Monday, October 27, 2008

Tamil Tigers [LTTE], Israel and India - 2

Sri Lanka's rebel leader 'killed' Page last updated at 02:00 GMT, Tuesday, 19 May 2009 03:00 UK Born November, 1954 - 1972: Founded Tamil New Tigers (TNT), forerunner of LTTE - Wanted in Sri Lanka and India

For more indepth analysis:
Short History of Sri Lanka Ethnic Conflict - TV Documentary

Bhagwat offers proof of Fernandes' LTTE links EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM, APRIL 24: Admiral Vishnu Bhagwat, the sacked Chief of the Naval Staff, has offered to place before a Joint Parliamentary Committee evidence to substantiate Defence Minister George Fernandes' links with the LTTE and gun-running agencies.

The Admiral's hour-long address on `Challenges before the National Security of Secularist India', organised by AKG Centre for Study and Research here on Saturday evening, was replete with sweeping allegations not only against certain Sangh Parivar leaders but also against the country's Intelligence agencies and the Army. He said arms merchants and foreign Intelligence agencies were working in tandem in the country. There is none in power now who is not under obligation to foreign agencies. A political-bureaucratic-military nexus is building up in Delhi, posing grave threat to the country's security.

Copyright © 1999 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.


Book Review by Sachi Sri Kantha

When ex Mossad officer Victor Ostrovski’s book By Way of Deception was first published in September 1990, it created a tremor of international proportions. The Time magazine (Sept.24, 1990) captioned the story as, "The Spy who spilled the Beans; Israel attempts to quash a Mossad agent’s book" and noted that due to Israel’s unsuccessful attempt to block its publication and resultant publicity, the publisher had to "increase the print run from 50,000 copies to 200,000, practically guaranteeing that it will be high on the best-seller list". The Newsweek magazine (Sept.24, 1990) rather unusually devoted two pages to divulge some important facts included in the book. Why did ‘By Way of Deception’ attract such attention? The Newsweek report had it in its first sentence; "In the short but eventful history of the Mossad, no full-fledged officer had ever broken its vow of silence". But, Victor Ostrovski (son of a Canadian father and Israeli mother), who according to Israel’s law-suit had been employed by the Mossad between December 30, 1984 and March 9, 1986, had decided to break his silence.

Sri Lanka+Tamil Tigers: Evolution of the Ethnic War 1/6


Ostrovski begins his book, with description about the "Operation Sphinx" of Mossad, which culminated successfully on June 7, 1981 when Israel destroyed the Iraq’s nuclear complex located in the periphery of Baghdad. This was achieved from the information obtained from the Iraq’s nuclear scientist (identified as Butrus Eben Halim) in Paris. Ostrovski also informs that two individuals (an Egyptian atomic engineer named Meshad, who was close to senior Iraqi military and civilian authorities, and a French prostitute Marie-Claude Magal who was patronised by Halim and Meshad) were murdered by Mossad in June and July of 1980.

Then, Ostrovsky provides explanation for the two types of murders. Prostitute Magal’s murder comes in the "category of an operational emergency, the sort of situation that arises during operations". Scientist Meshad’s murder belongs to the "formal execution list, and requiring the personal approval of the prime minister of Israel". According to Ostrovski, "the number of names on that list varies considerably, from just one or two up to 100 or so, depending upon the extent of anti-Israeli terrorist activities". After describing how an adversary’s name is included in the execution list and the due processes which take place within the Mossad to complete the hit, Ostrovski notes that, "one of the first duties of any new Israeli prime minister is to read the execution list and decide whether or not to initial each name on it".

