Is Joseph Moshe Mr. X?
What do a high speed L.A. car chase, a deadly fungus, a man who may or may not be a Mossad biological weapons scientist, and an unknown Mr. X held incommunicado in an Israeli jail have in common? Perhaps very little or a great deal: therein lies the tale.
In 2009, a man named Joseph Moshe, who claimed he was a former Mossad microbiologist who had done research on a deadly fungus at a California lab, allegedly threatened the president (though this account has been disputed). While on his way to the Los Angeles Federal building, the police killed his engine with an electromagnetic pulse, smashed his windshield in and pumped three tear gas rounds and pepper spray into his car, none of which persuaded him to give up.
Finally, after being tasered he was subdued and arrested. But before he could appear in court he was transferred to a state mental hospital. From there he seems to have disappeared. In a Huffington Post thread, a commenter claims Moshe was returned to Israel where he has not been heard from since.
A Truthout article from May, 2010 ties Moshe to a mysterious and virulent fungus epidemic which has killed at least 30 people in an outbreak in the Pacific Northwest that first surfaced in 1999:
…Researchers at Israel’s Institute for Biological Research, located in Ness-Ziona about 20 km from Tel Aviv, have worked with the Cryptococcus gatti fungus. They also report that mysterious Israeli-American scientist Joseph Moshe, 56 years old, may have conducted covert studies with the fungus while he was recently living in California. This report concerning Moshe is especially interesting because Moshe was briefly in the international spotlight in 2009 when he was the subject of a spectacular chase and arrest by the LA police department and SWAT team, assisted by the FBI, Secret Service, CIA, US Army and several other unidentified federal officials. That highly unusual arrest has never been fully explained to the media, and the whereabouts of Moshe has remained unknown since its occurrence.
…According to the Los Angeles media, which recorded the entire incident by helicopter and ground cameras, Moshe claimed to be “a former Mossad microbiologist” who had telephoned a police dispatch number before his pursuit and had made “threatening statements about the White House and the president.” Reportedly, Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan confirmed this when he spoke with several Los Angeles reporters.
…Two former Fort Detrick biochemists, have also linked Moshe to a mysterious disease that is becoming alarmingly common in Vermont and other states, including California. The disease is known to have killed or incapacitated at least 10 to 20 rural dwellers and farmers. This disease is said to be Morgellons disease or “a rare, mutated form of Morgellons disease.”
Haaretz reported on this outbreak of the Cryptococcus gatti fungus as well and noted a possible tie-in between Moshe and the fungus. Haaretz’s security analyst, Yossi Melman, wrote in more detail (Hebrew) about Moshe. He notes a theory that Joseph was also attempting to blow the whistle on Baxter Pharmaceuticals, which was allegedly testing an H1N1 vaccine in Ukraine, then undergoing a severe Swine flu outbreak which resulted in 360 deaths. Joseph, according to some accounts, claimed the vaccine was tainted and was attempting to make this known to U.S. authorities when he was apprehended.
Meanwhile, last June I wrote a post about a mysterious “Mr. X,” being held incommunicado in Ayalon Prison. In an article that was subsequently removed by the Israeli censor, a reporter noted that the man’s identity was unknown even to his jailers, that he was not allowed any visitors, and that no one even knew what his crime was or whether he had indeed committed one.
A commenter in the post thread suggested that Mr. X was Joseph Moshe and linked to the Truthout article. A Reddit link to a now defunct website, josephmoshe.org, also claims Moshe is Mr. X. One wonders what happened to the website.
Even if you discount some or even most of the theories recounted above, the possibility that Joseph may be held as Mr. X in Ayalon Prison should be enough for Israeli journalists to ask the Israeli prison authorities whether they’re holding him or not. Even if he’s not Mr. X, I think the Israeli public has a right to know who Mr. X really is and why he is being held incommunicado. What has this man done to deserve the treatment he’s receiving?
