Mossad officers have been posing as CIA officials to recruit operatives against Iran’s nuclear program, according to a Foreign Policy exposé published on Friday.
The operations have infuriated senior US officials, who have since scaled back joint US-Israeli intelligence operations.
The exposé cites six US intelligence officers as sources of information- four of whom are retired and two whom are currently serving. None of the Mossad, CIA, White House commented on the report.
The exposé described how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives by impersonating US CIA agents. The Mossad officers are equipped with US passports and dollars, and recruitment activities occur “under the nose of US intelligence officers”, including in London.
The Foreign Policy report focused on Jundallah, or Soldiers of God – a Sunni terrorist group based in Pakistan. The organization has admitted to carrying out suicide bombings against Shiites, notably in Iran. Israeli officials had been recruiting them to strike against Iran’s nuclear program, an activity which could be ongoing, according to the US intelligence sources.
News of what are called “false flag” operations carried out by Israel have reached the highest echelons of US government, angering them and causing tension between the two allies. According to the exposé, former US president George Bush “went absolutely ballistic” when he was briefed about one such operation that resulted in the assassination of an Iranian nuclear scientist.
The report claimed that upon entering office, US President Barack Obama “drastically scaled back joint US-Israel intelligence programs targeting Iran”, citing multiple serving and retired officers. Israel regularly proposes joint Israeli-US covert operations against the Iranian nuclear program, including proposals for assassinations, but US officials routinely reject them, according to the report.