anti-Israel media
outlets have suggested."
These "anti-Israel media outlets"
are never named, but whom could they possible mean? The predictably right-wing Fox
News? I dont think so. LeMonde? The day after the prominent French newspaper
printed a story about the "Israeli art students" who tried to penetrate the DEA
and other agencies, and were arrested en masse, the same paper ran an editorial which one
correspondent of mine, conversant in French, describes in a missive:
"On the train back from Paris last
night, I found a splendid commentary piece in Le Monde by the same Sylvain Cypel,
back-pedaling furiously and raucously denouncing the anti-Semitic fantasies of
those who think that the Israelis could have been involved in the events of 9/11. As you
know, Le Monde is so politically correct that it makes the New York Times
look like Der Stuermer."
So, LeMonde is out: perhaps they mean
OnlineIntelligence.com. But its editor, Guillaume
Dasquie, has previously pushed a
theory that would seem to benefit the Israelis, and which echoes the
neoconservative line that the whole conspiracy against America can be traced back to
Wahabism and the government of Saudi Arabia. So Dasquie, not known for his anti-Israel
views, is also out. That leaves the numerous newspapers and magazines, such as
Insight, that reported on this story after it broke (for the second time): the Associated Press, the British
papers, and most of the American media. But Insight, published by the staunchly
pro-Israel Washington Times, can hardly be described as an "anti-Israel media
outlet," and, as for the others is The Forward saying that most of the
American media is "anti-Israel"? I suppose its possible they believe that,
but then again it seems more likely they are referring to the well-known "media
outlet" where this story
originated right here in this space.
I would differ, of course: we are not
"anti-Israel," but merely pro-American and pro-truth. We think our
government should pursue a foreign policy that puts America first, not Israel, and believe
the interests of the two longtime allies have radically diverged as the story of
the Israeli spy operation in the US makes all too clear.
One interesting aspect of the Forward
piece is that it raises the really fascinating question of how the Israeli spy scandal is
having an effect on US-Israeli relations and to what extent it is a factor in
setting the pace and direction of the diplomatic dance now taking place over the
"The resulting tensions between
Washington and Jerusalem, sources told the Forward, arose not because of the
operations' targets but because Israel reportedly violated a secret gentlemen's agreement
between the two countries under which espionage on each other's soil is to be coordinated
Why do you think the Bush administration is denying
Israel that "extra" $800 mil, suddenly proposing a UN resolution
endorsing a Palestinian state, and barring "foreign nationals" (i.e. Israelis) from
"sensitive" jobs? Colin Powells chastisement of Israel is not too surprising,
but, as the New York Times reports,
the President now seems to agree:
"Frankly, it's not helpful, what
Israel has recently done, Mr. Bush said at an afternoon news conference. At another
point, the president said he hoped that Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel was
concerned about the loss of innocent life in the region. It breaks my
heart, Mr. Bush said."
YOU BREAK ME UP
The best confirmation of the Israeli spy story
is the rapid evolution of US policy on the Palestinian question in the last week or so.
Americas stance toward Israel has taken a decidedly adversarial turn, and it
isnt because Dubyas heart is breaking. Whats breaking is the real story
of 9/11 and, perhaps, Americas unconditional support to a troublesome and
deceptively double-dealing "ally."
THE COVER-UP UNRAVELS
The Bush administration has done everything
possible to bury
this story, because what it means is that, while the Israelis were watching Al Qaeda,
we werent. Naturally, the FBI will deny this story til the cows come
home, because it makes them look as clueless as they are. By revealing at least a small
part of the truth, now, the Forward piece not only spins the story the
"right" way, but is also payback for the administrations new policy
A DUBIOUS ALIBI
The Forward devotes a whole separate
story, "FBI Probe
Defuses Israeli Spying Rumors," to the "Israeli art students" aspect of
the spy apparatus, and tries to paint a more equivocal picture. The piece starts off with
denials by Israeli and US government officials and ends with a rather dubious alibi:
"A former senior U.S. intelligence
official offered a different hypothesis. My guess and the one I heard from people in
counterintelligence is that this could have been an Israeli training exercise, because
they were all young and amateurish, he said."