If it turns out that Joseph IS Mr. X it will call to mind another case with certain similarites. One of the most embarrassing espionage cases in Israeli history involved Dr. Marcus Klingberg, a senior biological weapons research scientist who also worked at the Ness Ziona lab mentioned in several of the articles linked above. The Shin Bet suspected Klingberg of spying for the Soviet Union, disappeared him for 10 days during which he confessed to spying, and then sentenced him to a long prison term. He wasn’t heard from again for the next ten years. He completely vanished. His family simply didn’t know what happened to him. The State wouldn’t tell them or the nation anything. After suffering several major strokes in prison, the State allowed him to leave prison and the country where he now lives in exile.
Unfortunately, Israel has a habit of disappearing inconvenient individuals who pose, not a danger to the state, but an embarrassment to it and its intelligence organs (it also did so to Anat Kamm for a time). One wonders what embarrassment the case of Mr. X may be concealing.
16 thoughts on “Is Joseph Moshe Mr. X? – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
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more likely mossad/israeli gov do not want to pay damages/fees/salaries. It is very difficult for most of those operatives, from bottom to top, to kick the habit of exploiting and then toasting their slaves, dupes, guinea pigs and what not.
“embarassment” in israel is most times (not always) related to inability to pay money that was owed, already assigned and alloted, but somehow found its way to someone’s pocket, and got stuck there.
The biggest disappointment from the israel , for me and fwiw, is that it all boils down to petty theft. for quite small amounts, they’ll kill, not one but more. and cover that, even more. these are the people whom we pay huge salaries to protect us…
If Israel is becoming a kleptocracy, which is what you describe, Iris, then I foresee an ever deepening friendship with Russia and the Oligarchs, whilst Europe is repelled to a somewhat greater distance than before.
It is a very interesting question indeed, which side of the fence America will eventually jump: democracy or kleptocracy, what an awkward choice!
I think it’s strange that any government agency would develop “Cryptococcus gatti” since it’s very far from deadly ( as a quick web search confirmed). Therefore I’d dismiss the mossad-deadly fungus theory as pure (and not very kind) conspiracy.
In fact, you never read the Truthout article which I linked to & which made very clear that this is a new strain of the fungus which is in fact terribly deadly & has in fact killed many people (about 25% of those infected by it). That’s a pretty serious toxic agent. Before making up yr mind about things it would be advisable to read the links. I put them there for a purpose & I don’t make these things up.
I’ve read the link. The fungus is indeed deadly – to a very small segment of the population that happen to inhale it (like every other fungal toxin – you can’t “catch” it from someone else). This makes it very ineffective as a weapon, since it wouldn’t really kill that many people. Using only the number of dead without noting the low chance of infection is plain misuse of statistics.
ABC (among others) said as much here:
Mr X. may or may not be Joseph, but the story with the fungus is a bit far fetched.
Selective lethality, ie: an “ethnic weapon”, is a desired characteristic in some quarters, and was the thrust of practically all the “research” at camp 731 in WW2, for example.
Something that only kills when directly inhaled would also be a good, rather than a poor, weapon, too, because no-one wants to unleash something that spreads widely of its own accord -and the ideal bio-toxin clears an area of the enemy and civilians, but allows your own forces to take possession not too many hours or days later.
Fungal toxins are promising on both grounds, and the North Koreans have done MUCH work with Fusella fungus, as did the Russians and everybody else with the relevant intention and the ability to select the obvious candidate.
Other than that, I have no idea about the strengths and weaknesses of this particular story, or whether this fungus is a more useful source of biotoxins than fusella, which is the more usual suspect.
Persons linked to President Botha did have a (fairly half-baked) programme to develop an ethnic weapon in South Africa, I am not aware of any link to President Vorster (his predecessor) or President De Clerk, (his successor), so it was probably just Botha and his circle. Most of what they were sold were bog-standard poisons they could have bought from almost any hardware shop in South Africa anyway.
Nothing attracts the con-artists and charlatans like an illicit government programme with absolutely no accountability.
