Ex-intel chief denies reports of Israel spying on the U.S.

'Israel does not spy on the U.S.,' said former military intelligence Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin on Saturday. (File photo courtesy of Taghrib News)

A former Israeli military intelligence chief on Saturday denied allegations by New York-based magazine Newsweek that Israel was involved in aggressive spying activities in the U.S..

“Israel does not spy on the U.S.,” said Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, according to the Times of Israel.

“These [reports] are malicious hearsay. I’m surprised at Newsweek. It [published these articles] based on questionable sources,” added Yadlin, who was speaking on Israel’s Channel 2.

Earlier, Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz said that some Israeli’s believed that “someone” was trying to harm the cooperation between Israel and the United States.

“In all my meetings with heads of the US intelligence establishment, I’ve never heard one claim about Israeli espionage in the United States,” the minister said, according to Channel 10.

Newsweek’s two reports, published this week, featured anonymous quotes with senior intelligence officials who are familiar with Israeli spying activities – an alleged program that is covered up due to the Jewish state’s considerable connections in Congress.

‘Unrivalled and unseemly’

According to the first Newsweek article, Israel’s “primary target” America’s industrial and technical secrets - although political espionage takes place too.

The article states that U.S. counter-intelligence officials told members of the House Judiciary and Foreign Affairs committees early this year that the Jewish state's current spying activities in the U.S. are “unrivaled and unseemly” and to a much greater extent than Washington’s other allies.

Newsweek’s follow-up story alleged the extent of Israel’s industrial spying – with Israeli officials and businessmen are forever attempting to attract American scientists to visit the Jewish state.

“I remember speaking to one U.S. scientist who was at a conference and being worked by a group from [Israel],” one former U.S. intelligence operative said. “And this scientist, who was savvy enough to recognize what she saw, said it was really unbelievable how the elicitation techniques were being used – the invitations to come over – basically getting the data dump from a fellow scientist. And the naïveté on the part of the American scientists was really striking. We saw this all the time.”

Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:42 - GMT 06:42