Ostrovsky Victor - Hoy Claire - By Way of Deception The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer


Authors : Ostrovsky Victor - Hoy Claire
Title : By Way of Deception The Making and Unmaking of a Mossad Officer
Year : 1991

Link download : Ostrovsky_Victor_-_Hoy_Claire_-_By_Way_of_Deception_The_Making_and_Unmaking_of_a_Mossad_Officer.zip

BUTRUS EBEN HALIM could be forgiven for noticing the woman. After all, she was a sultry blonde, given to wearing tight pants and low-cut blouses, revealing just enough of herself to pique any man's desire for more. She'd been showing up at his regular bus stop in Villejuif on the southern outskirts of Paris every day for the past week. With just two buses using that stop — one local and one RATP into Paris — and usually only a few other regular passengers standing around, it was impossible to miss her. Although Halim didn't know it, that was the point. It was August 1978. Her routine, like his, seemed constant. She was there when Halim arrived to catch his bus. Moments later, a light-skinned, blue-eyed, sharply dressed man would race up in a red Ferrari BB512 two-seater, pull in to pick up the blonde, then speed off to heaven knew where. Halim, an Iraqi, whose wife, Samira, could no longer'stand either him or their dreary life in Paris, would spend much of his lonely trip to work thinking about the woman. He certainly had the time. Halim was not inclined to speak to anyone along the way, and Iraqi security had instructed him to take a circular route to work, changing it frequently. His only constants were the bus stop near his home in Villejuif and Gare Saint-Lazare Metro station. There, Halim caught the train to Sarcelles, just north of the city, where he worked on a top-secret project that involved building a nuclear reactor for Iraq. One day, the second bus arrived before the Ferrari. The woman first glanced down the street searching for the car, then shrugged and boarded the bus. Halim's bus had been temporarily delayed by a minor "accident" two blocks away when a Peugeot pulled out in front of it. Moments later, the Ferrari arrived. The driver looked around for the girl, and Halim, realizing what had happened, shouted to him in French that she had taken the bus. The man, looking perplexed, replied in English, at which point Halim repeated the story for him in English. Grateful, the man asked Halim where he was headed. Halim told him the Madeleine station, within walking distance of Saint- Lazare, and the driver, Ran S. — whom Halim would know only as Englishman Jack Donovan — said he, too, was headed that way, and offered him a lift. Why not, Halim thought, hopping into the car and settling in for the drive. The fish had swallowed the hook. And as luck would have it, it would prove to be a prize catch for the Mossad. Operation Sphinx ended spectacularly on June 7, 1981, when U.S.- made Israeli fighter-bombers destroyed the Iraqi nuclear complex Tamuze 17 (or Osirak) at Tuwaitha, just outside Baghdad, in a daring raid over hostile territory. But that came only after years of international intrigue, diplomacy, sabotage, and assassinations orchestrated by the Mossad had delayed construction of the plant, though ultimately failing to stop it. Israeli concern for the project had been high ever since France had signed an agreement to provide Iraq, then its second-largest oil supplier, with a nuclear research center in the wake of the 1973 energy crisis. The crisis had escalated interest in nuclear power as an alternative energy source, and countries that manufactured systems were drastically stepping up their international sales operations. At the time, France wanted to sell Iraq a 700-megawatt commercial nuclear reactor. Iraq always insisted the nuclear research center was designed for peaceful purposes, basically to provide energy for Baghdad. Israel, with considerable cause, feared it would be used to manufacture nuclear bombs for use against her. The French had agreed to supply 93-percent-enriched uranium for two reactors provided by its military enrichment plant at Pierrelatte. France agreed to sell Iraq four charges of fuel: a total of 150 pounds of enriched uranium, enough to make about four nuclear weapons. Then U.S. president, Jimmy Carter, had made opposition to nuclear proliferation his main foreign policy effort, and U.S. diplomats were actively lobbying both the French and the Iraqis to change their plans. Even the French became wary of Iraq's intentions when that country flatly refused their offer to substitute the enriched uranium with another less potent form of fuel called "caramel," a substance that can produce nuclear energy, but not nuclear bombs. Iraq was adamant. A deal was a deal. At a July 1980 news conference in Baghdad, Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein mocked Israeli concerns, saying that years earlier, "Zionist circles in Europe derided the Arabs who, they said, were an uncivilized and backward people, good only for riding camels in the desert. See how today these same