CIA sees Israel as No.1 espionage threat in Mideast: AP report
A number of current and former US intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said Israel is the top threat for CIA’s Near East Division which undertakes Washington’s espionage activities across the Middle East, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.
“This means the CIA believes that US national secrets are safer from other Middle Eastern governments than from Israel,” the report said.
Both the CIA and Israel’s prime minister’s office have declined to comment on the issue.
The report comes on the heels of a new revelation by the White House that the houses of several CIA agents in Israel have been recently broken into.
In the most recent instance of such intrusions, the CIA station chief in Tel Aviv discovered that sensitive equipment he employed to communicate with the CIA headquarters in Virginia was tampered with.
“It is likely that Israeli intelligence is linked to the cases,” the report said.
“Israel employs highly sophisticated, professional spy services that rival American agencies in technical capability and recruiting human sources.....Israel as a steadfast US ally enjoys access to the highest levels of the US government in military and intelligence circles,” the report noted.
The existing mistrust between Washington and Tel Aviv becomes more manifest in Israel’s exclusion from the “Five Eye” umbrella.
The Alliance which incorporates the US, Britain, Australia, Canada and New Zenalnd agree to share intelligence and not to spy on one another.
The report pointed out that Israel is not America's closest ally at least “when it comes to whom Washington trusts with the most sensitive national security information.”