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If this is true, the Nobel peace prize committee has definitely blundered in making Menachem Begin a laureate in 1978. The book is divided into three parts. The first two parts (consisting of a total of 8 chapters) provides descriptions about Ostrovski’s experience with Mossad as a trainee and case officer from October 1982 to March 1986, when he was dismissed as scapegoat for an operation which became an embarrassment to the Israeli politicians. The third part (consisting of nine chapters) provides case histories related to Mossad’s engagements with the Black September rebels, Carlos Ramirez and Yasser Arafat. Also included are the events related to Israel’s 1982 invasion in Lebanon and "Operation Moses" (the 1985 rescue of thousands of Black Ethiopian Jews to Israel) and the 1985 sinking of PLO ships in Tripoli harbour. In the chapters related to training by Mossad, Ostrovski provides details about lessons taught on self-defence, forgery of documents (especially passports), recruitment of bodlim ("people who operate as messengers between safehouses and the embassy, or between the various safehouses"), evaluation and tackling of a still object or a building, importance of liaison, sending and receiving secret communications and so forth.
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On self-defense, Ostrovsky writes, "You were taught that if your brain does (his emphasis) signal your hand to draw the weapon, you go to kill. Your head has to say the guy in front of you is dead. It’s him or you... When you do have to shoot, you fire as many bullets as possible into your target. When he’s on the ground you walk up to him, put your gun to his temple, and fire one more time. That way, you’re sure’. Certainly Jesus and Gandhi are pariahs in the dictionary of Mossad. On passport forgery by Mossad, Ostrovsky notes, "Mossad had a small factory and chemical laboratory in the basement of the Academy that actually made various kinds of passport paper. Chemists analyzed the papers of genuine passports and worked out the exact formula to produce sheets of paper that duplicated what they needed".
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Mossad also gathers genuine passports of other countries from immigrants to Israel on the pretext of "saving the Jews". These genuine passports are studied to prepare fake passports. Ostrovski identifies four kinds of passports used by Mossad for their operations; "top quality, second quality, field operation and throwaway". The low quality throwaway kind is mostly stolen from others and put in use when "needed only to flash them". They are not used for identification, since it cannot withstand through scrutiny. The field operation kind is "used for quick work in a foreign country, but not used when crossing borders". The second quality passport is a perfect one, "without no real persons behind" the details provided in it. The top-quality passport is the perfect kind, "which could stand up completely to any official scrutiny, including a check by the country of origin".
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The motto of Mossad in such delicate forgery is that, "no operation should be bungled by a bad document". Other tit-bits offered by Ostrovsky relating to the operation of Mossad are quite interesting.
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1) "The Mossad’s main computer contained more than 1.5 million names in memory.

2) The London station of Mossad "owns more than 100 safe houses and rents another 50".

3) "In London alone, there are about 2,000 active sayanim (Jewish volunteer helpers) who are active, and another 5,000 on the list".

4) Margaret Thatcher was always called inside the Mossad as "the bitch", because "they had her tagged as anti-Semite".

5) For a long time since 1977, Mossad has hired "Durak Kasim, (Yasser) Arafat’s driver and personal bodyguard" as their agent, and "he was reporting to them almost daily, sending messages through a burst radio communications system, receiving $2,000 a report. He also telephoned information and mailed it periodically..."

Now, let me focus on the material related to Sri Lanka, which made Ostrovski a recognizable name in the government and military circles in Colombo now. Ostrovski’s disclosures on the deals made by the military and political power-brokers of the ruling UNP and the Mossad had been published in excerpts in the Tamil Nation of Oct.15, 1990. What shocked the Sinhalese ruling establishment and the journalists (including the editor of Lanka Guardian, Mervyn de Silva) was the revelation of Ostrovski that Mossad had trained the Sinhalese military personnel and "a group of Tamil guerrilla factions" simultaneously. Based on the meagre details provided by Ostrovski, these power-brokers and opinion-makers had identified LTTE as the beneficiary of Mossad’s patronage.

To me, this sounds too premature and incorrect. Let me repeat what Ostrovski had written on this topic. "Around 1983, a group of Tamil guerrilla factions, collectively known as the Tamil Tigers, began an armed struggle to create a Tamil homeland in the north called Eelam - an on-going battle that has claimed thousands of lives on both sides". This is the only sentence in the book, where a vague reference is made to the Tamil Tigers. The time-frame Ostrovski had written about was "mid-July 1984", when he was still a trainee at the Mossad Academy. He had not mentioned LTTE by name anywhere in the book. At that time, all the militant groups fighting for Eelam (LTTE, TELO, EPRLF, EROS and PLOTE) were identified as "Tamil Tigers". This point need be stressed.

