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Mossad Assassinates Iran Revolutionary Guard Commander, Prince Bandar’s Secret Meeting With Israelis on Iran

Mojtaba Ahmadi

IRG commander, Mojtaba Ahmadi’s funeral procession

UPDATE: Muhammad Sahimi has confirmed that the victim, Mojtaba Ahmadi was the commander of an IRG intelligence unit in Karaj, a town west of Tehran.  The place also hosts a prison for political detainees.

Ahmadi clearly was murdered (a picture of his funeral is displayed here).  But the IRG says he was not assassinated.  My own Israeli source says that he was (see below) and by the Mossad.  Israel certainly has motivation to commit such a killing and has done so before.

But no Iranian media source has confirmed the Telegraph claim that Ahmadi was the leader of Iran’s cyber-war unit nor that he was assassinated.  The Telegraph report that he was a cyberwar commander was based on condolence messages published by personnel of that IRG unit on a Facebook page.  I have not been able to confirm this either.

The Telegraph journalists who reported this story have a rather spotty previous record of  Iran reporting.  So all I can do is report all this information, allow readers to read the post below and make their own judgment.  In time, what really happened will become clear.

* *

Those boys of the Mossad have been busy assassinating Iranians again. This time, according to a confidential Israeli source, they murdered the IRG commander, Mojtaba Ahmadi, who ran its cyberwar unit. For Farsi speakers, here’s the original report. My source drops a further bombshell (which I haven’t yet been able to confirm independently), that the CIA “tacitly” approved the hit because of the extraordinarily intense level of sabotage by Iran of commercial interests from Saudi’s Aramco to U.S. banks. The attack was approved by Bibi Netanyahu several months ago. Its timing, during an auspicious thaw in U.S.-Iran relations, supposedly wasn’t intentional (if you can believe that!).

bibiton front page

Yisrael HaYom’s front page today trumpets IRG assassination

If you seek tacit indications of Israeli involvement note this celebratory front-age  report in Bibiton (Yisrael HaYom) announcing the IRG assassination.  The headline might as well have said: “Bib did it!”

Earlier Mossad hits were performed with the inside assistance of local MeK agents who did the actual dirty work.  The involvement of two men on motorbikes (a known method of Mossad surveillance and assassination for decades) who were the killers, mirrors the methods of execution of previous Iranian scientists.  If the MeK played a role it would be significant since it would be the first known terror attack in which it had participated since being delisted by the State Department from the U.S. terror list.

If U.S. intelligence in any way approved of the killing, this too would be significant because it would mark the first known instance in which a state targeted the cyberwar personnel of another for assassination.  As I predicted in blog posts here months ago, the arc of cyberwar activism is bending toward escalation and increased lethality.  Not only are the stakes high as nations begin attacking each other in earnest in order to maximize damage to infrastructure, etc. but they are equally high if countries begin murdering the cyber-war personnel of enemy nations.  If the IRG’s cyber commander is a legitimate target, then so are NSA and IDF Unit 8200 officials.  In case, anyone disputes Iran’s ability to commit such an act, remember that Iran isn’t the only country involved in cyber-war operations.  China as well as many other nations do the same things.  They have significantly greater capabilities than Iran.  And once we’ve breached a taboo and killed Iranians, it’s not far to begin killing others.

This marks a desperate new low in Israeli exploitation of terror in order to take a slap at the IRG and sabotage possible Iran-U.S. rapprochment.  The murdered commander will be viewed as a martyr, his subordinates will redouble their efforts to improve and intensify their cyberwar capabilities.  Instead of marking a bold offensive move by the Mossad to attack the enemy on his home turf, it will be seen by Iranians as yet another Israeli provocation and proof that Israel is a rogue state never to be trusted for anything.

Finally, let everyone remember the next time Bibi brays about Iranian terrorism that his own country has succeeded in far more lethal operations and created far more Iranian widows and orphans than anything Iran has done.  This is state terror, plain and simple.

