A Mossad Success Story
The Telegraph has an account of a daring Mossad raid in Britain that led to the IAF destroying a Syrian plutonium reactor in 2007.
Undercover agents tracked a Syrian official carrying nuclear secrets to London where they broke into his hotel room and stole the plans as part of a daring operation on foreign soil by Mossad, the Israeli secret service, it has been claimed.
The first day of the official’s trip was apparently devoted to a series of meetings at the Syrian embassy in Belgrave Square
The original plan was apparently to assassinate the official and Israel only averted what would have been a huge diplomatic rift with Britain, when they decided the target was more valuable alive than dead.
The operation involved at least 10 undercover agents on the streets of Britain and led directly to a controversial bombing raid into Syrian territory that destroyed a nuclear reactor that was under construction.
It closely mirrored the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas arms trader, who was killed in his hotel room in Dubai last year using agents disguised as tennis players.
The operation began when Israeli intelligence picked up an online booking for a senior Syrian nuclear official at a hotel in Kensington, west London, in late 2006, according to the Israeli authors of the book Israel vs Iran: the Shadow War.
Mossad then dispatched three undercover teams to Britain including a team of “spotters” who were sent to Heathrow airport to identify the official as he flew in from Damascus under a false name. A second team booked into his hotel, while a third monitored his movements and any visitors.
The agents included members of the Kidon [Spear] division, Mossad’s hit squad, and the Neviot [Springs] division, which specialises in breaking into houses, embassies and hotel rooms to install bugging devices.
The first day of the official’s trip was apparently devoted to a series of meetings at the Syrian embassy in Belgrave Square but the following day he went shopping before his return to the airport.
The Kidon team followed him closely from shop to shop while the Neviot agents broke into his room and found his laptop. A computer expert took 15 minutes to download the hard drive and install trojan software that allowed Israel to monitor every keystroke he made.
When the computer material was examined at Mossad headquarters in Tel Aviv, officials found photographs and blueprints for a plutonium reactor at Al Kibar near Deir el-Zor, a remote desert town 80 miles from Syria’s border with Iraq.
According to one source quoted in the book, the discovery saved the life of the official, who would otherwise have been killed in Britain, causing a major diplomatic incident.
“His computer and its contents turned out to be his life insurance. If it weren’t for that, he wouldn’t have left Europe alive,” the security official boasted.
In August 2007 Israel apparently sent a special forces team into Syria to collect soil samples near the reactor, then at around 1am on September 5 2007 Israeli fighter bombers attacked the facility in a raid into Syrian airspace that destroyed the plant.
I can’t confirm or deny that this is what went down. But it sure sounds good to me.