The authors of Broken Palmyra also clearly state this fact in page 72 of their book; "Up to this time (April 1985), the Tamil population had hardly differentiated between rival groups. They were all referred to as boys and even Tigers" Again the fact is that as reported in the Economist of August 3, 1985, in its coverage on the five Tamil militant groups, LTTE was identified as receiving training from the PLO in Lebanon. Ostrovski has noted that in mid-July 1984, "nearly 50" Sri Lankan army personnel arrived for training in Israel. These training sessions were not offered free. According to Ostrovski, "A unit of 60 trainees would cost about $300 each day (per trainee), for a total of $18,000. For a three-month course, that would be $1.6 million.

On top of that, they would be charged $5,000 to $6,000 an hour for helicopter rental, and as many as 15 helicopters could be used in a training exercise. Add to that the cost of special ammunition used in training: a bazooka shell, for example, cost about $220 a unit, while heavy mortars were about $1000 each..." Ostrovsky should be credited for exposing the deals Sri Lankan government had with Mossad, through the Mahaveli River Diversion Project. Apart from exposing how the Sri Lankan authorities diverted foreign-aid funds they received from unsuspecting donors, Ostrovski also has pricked the bloated egos of the Sri Lankan military personnel by divulging how Mossad had fooled them.

Sri Lanka (where they helped the Sinhalese go after Tamils) January 1991, Page 73

Book Reviews

Every Spy a Prince By Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman. Houghton Mifflin. 466 pp. List: $24.95.

Reviewed by Russell Warren Howe

Each country's intelligence service is the "mirror of the society it serves." The British see intelligence as a game, with the lottery of birth deciding which side you're on. America sees spying as "big business" and is more interested in electronics than in battles of wits. Israel's secret services, like the country itself, were the creation of humorless Russians and Poles. So Mossad and Shin Bet, like the Cheka and OGPU, are "primarily a tool for preserving the regime." That involves plenty of torture and murder at home and abroad, and more mischief than analysis.

So say the authors of this book, which is also appearing in London under their preferred tide, The Imperfect Spies, which better sets the theme.

Significantly, Mossad sees its best achievements as the kidnapping by 23 people of an old Nazi called Adolf Eichmann in Buenos Aires, and the seizure of remote Entebbe airport in 1972, an intelligence challenge about on a par with Britain's police operation in Anguilla in 1964. But the agency failed to notice the buildup of forces that led to the Ramadan War of 1973, or to Iraq's attack on Iran in 1980 or on Kuwait a decade later, and it was taken by surprise by the intifada.

Raviv and Melman, Israeli journalists with impeccable sources, offer above all a gallery of characters going back to the legendary Russian, Isser Harel, and the diminutive Pole who plotted the successful murders of Count Bernadotte and Lord Moyne-Yitzhak Shamir. From the start, the authors show, Israel's secret services ran rogue operations, stealing money from the Swiss accounts of Hitler's victims, bombing a synagogue in Baghdad during prayers in 1951 to scare Jewish Iraqis into moving into tent villages in Israel, and bombing British and American offices in Cairo in 1954 (the "Lavon affair") to discredit the Nasser regime. Using American funds provided for other purposes, the Mossad bribed its way across Africa and Latin America. The authors assert that the late dictator of Romania, Nicolae Ceaucescu—who edged Sadat toward Jerusalem and Camp David—received about $30 million from the agency. Israel's spies exploited Kurdish and Christian minorities in the Arab world. Elsewhere, they threw in their lot with established power, however autocratic: Iran (where they trained the SAVAK secret police in interrogation methods), Zaire, Chad and other African countries, Singapore, Sri Lanka (where they helped the Sinhalese go after Tamils), South Korea, South Africa (where Israel aided the birth of nuclear weapons), and Argentina (supplying arms during the Falklands War). They helped Morocco capture and kill an opposition leader, Mehdi Ben Barka, in Paris. In Beirut, they murdered Palestinians and blew up MEA Caravelles at the airport. During the 1967 war, they protected the disinformation communications which brought Jordan into the conflict by directing the attack on the US SPY ship Liberty, an action in which 34 Americans were killed and 171 wounded.

Misinformation has always been a Mossad trademark. The most prominent victim was the United States.

