Israel Is Spying In And On The U.S.?
Part 2 of 4 Part Series
FROM FOX NEWS
BRIT HUME, HOST: It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence. At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for his work.
Now Fox News has learned some U.S. investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known things they didn't tell us before September 11. Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a four-part series.
Published: 12/12/01 FOX News. Part 2 of a 4 part
Part 1 -
Part 2 - Part 3 -
These items have since been removed from the FOX News web site:
Carl Cameron Investigates Part 2
of a 4 Part Series
- Israel Is Spying In And On The U.S.?
Author: Carl Cameron
BRIT HUME, HOST: Last time we reported on the approximately 60
Israelis who had been detained in connection with the Sept. 11
terrorism investigation. Carl Cameron reported that U.S.
investigators suspect that some of these Israelis were spying on
Arabs in this country, and may have turned up information on the
planned terrorist attacks back in September that was not passed on.
Tonight, in the second of four reports on spying by Israelis in the
U.S., we learn about an Israeli-based private communications
company, for whom a half-dozen of those 60 detained suspects worked.
American investigators fear information generated by this firm may
have fallen into the wrong hands and had the effect of impeded the
Sept. 11 terror inquiry. Here's Carl Cameron's second report.
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Fox News has
learned that some American terrorist investigators fear certain
suspects in the Sept. 11 attacks may have managed to stay ahead of
them, by knowing who and when investigators are calling on the
By obtaining and analyzing data that's generated every time someone
in the U.S. makes a call.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: What city and state, please?
CAMERON: Here's how the system works. Most directory assistance
calls, and virtually all call records and billing in the U.S. are
done for the phone companies by Amdocs Ltd., an Israeli-based
private elecommunications company.
Amdocs has contracts with the 25 biggest phone companies in America,
and more worldwide. The White House and other secure government
phone lines are protected, but it is virtually impossible to make a
call on normal phones without generating an Amdocs record of it.
In recent years, the FBI and other government agencies have
investigated Amdocs more than once. The firm has repeatedly and
adamantly denied any security breaches or wrongdoing. But sources
tell Fox News that in 1999, the super secret national security
agency, headquartered in northern Maryland, issued what's called a
Top Secret sensitive compartmentalized information report, TS/SCI,
warning that records of calls in the United States were getting into
foreign hands – in Israel, in particular.
Investigators don't believe calls are being listened to, but the
data about who is calling whom and when is plenty valuable in
itself. An internal Amdocs memo to senior company executives
suggests just how Amdocs generated call records could be used.
“Widespread data mining techniques and algorithms.... combining both
the properties of the customer (e.g., credit rating) and properties
of the specific ‘behavior….’” Specific behavior, such as who the
customers are calling.
The Amdocs memo says the system should be used to prevent phone
fraud. But U.S. counterintelligence analysts say it could also be
used to spy through the phone system. Fox News has learned that the
N.S.A has held numerous classified conferences to warn the F.B.I.
and C.I.A. how Amdocs records could be used. At one NSA briefing, a
diagram by the Argon national lab was used to show that if the phone
records are not secure, major security breaches are possible.
Another briefing document said, "It has become increasingly apparent
that systems and networks are vulnerable.…Such crimes always involve
unauthorized persons, or persons who exceed their
authorization...citing on exploitable vulnerabilities."
Those vulnerabilities are growing, because according to another
briefing, the U.S. relies too much on foreign companies like Amdocs
for high-tech equipment and software. "Many factors have led to
increased dependence on code developed overseas.... We buy rather
than train or develop solutions."
U.S. intelligence does not believe the Israeli government is
involved in a misuse of information, and Amdocs insists that its
data is secure. What U.S. government officials are worried about,
however, is the possibility that Amdocs data could get into the
wrong hands, particularly organized crime. And that would not be the
first thing that such a thing has happened. Fox News has documents
of a 1997 drug trafficking case in Los Angeles, in which telephone
information, the type that Amdocs collects, was used to "completely
compromise the communications of the FBI, the Secret Service, the
DEO and the LAPD."
We'll have that and a lot more in the days ahead – Brit.
HUME: Carl, I want to take you back to your report last night on
those 60 Israelis who were detained in the anti-terror
investigation, and the suspicion that some investigators have that
they may have picked up information on the 9/11 attacks ahead of
time and not passed it on.
There was a report, you'll recall, that the Mossad, the Israeli
intelligence agency, did indeed send representatives to the U.S. to
warn, just before 9/11, that a major terrorist attack was imminent.
How does that leave room for the lack of a warning?
CAMERON: I remember the report, Brit. We did it first
internationally right here on your show on the 14th. What
investigators are saying is that that warning from the Mossad was
nonspecific and general, and they believe that it may have had
something to do with the desire to protect what are called sources
and methods in the intelligence community. The suspicion being,
perhaps those sources and methods were taking place right here in
the United States.
The question came up in select intelligence committee on Capitol
Hill today. They intend to look into what we reported last night,
and specifically that possibility – Brit.
HUME: So in other words, the problem wasn't lack of a warning, the
problem was lack of useful details?
CAMERON: Quantity of information.
HUME: All right, Carl, thank you very much.
Copyright: Fox News