Vanity Fair has provided a detailed account of how Israel’s elite intelligence unit allegedly obtained information that led to the exposure of an ISIS plot to blow up airliners.
By: World Israel News Staff
The Washington Post in May revealed that President Donald Trump had shared classified, highly sensitive intelligence with two high-ranking Russian envoys, Sergey Kislyak and Sergey Lavrov, during their visit at the Oval Office.
It has now been revealed that the sensitive intelligence, collected by the Israel, exposed an Islamic State (ISIS) plot to bomb airliners by planting explosives in electronic devices.
The exposure of the plot led to a four-month-long US and British ban on the use of electronic devices on flights originating from 10 Muslim countries.
Trump’s disclosure reportedly infuriated Israeli officials, as it was shared with the White House on condition that it would remain confidential. Intelligence sharing between the two allies, however, was not significantly hindered.
Vanity Fair, in a Wednesday report, revealed the full story surrounding the intelligence-collecting operation.
“On a dark night at the tail end of last winter, just a month after the inauguration of the new American president, an evening when only a sickle moon hung in the Levantine sky, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters flew low across Jordan and then, staying under the radar, veered north toward the twisting ribbon of shadows that was the Euphrates River. On board, waiting with a professional stillness as they headed into the hostile heart of Syria, were Sayeret Matkal commandos, the Jewish state’s elite counterterrorism force, along with members of the technological unit of the Mossad, its foreign-espionage agency. Their target: an ISIS cell that was racing to get a deadly new weapon thought to have been devised by Ibrahim al-Asiri, the Saudi national who was al-Qaeda’s master bombmaker in Yemen,” Vanity Fair recounts.
The details of the account were reconstructed for Vanity Fair by two “experts on Israeli intelligence operations.”
“The helicopters carrying the blue-and-white units came down several miles from their target. Two jeeps bearing Syrian Army markings were unloaded, the men hopped in, and, hearts racing, they drove as if it had been the most natural of patrols into the pre-dawn stillness of an enemy city,” the account continues.
The IDF elite troops secured the area while the Mossad techies bugged a hideout used by the covert ISIS cell.
One source said the actual room where the ISIS cell would meet was spiked, a tiny microphone placed where it would never be noticed. Another maintained that an adjacent telephone junction box had been ingeniously manipulated so that every word spoken in a specific location would be overheard.
This operation led to the exposure of ISIS’ plot to take down Western airliners.
“Trump betrayed us,” the magazine quoted a senior Israeli military official as saying. “And if we can’t trust him, then we’re going to have to do what is necessary on our own if our back is up against the wall with Iran.”
The Trump administration has denied that the president leaked the intelligence.
Former IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who has intimate knowledge of such operations, told IDF Radio that several of the details in the report seemed questionable to him.