he culprit behind a massive spying scandal in the U.S. capital has been exposed. A slew of surveillance devices found around the District of Columbia over the years was the work of Israeli spies. But it’s unlikely that the U.S. will take any action. Three former U.S. officials have informed Politico that the devices — International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) catchers, or “Stingrays” — that were discovered near the White House, Senate and other sensitive locations belonged to the Israeli government. Typically used by police, Stingrays, a dragnet as opposed to a targeted surveillance device, work like miniature cell phone towers. When one is set up, it sucks in all cell phone communications within a specific radius, intercepting them before they make it to the tower to be transmitted to the intended recipient. The metadata sent — including texts and other private information — by everyone within the radius is then viewable by whoever is controlling the Stingray... John Kiriakou, the former CIA officer who blew the whistle on the agency’s torture program, told MintPress that the Israelis have a reputation for harebrained or otherwise brazen operations. The Israelis are indeed notorious in the intelligence community for taking risks that other intelligence services would never even consider. The Israelis are also famous for their ‘us against the world’ mentality. Federal law enforcement officers have told me that the Israelis have dozens, perhaps hundreds, of intelligence agents at work across the United States, without the permission or consent of the U.S. government, stealing American secrets at every opportunity and working to infiltrate the policy community, think tanks, government, and defense contractors.”... “It was pretty clear that the Israelis were responsible,” one former intelligence official told the publication. The outlet’s sources went on at length about red flags they’d seen in terms of Israeli spying. “There were suspicions that they [the Israelis] were listening in,” one said, because they “flaunted” knowledge that “was hard to explain otherwise.”... According to Politico, the targets of the surveillance devices around the White House were people close to Trump, with whom he keeps in regular contact. That jibes with previous instances of Israeli spying on the U.S. — for instance, when Netanyahu was reported to have used tapes of phone calls between President Bill Clinton and intern Monica Lewinsky that were said to be “steamy” as leverage for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from prison... Reports on documents exfiltrated by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden characterized one file from the CIA as saying that intelligence sharing between the United States and Israel against third parties is unrivaled and that Israel had also established an expansive spy network conducting espionage against the U.S. While the United States is technically forbidden (a rule it systematically undermined, as the Snowden documents also showed) from spying on its own citizens, that Israel has received not even a slap on the wrist over the Stingray operation in D.C. begs the question: would the United States accept and exploit Israeli intelligence gathered on its own soil? “Donald Trump has had a closer relationship with Israeli leaders than any president in American history,” Kiriakou said. “I think he genuinely doesn’t care that the Israelis spy on the United States. I think he doesn’t see the harm in this and does not feel threatened by it.”
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