Posted by Alex on Wednesday, November 4th, 2009
DAMASCUS, Syria — The German newspaper Der Spiegel published a shocking piece of investigative journalism this week, providing a behind-the-scenes exposé of the run-up to Israel’s bombing of an alleged nuclear power plant in the Syrian desert in 2007.
The article relates how the Mossad, in a daring tale of high-wire international espionage, hacked into a Syrian government official’s computer while he was staying at a British hotel in late 2006. The Israeli intelligence agency then installed a “Trojan horse” on the laptop in order to obtain classified information about a Syrian nuclear reactor, located outside Deir Ezzore in Syria’s remote northeastern quadrant.
On the basis of this discovery, Israel would launch “Operation Orchard” several months later, destroying what they thought to be the top-secret nuclear site.
However, on the heels of the Der Spiegel article, new evidence has emerged from Syria suggesting that the computer hacked by the Mossad agents was a decoy deliberately intended to distract Israel’s attention away from a much more deadly Syrian secret weapon under development.
“The Syrians knew that the Israelis were following their official in the U.K,” says retired Russian intelligence specialist Vladimir Balakhoff. “So they loaded all of these false photographs of nuclear reactors, diagrams, and documents in North Korean onto his computer. And the Israelis fell for it.”
“Why do you think that no one in Israel made a big deal out of the bombing?” asks Greek political affairs expert Giorgos Kserolas. “Once they realized that they’d been caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they tried to sweep it under the carpet, but that’s hard to do when the milk’s already been spilled. If you catch my drift.”
High-level Syrian sources are now confirming that the laptop decoy was intended to veil a much more sophisticated security project, one with the potential to change the strategic balance of power in the region.
This project, known as the Syrian Computer Society (SCS), is headquartered in another remote town, Hassake, not far from the site of the fake nuclear power plant. It boasts three desktop computers – two IBM compatibles with 486 processors and an iMac G3 – and a 14.4 kbit/s dial-up modem.
The project’s director, Dr. Samir Mahdoum, suggested that Syria could use these advanced machines to spy on Israel, thereby denying their arch-enemy the element of surprise.
“Using Google Maps Satellite View, we see all of Israel,” said Dr. Mahdoum, stroking an albino hamster. “Their troop movements, their weapons, everything!”
Dr. Fawwaz al-Kahrabji, the SCS’s director for research and development, says that this technological breakthrough has given Syria the edge in its rivalry with Israel.
“Why Syria wants a nuclear weapon? This is very stupid. The Israelis, they are stupid. If you drop nuclear bombs in Israel, Syria, Lebanon, they kill everybody, not just the enemy. Google Maps is much better weapon. We can spy on Israeli weaknesses.”
Sources in the Israeli Ministry of Defense say that they are monitoring the situation in Hassake very closely and are “not ruling out a military strike on the Syrian Computer Society.” Yitzhak Ben David, a spokesman for the ministry, said yesterday: “When it comes to protecting Israel’s security, we take every threat very seriously, from nuclear weapons to Google Maps. So, all options are on the table.”
Reporting by Jacob Tafnis (Qifa Nabki) for The Qnion
posted by Alex