The U.S. says Israel's international Mossad agents posed as CIA operatives to recruit Jundallah members in Pakistan to assassinate key Iranians, according to the Jan 13 issue of Foreign Policy magazine.Jundallah, described by the magazine as a "Pakistani-based Sunni extremist organization," was in November 2010 designated by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, one held responsible by the U.S. for killing and "maiming scores of Iranian civilians and government officials."
A series of memos written during the final years of the administration of President George W. Bush described the operation in which Mossad officers recruited Jundallah terrorists by passing themselves off as American agents, journalist Mark Perry wrote.
He added that the memos debunked reports from 2007 and 2008 accusing the CIA of covertly supporting Jundallah at the direction of the White House."According to two U.S. intelligence officials, the Israelis, flush with American dollars and toting U.S. passports, posed as CIA officers in recruiting Jundallah operatives -- what is commonly referred to as a "false flag" operation," Perry wrote.
Intelligence officials told the journalist the White House was concerned that the Mossad was putting Americans at risk. "No matter what anyone thinks, we're not in the business of assassinating Iranian officials or killing Iranian civilians," the source told Perry.The controversy among top U.S. officials over the operation apparently continued after Bush left office and even into the Obama administration, when Jundallah was finally declared a terrorist organization. Changes in US intelligence cooperation with Israel vis a vis Iran could be related to the history behind the Jundallah operation, according to Perry's report.
Israel as a standard policy does not comment on issues relating to intelligence matters. According to Foreign Policy magazine, the CIA and White House also did not respond to requests for comment.