One doesn’t know if he’s in jail (if he is) for testing a Mossad superweapon on US citizens on US territory, or if he’s in jail for taking money from them on the false pretence that he was doing so.
Richard, this whole Joseph Moshe Mossad microbiologist whistleblower story is a joke. Too bad you fell for it too. You like to tell people to get their facts straight before they comment here, but it seems you failed to do so before writing this post.
The only claims ever made about Moshe being a Mossad microbiologist were made by anti-vaccine radio personality Dr. A. True Ott who claimed that he recieved a phone call from the same guy who was arrested in his car the day before telling him he has proof of some crazy virus conspiracy.
These unproved claims by Dr. Ott were then recycled and pushed forward by conspiracy nuts, who dug up photos of a retired Israeli plant microbiologist called Moshe Bar-Joseph from the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture website as proof, claiming this is the same man. See this photo: http://i31.tinypic.com/23kwu1c.jpg
You don’t have to be a detective to tell that these are two different people, of course, but hey, why ruin a good conspiracy. The nuts wouldn’t let go even after a new, clearer photo of Joseph Moshe, in court, popped up. Here it is: http://www.rumormillnews.com/pix5/0908_StandoffSuspectCourt01.JPG
None of these conspiracy theorists ever bothered to stop and listen to what the “Mossad microbiologist”s 90-year old mother and neighbours had to say about him. Here for example: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local-beat/Beetle-Pursuit-Ends-in-Standoff-53149027.html
Apparently, Mr. Joseph is simply a sick, depressed, mentally ill man who “was usually harmless, but once he gets off his meds, he is screaming profanity”. Like calling up a police hotline and threatening to blow up the white house, I guess.
If Joseph Moshe is Mr. X – I’m a sweet potato.
You’re recounting parts of the backstory which I had edited out as having not been sufficienty proven or credible. So in effect, you’re obscuring & confusing the narrative. I never claimed that the two men were one & the same. Others have, I haven’t. In future, pls. respond to what I”ve written & not what I haven’t. Further, reputable publications like Truthout & Haaretz, including its respected intelligence analyst, Yossi Melman, have published stories paralleling what I reported.
It may be that Joseph Moshe is truly a disturbed man w. no connection to the Mossad. But even if this is true, you seem to have missed the main pt. of what I wrote here which is that Israelis should be demanding to know who the real Mr. X is. If it’s not Joseph Moshe, then tell us who it really is. Why the mystery in a supposedly democratic society?
Come on Richard. You edited out important pieces of information like what Joseph Moshe’s mom and neighbors said about him to NBC because it’s “not credible” yet left completely unsubstantiated claims like “Joseph Moshe claimed he was a former Mossad microbiologist who had done research on a deadly fungus at a California lab” in? This only source of this claim is Dr. Ott! And you didn’t even mention him in your post. This is cheap sensationalism. Who exactly is obscuring & confusing the narrative here?
But it doesn’t end there. You write: “before he could appear in court he was transferred to a state mental hospital”. This is absolutely not true! Moshe showed up in court – there’s a photo of him from there, check the link in my previous comment. The fact that Yossi Melman wrote similiar things to what you wrote doesn’t make it true – it just means that “respected intelligence analysts” can be fooled just as much as bloggers can.
By the way, Melman also claims in his article that Moshe’s sensational arrest wasn’t reported *anywhere* besides in The Huffington Post. I guess he just missed the extensive coverage it received on CNN, NBC, FOX and every other possible TV station and newspaper in the US. If Melman got this easily verifiable information wrong, guess how credible he is about the rest of the story. He didn’t get his information from his sources – he got it from other blogs, just like you. And guess what – they’re all recycling the same wacky conspiracy theory.
All of this has nothing to do with the fact that Israelis should or should not be demanding to know who Mr. X is. It has everything to do with journalistic standards.