circles say without batting an eyelid that Iraq is on the point of producing an atomic bomb." The fact that Iraq was fast approaching that point in the late 1970s prompted AMAN, Israel's military intelligence unit, to send a memo (labeled "black" for top secret) to Tsvy Zamir, the tall, slender, balding ex-army general who was then the Mossad head. AMAN wanted more precise inside information on the stages of development of the Iraqi project, so David Biran, head of Tsomet, Mossad's recruiting department, was summoned to meet with Zamir. Biran, a chubby, round-faced career Mossad man, and a noted dandy, subsequently met his department heads and ordered them to find an immediate Iraqi tie-in to the manufacturing plant at Sarcelles, France. An exhaustive two-day search of personnel files came up empty, so Biran called the head of the Paris station, David Arbel, a whitehaired multilingual career Mossad officer, giving him the necessary details for the assignment. Like all such stations, the one in Paris is located in the heavily reinforced underground of the Israeli embassy. Arbel, as head of the station, outranked even the ambassador. Mossad personnel control the diplomatic pouch (the "dip"), and all mail in and out of the embassies goes through them. They are also in charge of maintaining safe houses, known as "operational apartments"; the London station alone, for example, owns more than 100 such flats and rents another 50. Paris also had its share of sayanim, Jewish volunteer helpers from all walks of life, and one of them, code-named Jacques Marcel, worked in personnel at the Sarcelles nuclear plant. Had the project been less urgent, he would not have been asked to procure an actual document. Normally, he would pass along information verbally, or even copy it onto paper. Taking a document involves the risk of getting caught and puts the sayan in danger. But in this case, they decided they needed the actual document, primarily because Arabic names are often confusing (they frequently use different names in different situations). And so, to be certain, Marcel was asked for the list of all Iraqi personnel working there. Since he was scheduled to come into Paris for a meeting the next week anyway, Marcel was instructed to put the personnel list in the trunk of his car along with others he was legitimately bringing to the meeting. The night before, a Mossad katsa (gathering officer) met him, got a duplicate trunk key, and gave the man his instructions. Marcel was to make one round of a side street near the Ecole Militaire at the appointed time: there he would see a red Peugeot with a particular sticker on the back window. The car would have been rented and left all night in front of a cafê to guarantee a parking spot, always a prime commodity in Paris. Marcel was told to circle the block, and when he came back, the Peugeot would be pulling out, allowing him to take that parking spot. Then he was simply told to go off to his meeting, leaving the personnel file in the trunk. Because employees in sensitive industries are subjected to random security checks, Marcel was tailed by the Mossad, without his knowledge, on the way to his rendezvous. After again making sure there was no surveillance, a two-man Mossad squad took the file from the trunk and walked into the café. While one man ordered, the other walked into the washroom. There he produced a camera with an attached set of four small, aluminum fold-back legs, called a "clamper." This device saves setup time, since it is already in focus and uses special snap-on cartridges manufactured by the Mossad photography department that take up to 500 exposures on a single roll of film. Once the legs are shoved down, the photographer can slide the documents quickly in and out underneath it, using a rubber attachment held between his teeth to click the shutter each time. After photographing the three pages in this way, the men put the file back in Marcel's trunk and left. The names were immediately sent by computer to the Paris desk in Tel Aviv, using the standard Mossad double coding system. Each phonetic sound has a number. If the name is Abdul, for example, then "Ab" might be assigned number seven and "dul" 21. To further complicate matters, each number has a regular code — a letter or another number — and this "sleeve" coding is changed once a week. Even then, each message tells only half the story, so that one would contain the code of the code for "Ab," while another the code of the code for "dul." Even if this transmission was intercepted, it would mean nothing to the person trying to decode it. In this way, the entire personnel list was sent to headquarters in two separate computer transmissions. As soon as the names and positions were decoded in Tel Aviv, they were sent to the Mossad research department and to AMAN, but again, because the Iraqi personnel at Sarcelles were scientists, not previously regarded as threatening, the Mossad had little on file about them. ...

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