U.S. Sources Confirm CIA Operated 'Top' Agent in Israel

"Exclusive" interview with jailed CIA spy Aldrich Ames by Tzadoq Yehezqeli in Allenwood prison in Pennsylvania "last week"

May 1, 1998 - Israeli and Global News
Source: Yediot Achronot in Hebrew, p. 24, April 24, 1998

The United States operated a top and well-connected spy ring in Israel after the Pollard affair was uncovered.That is what transpired from the interview with Aldrich Ames.

Ames began to disclose the information during the interview in Allenwood prison last week but was stopped by the CIA agent present at the interview. Later, sources linked to U.S. intelligence during that period confirmed the story.

The American spy came up when we began to discuss the Pollard affair. Ames admitted that he did not have close ties with the Mosad as he was responsible for collecting information on the Soviet desk, but he knew that "all of us in the CIA were shocked, greatly shocked by the whole affair. Our assumption was that the Mosad was carrying out limited espionage activities through the collection of information in the United States, but we thought that it would not do something like this."

According to Ames, the Pollard affair contributed to a decline in the CIA's image of the Mosad. "From the professional point of view, we thought it was an amateurish operation. They did not take into account the risks involved in such an action compared with the gains."

[Yehezqeli] So it was not considered a brilliant operation?

[Ames] No, not at all.

[Yehezqeli] Former Mosad agent Victor Ostrovsky disclosed in his book that the Pollard affair was not the first example of the Mosad's recruitment of agents in the United States and that it violated the unwritten rule between the Mosad and the CIA not to recruit agents in each other's countries. Israel broke the rule, at least in the Pollard affair. Doesn't the CIA do the same thing in Israel?

[Ames] Oh, yes. In fact, that is what I understood at the time. [end Ames]

At this stage, Ames stopped the interview and went to confer with the CIA agent who supervised the interview. When he returned a minute later, he announced that he could not continue. "There are aspects that I cannot discuss," he explained.

[Yehezqeli] Discuss it in general terms, if you like.

[Ames] According to what I know, we did not do it in Israel prior to the Pollard affair.

[Yehezqeli] And after Pollard?

[Ames] I cannot say.

[Yehezqeli] Because you do not know or because you cannot tell us?

[Ames] Because I cannot say.

[Yehezqeli] Because of the restrictions?

[Ames] Yes. [end Ames]

At this point, the CIA officer lost her patience and told me to stop interviewing Ames on the subject.

Some intelligence sources with whom I spoke this week confirmed the existence of an Israeli who had worked for the CIA. They said that the agent had operated for an extended period and that it was not a one-time case of handing over information. "The agent was never caught by Israel," a U.S. source told us. But the source contradicted Ames' remarks that the agent was recruited and operated only after the Pollard affair. "On the contrary," the source said, "it is true that there was such an agent, but he was operating at the time Pollard was captured.

Following Pollard's capture, the CIA quickly stopped using him. They did not want a huge political scandal like the one the Pollard affair caused Israel.

Justice For Jonathan Pollard Note:

Jonathan Pollard was


employed by the Mossad. Rather he was an agent of


. LAKAM was an Israeli Ministry of Defense intelligence Bureau.
See also:
  • "Yes Virginia, the USA really does spy on Israel"