FBI Admits Some Israelis Removed From U.S. Following Sept. 11; No Connection To Espionage
The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation denied reports that Israelis had been charged with spying in the United States in connection with a probe of a ring of Israeli agents.
Intelligence Online, a French website specializing in intelligence issues, reported that US authorities had broken up a network of Israeli spies living in the United States who were burrowing into the justice and defense departments. The site said it had exclusive access to a US Justice Department report that showed "a huge Israeli spy ring operating in the United States was rolled up by the Justice Department's counter-espionage service" last year.
"This issue of Israeli spying network, is not an issue," Bill Carter, a spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, said. "No Israeli has been charged with espionage by the FBI or the Department of Justice in this matter."
The spokesman however recalled that a group of Israeli students "allegedly were involved in activity outside of their visas and they were removed from the US based on that fact." But he made it clear that "no Israeli individual has been involved in espionage with regard to this matter."
Intelligence Online said around 120 Israelis were arrested or deported as a result of the top-secret operation, which it said had began in April last year and was ongoing. According to AFP, the French website said the Israeli ring was active in the states of Arkansas, California, Florida and Texas, and was made up of around 20 cells of between four and eight members who were aged between 22 and 30 and had recently completed Israeli military service in an army intelligence unit. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)