At Lillehammer, Norway, in 1973, a Mossad team murdered Ahmed Boushiki, a Moroccan waiter, in front of his pregnant Norwegian wife, after mistaking him for a Palestinian leader of the Black September terrorist group. The woman responsible for that, Sylvia Raphael, a South African, got her come-uppance in Limassol, Cyprus, a decade later, along with two colleagues all killed by a Palestinian hit team. (This revenge, related by espionage writer Donald McCormick and others, is not mentioned in the Raviv-Melman book—presumably a result of the Israeli censorship of the work of which they complain in their prologue.)

There were some genuine Mossad achievements, such as the theft of hundreds of thousands of French Mirage- 1 blueprints in Switzerland, leading to the building of Israel's Kfir fighter. And, of course, the agency recruited moles, although it was its offshoot, Lakem, that hired the notorious Jonathan Pollard of US naval intelligence.

Misinformation has always been a Mossad trademark. The most prominent victim was the US, thanks to an agreement negotiated by CIA Assistant Director James Jesus Angleton that Israel and America would not spy on each other. The Mossad always ignored the pact in America, but until the agreement was nullified by Admiral Stansfield Turner a generation later, when he was Jimmy Carter's CIA director, the CIA apparently relied on Mossad data. After Angleton died, a memorial to him was erected in Jerusalem. From the start, the authors show, Israel's secret services ran rogue operations.

Another victim was Britain. But as the authors note, on June 17, 1988, former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had been a decided fan of Israel's, ordered all Mossad "diplomats" out of Britain. She had been angered by a succession of capers, die attempted "export" (in a crate) of a former Nigerian minister, a pseudo-Syrian "attempted bombing" of an El Al plane at Heathrow (which led to a break in relations with Damascus before the deceit was discovered), the Falklands arms sale, and the removal of the anti-nuclear Israeli pacifist Mordechai Vanunu from London by a Mossad swallow from Florida. (Like the Russians, say the authors, the Israelis employ female spooks mostly as swallows.)

Old spooks, it's said, never die: They just get into mischief. Raviv and Melman tell the stories of many "formers," including the Palestinian-born Mike Harari, who brokered the purchase of Manuel Noriega's two Haifa villas and got the general's children into Jewish schools. Then, there's Lt. Col. Yair Klein, the German Israeli who taught the bodyguards of Colombian drug barons how to kill Washington's DEA agents. David Kiniche, unmistakably English, Al Schwimmer, an American immigrant to Israel, and Yaakov Nimrodi, who came from Iraq, all had tastes in yachts and beachside villas. They teamed up with then-rich Adnan Khashoggi of Saudi Arabia and made the Middle East their playground. Palestinian-born Amiram Nir teamed up with Oliver North—whom cartoonists have portrayed as a double for the gap-toothed boy on the cover of Mad magazine—and took a naive Reagan administration into Iranscam. Nir later died mysteriously in the crash of a chartered aircraft in Mexico.

Raviv and Melman believe Israel's intelligence agencies have fallen victim to their own greed, violence, racism and arrogance. They quote a "senior Shin Bet operative" as saying: "We let the urine rise to our heads. " This book is must reading for citizens of countries to which Israel is hostile, and cautionary reading for citizens of any countries for which Israel professes friendship.
Russell Warren Howe is a Washington-based freelance journalist who writes regularly for newspapers in the US and abroad.

This article appeared in the October 13, 1995 issue of Executive Intelligence Review. Southern India, Sri Lanka terrorist groups by Joseph Brewda and Madhu Gurung

According to accounts by retired officials of the Israeli secret service, the Mossad, the Israelis were simultaneously training the Sri Lanka Army and the Tigers, and providing arms to each. Victor Ostrovsky, author of By Way of Deception, told Indian Abroad news service in 1991 that the Tigers were trained in Israel in 1985. "These groups kept coming and going. It was part of our routine job to take them to training camps and make sure that they were getting training worth what they paid for, not more and not less." The groups paid in cash.

Ostrovsky said that the arrangement for the training was made by the Mossad liaison in India, who lived there under a British passport.

A December 1983 Sunday Mail article reported that the Mossad was arming and training the Tigers, as well as the Sri Lankan Armed Forces.

One of the main figures involved in these operations, according to other reports, was Rafi Eytan, the former head of the Israeli intelligence agency LEKEM, which had been caught running spy Jonathan Pollard in the United States. Following the 1985 scandal, Eytan was transferred to become the head of Israeli Chemical Industries, in which capacity he spent time in Sri Lanka.

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