What our media don’t tell us about the Middle East

Yet more fascinating insights from the recently released Wikileaks documents of Stratfor, published by Lebanon’s… Al Akhbar.


US government officials requested that an American private security firm contact Syrian opposition figures in Turkey to see “how they can help in regime change,” the CEO of one of these firms told Stratfor in a company email obtained by WikiLeaks and… Al-Akhbar.

James F. Smith, former director of Blackwater, is currently the Chief Executive of SCG International, a private security firm with experience in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. In what appears to be his first email to Stratfor, Smith stated that his “background is CIA” and his company is comprised of “former DOD [Department of Defense], CIA and former law enforcement personnel.”

“We provide services for those same groups in the form of training, security and information collection,” he explained to Stratfor. (doc-id5441475)

In a 13 December 2011 email to Stratfor’s VP for counter-terrorism Fred Burton, which Burton shared with Stratfor’s briefers, Smith claimed that “[he] and Walid Phares were getting air cover from Congresswoman [Sue] Myrick to engage Syrian opposition in Turkey (non-MB and non-Qatari) on a fact finding mission for Congress.”

Walid Phares, named by the source as part of the “fact finding team,” is a Lebanese-American citizen and currently co-chairs Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Middle East advisory group.

During his involvement with Stratfor, Smith provided intelligence on missing surface-to-air missiles (SAMs) (doc-id… 5321612) and allegedly “took part” in the killing of former Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi. (doc-id… 3980511)


An Israeli intelligence agent claimed that contrary to common belief the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad was “not assassinating people that easy.” He would add that the Mossad embraced false accounts of its successes because they bolstered the Mossad’s reputation as “an assassins organization that terrorists should be afraid of.” These statements came in an email exchange between David Dafinoiu, president of NorAm Intelligence, and Fred Burton, Stratfor’s VP of counter-intelligence, which were part of the Global Intelligence Files released by WikiLeaks.

The “confirmed Israeli intelligence agent” who is “suspected of being an agent of influence,” as Burton attributes to the FBI (doc-id 5362917), claimed that the Mossad was never involved in the death of one of the founders of the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1978, Wadie Haddad (known as Abu Hani). Dafinoiu added that the death of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas member killed in Dubai by the Mossad two years ago, was merely an “accident” as the Israelis intended to kidnap al-Mabhouh in order “to exchange him with the Israeli soldier in Iranian custody.”

The emails dated 15 June 2011 between Fred Burton and David Virgil Dafinoiu, who is also chairman of the Homeland Security Committee at the Texas-Israel Chamber of Commerce, discuss the fates of Haddad, al-Mabhouh, and Carlos the Jackal.

The email exchanges began with Burton asking Dafinoiu if he could confirm that Haddad was assassinated by the Mossad by means of poisoned chocolates and to clarify why the Mossad had not eliminated Carlos the Jackal during that time period as well.

The assassination-by-chocolate scenario appeared in a book published in 2006 by Aharon Klein, an American journalist, and was propagated by various Western news agencies.

Later that same night, Dafinoiu sent a follow up email in which he said “contrary to what many people believe, Mossad is not assassinating people that easy. Even the most recent incident in Dubai was an accident, they tried to bring the victim [Mahmoud al-Mabhouh] to Israel and exchange him with the Israeli soldier in Iranian’s custody.” (doc-id 383433)

Al-Mabhouh’s assassination was considered a success by the Mossad despite the fact that Emirati police were able to blow the cover of 26 Israeli agents involved in the operation.

Text and images ©2023 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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