In a related matter, another bombshell (Hebrew) dropped today.  Israel media reported that senior Israeli security officials met in Israel with a high-level Gulf state official to coordinate a military strategy against Iran.  Israel’s Channel 2 TV news also said the official, from  state with no diplomatic relations with Israel, came to Israel for the consultations.  Though the reports did not name him, my source says that he was none other than the infamous Prince Bandar ibn Sultan.  Lately he’s been known as one of the primary arms suppliers for the Syrian rebels.  But his secret portfolio includes all Saudi security engagements in the region including Iran and Syria.  This would mark the first time such a senior Saudi official has broken the Arab taboo against visiting Israel.

The Israeli reports claims that the meetings mean that Israel might be planning to coordinate its plans to attack Iran with Saudi Arabia.  That, in fact, there might be a joint attack.  Frankly, I think that’s hogwash, though I can’t prove it.  It’s much more likely they were meeting to figure out how to continue the anti-Iran front Israel has been working for several years to bolster among the Gulf states.  Given that the U.S. and Iran may be embarking on a process of reconciliation that could lead to a lessening of tensions and resolution of the nuclear conflict, both Israel and Saudi are probably trying to figure out where they go next.

It’s also likely that Bandar and the Israelis met about Syria since they’re now on record as being among the strongest supporters of the rebels.  There is much more that Israel can do to damage Assad than it has already done.  I’m certain Bandar would love to engage Israel more deeply in the anti-Assad alliance.  For its part, though Israel has made a studied attempt to appear neutral in the fight (despite attacking Syrian and Iranian forces on Syria territory at least five times in the past year), Israel’s latest full-throated support of a U.S. air assault on Assad tore the curtain on that claim.

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Oui October 3, 2013, 1:53 AM

    Iran Guard Says Dead Official Wasn’t Assassinated

    (Bloomberg) – Iran’s Revolutionary Guards rejected reports that head of the country’s cyber warfare program was assassinated and said that it was probing the circumstances of the man’s death. The Revolutionary Guards, which didn’t provide the man’s name or rank, said he was found dead near Karaj, a town northwest of Tehran, according to the statement on Alborz website – link.

    • Oui October 4, 2013, 3:33 AM

      Was IRG Officer Killed Pro-Ahmadinejad?

      IRG officer: cause of death under investigation

      (BBC Persian) – Following the death of Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer in Alborz province, the army spokesman said the cause of death has not been “assassination.”

      Gen. Ramazan Sharif, spokesman for the Iranian Students News Agency in an interview with the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps has said the confirmed death “Police are investigating the cause of death for this individual.”

      … A few days ago the website “officers” His body was found a picture of where it was published. This website is a virtual social network, but it seems like people are members of supporters of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

      His body was discovered the location of the user images published on this website are killed with firearms and he’s a close friend of Mr Ahmadinejad has been introduced.

      Photo’s of crime scene

    • Oui October 4, 2013, 5:54 AM

      Iran’s Revolutionary Guards: Officer’s death not assassination

      (Ynet News) – Elite unit denies Cyber War Headquarters Commander Mojtaba Ahmadi was assassinated, calls his shooting death ‘horrific incident.’

      “In the wake of a horrific incident involving one of the IRGC officials … the matter is being investigated and the main reason of the event and the motive of the attacker has not been specified,” said an IRGC statement, quoted by Sepah news.

      Sepah, which is operated by the Revolutionary Guard, ran its report under the headline “Denial of news reports of the assassination of one of IRGC’s officials.” The statement did not identify Ahmadi but a local news website published pictures showing his funeral procession, along with text excerpts of the IRGC communiqué.

      [Identical article published in Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post – "Iran denies assassination in cyber war officer's death."]