I didn’t “edit out” anything. The material you refer to is on different sites & in diff. articles than the ones to which I referred. In fact, I never saw the material to which you refer. Instead of accusing me of editing out anything you might’ve just offered the material to me in order to further augment my reporting. I’m following up w a family member who I’m trying to get to confirm info about Moshe’s mental condition. That hasn’t happened so far, though not for want of trying on my part. I’m certainly willing to amend my rpt. if I get credible direct info.
No, this claim is reported by Truthout & Yossi Melman as well. I didn’t even need to refer to Ott since I didn’t think anything he had to offer was credible. Sorry to bust yr bubble.
I know Melman got aspects of the story wrong. When I knew that I avoided referring to those parts of his reporting. But unlike you he is the intelligence correspondent for one of Israel’s most respected newspapers. I’m not saying he’s perfect. But he has a lot better track record than you I’d venture to say.
Richard, you don’t know who I am and what my track record is – so please don’t go there. Hurling abuse at me is not very polite nor does it contribute to the debate we’re trying to have here.
Now, let’s see: you didn’t edit anything out? You yourself stated in your previous reply to me that you “edited out” parts of the backstory which you considered not “sufficienty proven or credible”.
Of course this material was on different sites than those you referred to. That’s the great thing about googling – you can find lots of information, than cross-check it and discover that not all is what it seems. In this case, and I’m sorry to burst *your* bubble, cross-checking sources would have helped you realize that the claim that Moshe is a Mossad microbiologist came from one source only, Dr. Ott, a source which you conveniently brush off.
Funny enough, you state that you didn’t need to refer to Ott since you didn’t think anything he had to offer was credible. That is, of course, true. Ott isn’t credible at all. Yet everyone that wrote about this story – Truthout, Melman, etc – recycles his claim.
They all did the exact same mistake you are doing – none of them went back and tracked the timeline of this story. Had they checked, they would have found out that all this Mossad conspiracy theory started with Dr. Ott. No official source – police related or whatsoever – ever said anything about Moshe being related to any security agency or being employed as a microbiologist. On the contrary – they all said he’s an unemployed nutcase with a history of complaints filed against him by his own mother.
I know it has nothing to do with your agenda – but this is the truth.
I was talking not about “editing out” credible evidence but about editing out ludicrous conspiracy theories. I was mainly talking about the wild theories about Baxter Pharmaceuticals deliberately poisoning a batch of H1N1 vaccine which some conspiracy theorists were associating Moshe with.
As for Googling, I spent several hrs researching this story & never came across the information you claim I did know & deliberately “edited out” of my post. So much for good faith. You’ll have to excuse my treating you to some scorn. I don’t take well to people like you accusing me of “crimes” I didn’t commit. And it may burst yr bubble to know that none of the sources I used noted that the claim he was a Mossad microbiologist came from Ott.
“They all said” that he was a nutcase is stretching things by a longshot. One police officer said he had a history of mental problems. And if you think someone can’t be a Mossad microbiologist and have mental problems you’re quite gullible yrself.
Well, the key point is if the LAPD arrested this guy they should be able to account for him. It can’t be that hard for someone or a news organization to contact the LAPD and ask what happened to their detainee. If there is no proof he did what he said they did, no charges, no compensation, no nothing, no body, then it shows we live in an unaccountable police state.
the whereabouts of Joseph Moshe, are a matter of private information, as ones medical information doesn’t consider public in the US.
seems like someone was playing the blog owner, i do not believe he will come with such an eloquent BS only second to 1000 nights and night on his own.
it is funny.
The whereabouts of free citizens are indeed private information, but the whereabouts of anyone in custody of the state, be that in police detention, prison, or court-mandated hospitalisation, are very much a matter of public record, in a democratic republic, that is. (Ask a Latin expert to translate “res publica” for you.)
The Story was promoted as a very sensational story.
Where is Joseph Moshe the Mossad biologist .
the question of Mr X has nothing to do with that. and the two shouldn’t be brought together.
there is a thin line between providing legitimate criticism and being sensational, that line have been crossed in the post.
i don’t think Richard was doing it deliberately, i think he was fooled into it.