Israeli Agent: Mossad Claims Fictional Feats
By: Yazan al-Saadi
Published Wednesday, March 21, 2012
An Israeli intelligence agent said that contrary to common belief, Israel's renowned secret service, Mossad, was "not assassinating people that easy." He would add that Mossad embraced false accounts of its successes because they bolstered its reputation as "an assassins organization that terrorists should be afraid of." These statements came in an email exchange between David Dafinoiu, president of NorAm Intelligence, and Fred Burton, Stratfor’s VP of counter-intelligence, which were part of the Global Intelligence Files released by WikiLeaks.
The “confirmed Israeli intelligence agent” who is “suspected of being an agent of influence,” as Burton attributes to the FBI (doc-id 5362917), claimed that Mossad was never involved in the death of one of the founders of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1978, Wadie Haddad (known as Abu Hani). Dafinoiu added that the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas member killed in Dubai by Mossad two years ago, was merely an “accident” as the Israelis intended to kidnap al-Mabhouh in order “to exchange him with the Israeli soldier in Iranian custody.”
The emails dated 15 June 2011 between Fred Burton and David Virgil Dafinoiu, who is also chairman of the Homeland Security Committee at the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, discuss the fates of Haddad, al-Mabhouh, and Carlos the Jackal.
The exchanges began with Burton asking Dafinoiu if he could confirm that Mossad assassinated Haddad by means of poisoned chocolates and to clarify why Mossad had not eliminated Carlos the Jackal during that time period as well.
The assassination-by-chocolate scenario appeared in a book published in 2006 by Aharon Klein, an American journalist, and was propagated by various Western news agencies.
Dafinoiu immediately discounted the death-by-poisoned chocolate tale, calling it “just a nice fiction story.” He added that the story “played good for all the parties,” with Haddad presented as a hero and Mossad as “an assassins organization that terrorists should be afraid of.”
He further said that “[Haddad] was indeed on the Mossad assassination list” with names “such as Kamal Adwan, Hussein Abad Al-Chir, Mohammed Boudia, Abu Daud and others”, but he had simply “died from Leukemia from which he suffered for a long time.”
According to the source, Haddad was in fact “removed” from Mossad’s hit list due to a request by Russia, who paid a “high price” to ensure Haddad’s safety.
Haddad’s death has always been shrouded in mystery.
Al-Akhbar blogger, As’ad AbuKhalil, on his Angry Arab News Service, points to an investigation by the East German government which concluded that Saddam Hussein’s intelligence service killed him, a theory Haddad’s own family, AbuKhalil wrote, is convinced of.
However, in a series of dialogues with Carlos the Jackal conducted by journalist Othman Tazghart to be published soon in Al-Akhbar, Carlos claimed that members of the PFLP were able to prove that Iraq was “innocent from [any] treason in the murder of Abu Hani.”
Carlos told Tazghart that Haddad died from a mysterious blood cancer, similar to that of Algerian president Houari Boumedienne, who also died in 1978.
Marwan Abdul-Al, a PFLP official based in Beirut, noted in a phone interview with Al-Akhbar, that the death of some of the caliber of Haddad would naturally have conflicting narratives.
"He was an enemy to the Zionist entity, so it isn't wild to assume Israel's culpability. They did try to kill him a number of times," said Abdul-Al.
On Iraq's possible role, the PFLP official acknowledged that it may have been at least partially responsible in some way, as are others.
As for Carlos the Jackal, Dafinoiu claimed that Carlos was never assassinated nor detained because “he was never a threat to the Israeli national security or the ‘head’ of any anti-Israelis mission.”
“[Carlos] sold information he collected on Arab countries also to Western [intelligence] agencies for good money,” Dafinoiu added.
When Carlos was finally arrested by the Americans and French in 1994, it was in order to “protect him” from “a coalition of Arab [intelligence] agencies led by the Iraqis…on their way to assassin him,” according to Dafinoiu.
Dafinoiu stated that his knowledge on the topic was derived from “a mix of public and classified information” he was exposed to during his “service in Israel and Europe”, as well as from personally speaking to “General [Ion Mihai] Pacepa”, former chief of the Romanian foreign intelligence service, and look at “German archives.” (doc-id 375919)
Later that same night, Dafinoiu sent a follow up email in which he said “contrary to what many people believe, Mossad is not assassinating people that easy. Even the most recent incident in Dubai was an accident, they tried to bring the victim [Mahmoud al-Mabhouh] to Israel and exchange him with the Israeli soldier in Iranian’s custody.” (doc-id 383433)
Al-Mabhouh’s assassination was considered a success by Mossad despite the fact that Emirati police were able to blow the cover of 26 Israeli agents involved in the operation.
Article was updated on March 21, 2012
Palestinian Wadie Haddad's family home was destroyed in the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, prompting his family to flee to Lebanon. While studying at the American University of Beirut he founded the Arab Nationalist Movement, calling for the recreation of Palestine. After the 1967 Six Day War, Haddad formed the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and led its militant wing. The group organized high-profile hijackings for much of the 1970s until his death in East Germany in 1978.
Carlos the Jackal
Born Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, the man who became known as Carlos the Jackal originally came from Venezuela. After moving to Beirut via Russia, Carlos is said to have masterminded a series of bombings, kidnappings and hijackings across Europe and the Middle East. For many decades he remained on the run, with the BBC once dubbing him “perhaps the world's most elusive criminal,” but in 1994 he was arrested in Sudan and flown to France, where he was charged with the murder of two French intelligence agents and a Lebanese informant.
Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was a senior Hamas military commander until he was assassinated by Mossad agents in Dubai in 2010. Born in Gaza, he joined the Muslim Brotherhood at an early age before later joining the armed struggle as part of Hamas. He allegedly organized and took part in a number of targeted killings and survived a number of retaliatory assassination attempts until January 2010, when he was killed in a Dubai hotel by Mossad agents using predominantly European passports.