The bloody terror attack in Bombay, which was supposedly directed by the dreaded Lashkar-e-Toiba, has had an interesting fallout as far as Mossad – the notorious intelligence agency of Israel – is concerned. One finds its growing mention in the Indian media as well as polity as a role model supposedly for ‘being successful’ in ‘curbing the terrorist menace’ inside Israel.
Little did all such ignoramuses ranging from the Barkhas to the Arnabs bother to know the fifty plus year old trajectory of the organisation which is formally responsible for intelligence collection but basically engaged in counter-terrorism, covert operations and paramilitary activities and political assassinations.One could say that it is part of amnesia that none from the chatterati brigade wants to take a critical as well as dispassionate look at its ‘myth of success’ vis-a-vis the Palestinian militants nor do they want know the terrorist acts engaged in by the agency to stigmatise its opponents.
In fact it was a marker of the growing legitimacy of Mossad that it found a respectable mention when top industrialists from Karnataka met with Mr Yediyurappa, the Chief Minister of the state recently. The delegation was led by Ms Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of the ‘Biocon’ fame and another senior executive of Infosys. It had gone there to convey their concern about the deteriorating security situation in the state.Apart from many suggestions which they discussed with the Chief Minister, two were worth noticing ; they asked that AK 47s be made available to the security personnel in the state and Mossad be roped in to train them.
For any close watcher of the bloody track record of Mossad the statement itself was disturbing.
Perhaps one rather felt that the changed ambience in the country vis-a-vis the infamous intellgence agency is due to the growing proximity of the Indian and Israeli regimes on the issue of counter-insurgency.Apart from seeking arms it is also clear that India sought help of Israeli Defence Force in the Kashmir conflict. A senior commander of the Israeli army Maj Gen Avi Mirzahi even paid an unscheduled visit to Kashmir ‘..to get an up-close look at the challenges the Indian military faces in its fight against Islamic insurgents.Mizrahi was in India for three days of meetings with the country’s military brass and to discuss a plan the IDF is drafting for Israeli commandos to train Indian counterterror forces.Under the proposed agreement, the IDF would send highly-trained commandos to train Indian soldiers in counterterror tactics, urban warfare and fighting in guerrilla settings.’ (Sep. 14, 2008 Yaakov Katz , The Jerusalem Post)
It was only few months back that Defence minister Pranab Mukherjee in a written reply in the Parliament had made a startling revealation about the military and strategic relationship between the two countries. In fact it was reported that India had concluded defence contracts with Israel worth $2.76 billion between 2002-2005. Looking at these figures it is apparent that Tel Aviv is the second largest supplier of military equipment to Delhi after Russia.
The logical fallout of the new found love for the Israeli regime and the attempts to imitate its’success’ in reining in the ‘extremist’ elements, is that no section of the Indian media reported that Mossad was found to be propping up ‘Islamic terrorist’ groups in mid-east.
Sometime back a ‘splinter group’ of Al-Qaeda was found to be involved in a terrorist attack in Yemen. As it happens in all such attacks innocent people were killed and property worth billions of Rs was destroyed. The Yemenese police could nab the culprits with its efficient handling of the case. But police officials and the people in power were in for surprise when they discovered that the splinter group was propped up by Mossad, the dreaded intelligence wing of Israel’s Zionist regime.
Dubai, Oct 8 (IANS) A terrorist cell busted in Yemen last month after a suicide attack on the US embassy there had links with an Israeli intelligence agency, the state-run Saba news agency reported.The report, quoting an unnamed source, said investigations and data retrieved from a computer seized from the cell, showed there was correspondence between the Islamic Jihad group’s deputy leader Bassam Abdullah Fadhel Al-Haidari and an Israeli intelligence agency
Question naturally arises, was it for the first time that Mossad had propped up ‘Islamic terrorist’ groups ? ‘The Week’, a leading newsmagazine in the subcontinent had done a special story way back in 2000 (Aborted Mission: Investigation: Did Mossad attempt to infiltrate Islamic radical outfits in south Asia? by Subir Bhaumik, February 6, 2000, http://www.the-week.com/20feb06/events2.htm) showing how the Indian intelligence agencies had nabbed a group of Islamic radicals in Kolkatta airport for their ‘suspicious’ looking activities and discovered to their dismay that this group was going to Dhaka on a special mission at the behest of Israel.
On January 12 Indian intelligence officials in Calcutta detained 11 foreign nationals for interrogation before they were to board a Dhaka-bound Bangladesh Biman flight. They were detained on the suspicion of being hijackers.“But we realised that they were tabliqis (Islamic preachers), so we let them go,” said an intelligence official. They had planned to attend an Islamic convention near Dhaka, but Bangladesh refused them visa. Later, seemingly under Israeli pressure, India allowed them to fly to Tel Aviv.
According to Indian intelligence officials,
“..[T]el Aviv “exerted considerable pressure” on Delhi to secure their release. “It appeared that they could be working for a sensitive organisation in Israel and were on a mission to Bangladesh,” the official said. The Israeli intelligence outfit, Mossad, is known to recruit Shia Muslims to penetrate Islamic radical networks.”….
”It is not unlikely for Mossad to recruit 11 Afghans in Iran and grant them Israeli citizenship to penetrate a network such as Bin Laden’s. They would begin by infiltrating them into an Islamic radical group in an unlikely place like Bangladesh,” said intelligence analyst Ashok Debbarma. The pressure exerted on India by Israel for the release of the men, and the hurry with which they were flown back suggested an aborted operation’.
Mossad watchers say the operation was possibly blown off by “unwelcome intervention” in a friendly country, and they decided to pull out.
The ‘aborted mission’ in India reminded one of the ‘Operation Susannah’ better known as ‘Lavon affair’ way back in 1954 when the nascent Israeli state witnessed a power struggle between the Prime Minister Moshe Sharret and defence minister Lavon. In an article written after the Mumbai terror attack, a south African scholar Saber Ahmed Jazbhay (01 December, 2008 Media Monitors) provides details of the action by Jewish terrorists when they blew up British and American targets in Egypt. In fact
“[t]he intention was to blame it on the Egyptian regime headed at the time by Gamal Abdel Nasser but the affair was blown and the ring leaders, all Jewish were apprehended and a few were hanged whilst those who survived the usual prison ordeal were forgotten about in Egyptian jails. It was only in 2005 that the Israelis acknowledged involvement when President at the time, Moshe Katsav,honoured the nine Israeli agents who were involved. (For further details refer The Dispersion of Egyptian Jewry: Culture, Politics and the Formation of Modern Diaspora by Joel Beinin )
Looking at the long history of the dreaded Mossad in engaging all sorts of covert operations including exporting ‘Islamic Jihad’ of a certain kind, would it be asking too much that the new apologists of the agency revisit its fifty plus year old history and then decide..