Possible Israeli spy stole ‘axis-of-evil’ draft: US probe
WASHINGTON: The United States (US) authorities are investigating an aide to a senior Pentagon official who allegedly passed classified White House policy documents on Iran to Israel, with the help of employees of a powerful pro-Israel lobby, a US official has confirmed.
The probe targets an individual in the office of Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas Feith, the third most senior official at the Pentagon, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation believes the man received no money but acted out of ideological support for the Jewish state, the official said. The aide is thought to have passed the information to Israel via at least one person affiliated with the influential lobby group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), the official added. Israeli officials and an AIPAC spokesman denied the allegations.
Senior Israeli officials quoted by public radio in Jerusalem said Israel had not conducted intelligence-gathering activities on the US soil for years. “This case is very bizarre and we don’t know what it’s about,” one Israeli official said.
“We deny these allegations,” the Israeli embassy in Washington said in a short written statement. “The United States is Israel’s most cherished friend and ally. We have a strong working relationship at all levels and in no way would Israel do anything to impair this relationship,” the statement read.
The CBS News, which first reported the investigation late Friday, quoted sources as saying that last year the suspected spy turned over a presidential directive on the US policy toward Iran while it was “in the draft phase when the US policy-makers were still debating the policy”. This put the Israelis, according to one source, “inside the decision-making loop” so they could “try to influence the outcome”. afp/reuters