The Next 9/11: Made in Israel?

Citing the possibility of a terrorist organization getting hold of a nuclear weapon as the greatest threat to U.S. security, Barack Obama persuaded 46 other countries at the recent Nuclear Security Summit to agree to secure the world's loose nuclear material. Those leaders who came to Washington might have made done more to avert a nuclear attack, however, if they had asked the U.S. President to account for America's own loose nukes.

Of course, President Obama may not even be aware of the egregious failure of the United States to secure its nuclear materials and know-how from the predation of its alleged "closest ally." But since Obama is unwilling to even "speculate" about which country in the Middle East has nuclear weapons, he could hardly be expected to acknowledge how it got them.

In a recent article aptly titled “Loose Nukes in Israel,” Grant F. Smith, director of the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRMEP) and author of Spy Trade: How Israel's Lobby Undermines America's Economy, shows how "the U.S is a sieve for Israeli nuclear espionage."

The massive arms smuggling network set up by David Ben-Gurion in the United States in the 1940s had acquired a nuclear branch within a decade, according to Smith. The 1955 purchase of the Apollo Steel Company plant in Pennsylvania was financed by David Lowenthal, a close friend of Israel's first prime minister and a former member of the Haganah, the precursor to the Israeli army. The following year, Dr. Zalman Shapiro, head of a local Zionist Organization of America chapter, incorporated the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) at Apollo. Before long, NUMEC was receiving large quantities of highly enriched uranium and plutonium from Westinghouse and the U.S. Navy for nuclear reprocessing.

By the 1960s, the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) became suspicious of security lapses at NUMEC, and even considered suspending its "classified weapons work." A 1965 AEC audit discovered that 220 pounds of highly enriched uranium were unaccounted for. The following year, the FBI launched its own investigation, codenamed Project Divert, to monitor NUMEC's management and its frequent Israeli visitors. Nevertheless, the diversion of nuclear material to Israel continued unabated. After a September 10, 1968 visit by four Israelis, including Mossad agent Rafi Eitan, a further 587 pounds of highly enriched uranium went missing.

Israel's nuclear espionage against the United States didn't end with its accession to the nuclear club in the late 1960s, however. As former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds revealed, its smuggling network received crucial assistance from three high-ranking officials in the George W. Bush administration. All three have close ties to Israel's military-industrial complex.

According to the FBI whistleblower, Richard Perle and Douglas Feith provided Marc Grossman, the third highest-ranking official in the State Department, with a list of Department of Defense employees with access to sensitive data, including nuclear technology. The list also included highly sensitive personal details, such as sexual preference, problems with gambling or alcoholism, and how much they owed on their mortgages. Grossman then passed on the information to Israeli and Turkish agents, who used it to "hook" those Pentagon officials. In addition, as Edmonds testified in an Ohio court case, the foreign operatives had recruited people "on almost every major nuclear facility in the United States."

After Israel and Turkey took what they wanted from the pilfered secrets, their agents offered what was left to the highest bidder. As Edmonds has told the Sunday Times, American Conservative and, nuclear information was sold on the black market, where anyone-even al-Qaeda-could buy it.

So then, it would seem that those who shout loudest about the threat of terrorists-namely, neoconservatives like Perle, Feith and Grossman and their Israeli counterparts-are the very ones who are aiding them, at least indirectly, to acquire those much touted weapons of mass destruction.

But why, one might reasonably ask, would Israeli agents help their supposed enemies get hold of the bomb?

Well, what would be the likely outcome if Obama's worst fears of a nuclear attack on the United States-or one of its allies-are realized?

Regardless of the facts, some Islamic country- most likely, Iran or Pakistan-would be blamed for aiding the terrorists. And it doesn't require an advanced degree in game theory to predict what America's reaction would be. The retaliation would be so swift and devastating that the designated evildoers might envy the fate of post-invasion Iraqis-also victims of an Israeli misdirection.

If, as Benjamin Netanyahu admitted, 9/11 was "very good" for Israel, a nuclear 9/11 might be even better. As the spellbinding effects of that traumatic event nine years ago have begun to wear off, and with Americans increasingly questioning the costs of a one-sided alliance, it may even be considered necessary.

Maidhc Ó Cathail writes extensively on U.S. foreign policy and the Middle East. Read other articles by Maidhc, or visit Maidhc's website.

5 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. MichaelKenny said on May 1st, 2010 at 9:38am #

    Click to the Israeli article linked to at “one of its allies”. It’s hilarious! The article starts: “Jihadists close to al-Qaeda explicitly warned in new communications that Germany will be the target of the next 9/11-scale terrorist attack. The timing of the strike, they say, will be within the next few weeks.” Really! They just said it like that? With the Israelis conveniently listening? Just how stupid do the Israelis think we are? Of course, on past performance, an attack in Europe causes Europeans to pull back, not to become agressive, and an attack on Germany would probably force the German Government to pull its troops from Afghanistan. And the more spectacular the attack, the more it will do that. Assuming this is all an Israeli stunt, will they really be stupid enough to shoot themselves in the foot?

  2. JE said on May 1st, 2010 at 11:04am #

    there is a number of people out there who think there is evidence to suggest Israel had a hand in the 1st 9/11…

  3. bozh said on May 1st, 2010 at 11:27am #

    I always assumed that Israel cld have never manufactured wmd if left to own devices.
    The story by maidhc appears plausible. It does not seem likely that any european country wld help israel manufacture or obtain wmd. It wld be intersting to find the whole truth and even if israel has these weapons.

  4. Ismail Zayid said on May 2nd, 2010 at 12:35pm #

    It is a well-established fact that Israel obtained, directly from the US, as well as France, the nuclear material and know-how that helped it develop its nuclear arsenal, over forty years ago. It is also a well-established fact that this arsenal includes hundreds of nuclear weapons. Yet, President Obama, when questioned by Helen Thomas about what countery in the Middle East has nuclear weaponry, he said is not willing to speculate. This demonstrates, convincingly, the height of his hypocrisy and the total submission of the White House to the Israeli lobby.

    Israeli role in international terrorism is well-documented as well as its role in fomenting the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Will this go beyond that, inclding nuclear weaponry, we have to wait and see.

  5. mary said on May 3rd, 2010 at 4:50am #


    Was there a false flag on the car roof or even an Israeli one?

    Posted on 03. May, 2010 by Raja Mujtaba in Opinion