MORE URBAN MOVERS
Yeah, but in seeking to penetrate US
government and military facilities, what were they "training" for? Cells
of 20 or so each scattered around the country, trying to get into DEA offices, trailing
officials to their homes, even trying to get into Tinker Air Force Base rather
ominous, wouldnt you say? Even
more ominous is a mid-October report in the Philadelphia Mercury about two
"Middle Easterners" with Israeli-sounding names picked up by police in Plymouth,
"Two men whom police described as
Middle Eastern were detained in [Plymouth] township by federal immigration authorities
after being found with detailed video footage of the Sears Tower in Chicago."
Moshe Elmakias, 30, and Ron Katar, 23, were
detained by police. The cops first approached the parked van, on a report that the
occupants, two "Middle Eastern-looking men," had engaged in illegal dumping.
According to the Mercury, witnesses "were able to provide township police with
the Florida registration number of the tractor-trailer and said that a sign posted on the
side of the vehicle read Moving Systems Incorporated and included a phone
When police approached, Katar exited the
sleeper and told them the others were across the street. Just then:
"Elmakias and a white female, Ayelet
Reisler, 23, were approaching the vehicle from the dealership, but the female then began
walking in a different direction, acting as if she were not with Elmakias, according to
reports. Reisler was detained and checked for identification. She had a German passport in
her name and medication in a different name, police said."
As David Schmader put it
in Seattles lively alternative voice, The Stranger:
"What alibis can two Middle Eastern
men in a stolen truck containing footage of the Sears Tower provide? They're tourists with
an eye for architecture? They were collecting footage to submit to FOX TV's America's
Funniest Gargantuan Structures? Who knows? Stay tuned for further details."
Except there are no "further
details." All we know is that Ms. Reisler was released, and the other two were
transferred to a federal facility "for further investigation." Whomever is
investigating certainly is taking their time about it, because we have heard neither hide
nor hair of these folks again they vanished into detention and then simply
disappeared. Whether they were quietly spirited back to Israel, like their fellow
Urban Movers in New York, or else still languish in federal prisons, is anybodys
guess. One hopes for the latter, but strongly suspects the former is true.
SCAMSTERS OR SPOOKS?
Clearly, this "Urban Moving Systems"
was a scam theres a whole
organization devoted to exposing what a rip-off these guys were, regularly absconding
with their customers possessions. Were they a harmless bunch of Israeli
"students" trying to earn a living? But if these guys were just scam artists,
then why did they make a video that gives a detailed look at the Sears Tower. And if they
were, indeed, a front for Israeli intelligence, like their New York counterparts, but just
trainees on a practice run as the anonymous spook cited in the Forward
piece avers then what were they practicing for
and how can we be so
sure it wasnt the real thing?
OUR FRIENDS, THE ISRAELIS
"Youre either with us," says
George W. Bush, "or youre against us," there can be no
"neutrality" in the never-ending "war on terrorism." But which side
are our friends, the Israelis, on?
There are more sides to this battle than the
President is letting on. Beyond the one-dimensional rhetoric of the "war on
terrorism," the complexity of the struggle comes out in his recent actions and
is underscored by the stunning implications of this breaking story. It began with various
and scattered odd accounts of mysterious Israeli "art students" pushing their
way into government offices nationwide, and a story about the laughing Israelis, whose
delight in the downing of the twin towers was their undoing. (I hear they are also now
planning to sue the US government for the ill treatment they received at our hands). Where
it will all end is impossible to say, but the evidence, as it comes out, validates and
confirms what we have been saying in this space since late November: a secret war was
fought on our soil in the crucial days leading up to 9/11. To our shocked horror, the bad
guys won out and I dont just mean Al Qaeda.
LETS CLEAR THE AIR
What is needed is a public investigation by
Congress into Israels spy operations in the US, one that zeroes in on their possible
connection to what happened on 9/11 and what didnt happen. Then and
only then will the cloud of obfuscation be lifted, the dark rumors dispelled, and the air
cleared once and for all.
Justin Raimondo is Editorial Director
He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
We invite you to visit their website. Justin Raimondo may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the March 22, 2002 issue of Ether Zone
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