Ops and Intel update
Mossad Chief Empowered to Prepare Groundwork for Iran Strike
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report
June 23, 2008
Meir Dagan appointed to seventh year as Mossad Director
By extending the Mossad director, Meir Dagan’s tenure for another year until the end of 2009, Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert has put in place a vital constituent for a possible eleventh-hour unilateral strike at Iran’s nuclear facilities.
In his six years on the job, the 61-year old external intelligence has proved his covert mettle in a variety of counter-terror operations, graduating most recently to a highly successful intelligence coup leading up to the demolition of Syria’s North Korean plutonium reactor in al Kebir last September.
Appointed by former prime minister Ariel Sharon in 2002, Dagan’s first four years as the Mossad’s tenth chief were dedicated to counterterrorism rather than tracking Iran’s nuclear activities or monitoring Iran’s burgeoning strategic ties with Syria and Hizballah.
From mid-2006, the former general shifted the agency’s priorities to include these targets, while the Mossad continued to show its fearsome counter-terror paces in Damascus, Beirut and other Arab capitals.
Not all the Mossad’s operations have seen the light of day, but it has been credited in the past two years with hits against high-profile Hizballah, Hamas and Jihad Islami operatives in Syria and Lebanon.
WASHINGTON — In a makeshift prison in the north of Poland, Al Qaeda’s engineer of mass murder faced off against his Central Intelligence Agency interrogator. It was 18 months after the 9/11 attacks, and the invasion of Iraq was giving Muslim extremists new motives for havoc. If anyone knew about the next plot, it was Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
Jihadists Not Lacking for Plot Ideas, Terrorist Watchdog Says
Senior al-Qaida leaders through a password protected Internet message board periodically ask their loyal readers to send in their best ideas for attacking their enemies.
One such request for proposals posted last year received thousands of responses, said Rita Katz, executive director of the SITE Institute, a for-profit consultancy that monitors radical websites.“Basically they are using all the jihadists throughout the world as their eyes,” said Katz. The request called for members to look for vulnerabilities in U.S. government facilities or for targets “anywhere in the world,” she said
Taliban advance only made possible by Al Qaeda's help'
* Analyst believes Qaeda co-operation secured Taliban's recent Afghan jailbreak
By Khalid Hasan
WASHINGTON: The Taliban advance in Afghanistan could not have taken place without support from Al Qaeda, according to Pakistani journalist and author Ahmed Rashid.
He told CNN's Wolf Blitzer in an interview on Sunday that Al Qaeda has established a route to Iraq for the Taliban and "there is a lot of traffic" on it. He said Al Qaeda is also raking in vast amounts of money from the drugs trade, some of which it is siphoning off to the Taliban. The sophistication with which the Taiban carried out the recent jailbreak seems to have been carried out with the help of Al Qaeda. "Al Qaeda seems to be very much an organisational coup for the Taliban," he added.
Rashid, asked about Osama Bin Laden's capture, replied that President Bush would like to see him captured before the United States presidential elections but "we have no indication on the ground that anything dramatic is about to happen". He said the US has stepped up its attacks, including attacks by drones, on the Pakistani side of the border and if intelligence indicates
It appears that the Pakistan Army has neither learned nor assimilated the lessons of 1971 since it appears to be bent upon repeating the same mistakes. In order to prevent any further break-up of Pakistan it is imperative that these issues be addressed immediately.
The Pakistani government and its military are faced with a difficult scenario in the country's northwestern regions that border Afghanistan. The geography of this region, its peculiar socio-cultural ethos and the historical traditions of its inhabitants require that the emerging situation in these areas be handled differently. In this context, it would be prudent for the military in Pakistan to review the lessons it learned during the 1971 East Pakistan crisis so as to not repeat the mistakes that led to the defeat of 1971. Whereas FATA's geographic contiguity with the rest of Pakistan presents an entirely different scenario from what the country was faced with the geographically distinct East Pakistan, it must be considered whether the situation in FATA needs to be handled through the employment of military force or whether other options are available.