      Iran claims cyber warfare expert not assassinated, as Israel remains cagey over involvement

  • Jon October 3, 2013, 2:10 AM

    And you its Mossad and not a war mongering american (cia/nsa) because … ? I mean those heartless americans kill people world wide for decades, who said its not them and the horrific monsters who finance them ? (You know, those evil tax payers)

  • Oui October 3, 2013, 2:35 AM

    Previous reports on secret Israeli-Saudi meetings:

    The Ha’aretz newspaper’s website quoted unnamed political sources in Jerusalem as initially confirming the main elements of the report. It suggested the Saudi official was Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia’s former Ambassador to Washington who is now the national security advisor and who was in Jordan at that time. Olmert’s subsequent denials, in an interview to Ynet, were not very convincing (UPI Sept 25, 2006).

    In response to the renewed discussion of the Arab League peace plan in October 2006, Israeli Justice Minister Meir Sheetrit expressed a willingness to talk about the Saudi initiative. At the same time, it was reported that Olmert had secretly met a member of the Saudi royal family (Reuters, October 4, 2006).

    Assad targets the House of Saud. Syria’s intelligence service, the report says, is recruiting Saudi, Algerian and Moroccan extremists who live in Syria and Jordan to target key members of the House of Saud, including Prince Bandar Bin Sultan. Officials in Damascus blame recent acts of violence in the Ba’athist state on Saudi and Saudi-influenced extremists (Kuwait Al Seyassah, October 20, 2006).

    Israel may join defense pact with Saudi Arabia, UAE May 5, 2013

  • pabelmont October 3, 2013, 6:10 AM

    “This is state terror, plain and simple.”

    Well, yes, if [1] you define “state terrorism” to include such acts AND if [2] you APPLY such a definition to what CIA and NSA and MOSSAD (and the spies and terror-agents of other USA-”friendly” nations do).

    My belief is that the definition may not matter much in the USA since the MSM will never APPLY the definition to the doings of USA and its “allies”. for instances, we call the CIA’s assassinations-by-drone “acts of war”, not “acts of terrorism”. The extreme terror induced in nearby populations is an undesired side effct (collateral damage) of the act-of-war assassination of the intended target.

    And, of course, in the USA and UK, the term “terrorism” is often defined to exclude the terroristic acts of official/acknowledged state organs (police, armies, acknowledged spies) and, presumably, also the terroristic acts of their unacknowledged agents.

    • Andy October 3, 2013, 8:26 PM

      Why should the West have a monopoly on the definition of terrorism? If the peoples of Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia say that drone attacks in their countries constitute terrorism, then they are terrorism: those on the receiving end should get to make the call.

      • Robert Mullen October 4, 2013, 1:10 PM

        Like you, if the guy on the ground claims the action against him was committed by a terrorist(s), who am I to question him?

        In this regard it might be of interest that the National Counterterrorism Center NCTC criteria for labeling someone or group as terrorists in their Worldwide Incident Tracking System (WITS) include the following: “. . .only those that have already been designated as foreign terrorist organizations by the U.S. State Department that themselves claimed responsibility for terrorist actions or status as a terrorist group; or that have been repeatedly and reliably suspected of involvement in specific activities are included in WITS.” Not meeting these criteria for inclusion in the WITS database are failed or thwarted attacks.

        The WITS database is no more, having been transferred to INR in State, where, presumably the NCTC criteria were ignored.

        ref.: Criteria. Methodology Utilized to Compile NCTC’s Database of Terrorist Incidents. 2008

    • lifelong October 4, 2013, 6:23 AM

      “Terrorism is what we call the violence of the weak, and we condemn it; war is what we call the violence of the strong, and we glorify it.”

  • Timashinku October 4, 2013, 1:33 AM

    Looks like you were way off here – not only the guy wasn’t the leader of the cyber warfare unit, the Iranians themselves are saying he wasn’t at all assasinated .
    Check your sources …

    • Richard Silverstein October 4, 2013, 1:39 AM

      I wouldn’t report it unless both Iranian and Israeli sources confirmed it. I’ve offered sources & links. What do you have? Nothing.

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