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 Editor in chief: 
Abdus Sattar Ghazali

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Mertze Dahlin   

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Mossad recruits Muslims in America

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

There have been a number of cases reported to the FBI about (Israel’s secret service) Mossad officers who have approached leaders in Arab-American communities and have falsely represented themselves as “U.S. intelligence,” says Philip Giraldi, a former CIA Officer.

Because few Muslims would assist an Israeli, this is done to increase the likelihood that the target will cooperate. It’s referred to as a “false flag” operation, says Giraldi in his monthly column - Mossad in America – published in the August issue of American Conservative magazine.

Giraldi pointed out that Mossad officers sought to recruit Arab-Americans as sources willing to inform on their associates and neighbors. “The approaches, which took place in New York and New Jersey, were reportedly handled clumsily, making the targets of the operation suspicious.”

These Arab-Americans turned down the requests for cooperation, and some of the contacts were eventually reported to the FBI, which has determined that at least two of the Mossad officers are, ironically, Israeli Arabs operating out of Israel’s mission to the United Nations in New York under cover as consular assistants, according to Giraldi.

Commenting on Giraldi’s report, Washington Post’s Jeff Stein quoted a retired senior FBI counterintelligence official as saying, "They have always been extremely aggressive, and seem to feel they can operate whenever and wherever they want, in spite of being called on the carpet more than any other country by probably a factor of three times as often." The former CIA official echoed the views of other U.S. intelligence sources I’ve talked to over the years about Israeli operations in the United States, Jeff added.

Giraldi is now an intelligence analyst with the firm Cannistraro Associates. He also heads the Council for the National Interest. He was foreign policy advisor to Congressman Ron Paul (D-TX) during his failed run for the U.S. presidency in 2008.

Giraldi emphasized that Israeli government claims that it does not spy on the United States are intended for the media and popular consumption. “The reality is that Israel’s intelligence agencies target the United States intensively, particularly in pursuit of military and dual-use civilian technology.”

He went on to say that among nations considered to be friendly to Washington, Israel leads all others in its active espionage directed against American companies and the Defense Department. “It also dominates two commercial sectors that enable it to extend its reach inside America’s domestic infrastructure: airline and telecommunications security. Israel is believed to have the ability to monitor nearly all phone records originating in the United States, while numerous Israeli air-travel security companies are known to act as the local Mossad stations.”

As tensions with Iran increase, sources in the counterintelligence community report that Israeli agents have become more aggressive in targeting Muslims living in the United States as well as in operating against critics, Giraldi argues.

Israel’s undercover operations in US

Washington Post report said that Israel’s undercover operations here, including missions to steal U.S. secrets, are hardly a secret at the FBI, CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies. From time to time, in fact, the FBI has called Israeli officials on the carpet to complain about a particularly brazen effort to collect classified or other sensitive information, in particular U.S. technical and industrial secrets.

The most notorious operation employed Jonathan Pollard, the naval intelligence analyst convicted in 1987 and sentenced to life in prison for stealing tens of thousands of classified documents for Israel. Ben Ami Kadish, the New Jersey resident sentenced in 2008 for spying in the 1980s.

One of Israel’s major interests, of course, is keeping track of Muslims who might be allied with Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, or Iran-backed Hezbollah, based in Lebanon.

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee

The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), a major Arab American civil rights group, warned that the Mossad activities could make it very hard for bona fide U.S. federal agents to win the trust of Muslims and Arab Americans.

In a press statement the ADC said that the activities of Mossad will have a negative impact on the trust between Arab and Muslim Americans with the U.S. Federal Government. ”That could undermine years of efforts by the FBI and other federal agencies to develop sources among Muslims and Arab Americans, whom it considers important allies in the fight against terrorism in the U.S. and abroad,”

The ADC called on the Department of Justice, Department of State, and other appropriate agencies to thoroughly investigate any instances of people, including foreign nationals, falsely identifying themselves as U.S. government officials.

The ADC National Legal Director Abed Ayoub said that the Arab American and Muslim communities have expressed concern over the reports prompting the press release. Ayoub said that people should be aware of their rights in case they suspect anything suspicious. "Of course we want them to know they have rights and that if they are approached by government officials or people claiming to be officials, they have the right to have an attorney present with them," he said.

Ayoub said that the ADC hasn't had a specific case reported to them regarding Israeli officials posing as federal officials yet he urges those who do suspect something to call their local office or the national office depending on where it occurs. "If you really suspect something, call the FBI field office or local agency, an FBI-trained government official will always comply and show ID and credentials."

The issue of FBI informants in mosques has been a hot-button topic in recent years for the Arab American and Muslim communities and now the subject of informant recruiting by Mossad, the issue of could take on yet another dimension.

Abdus Sattar Ghazali is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of America.