Friends in the Ukraine have done tremendous research there regarding the charges against Dirar Abusisi levelled by the Israeli Shabak. I’ve already reported on the debunking of a number of the claims contained in his charge sheet. My sources there have enabled me to expand the critique, and the Shabak’s investigation is rapidly coming apart at the seams.
Here are some salient points:
Several days ago, Vyacheslav Likhachev, an analyst affiliated with the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress, released the results of his own investigation into the charges against Abusisi. Among other things, he found that the Kharkov Military Engineering Academy (as the Jerusalem Post refers to it), where Shabak claims Abusisi studied while pursuing his PhD (which he earned in 1999), ceased to exist in 1992. While I don’t know when Abusisi began his studies, it’s likely he wasn’t yet even pursuing his PhD in 1992.
Commenters here and at pro-Israel blogs have been trumpeting false claims regarding the academic record of Palestinian security detainee. You’ll remember that I reported here that Abusisi, his lawyer, and family claimed he’d invented his past under secret police torture, which resulted in false information being included in the charge sheet against him. Among those fake claims was the name of his PhD advisor and the latter’s so-called expertise in rocket engineering.
In order to justify its charges, Shabak invented a double academic life for Abusisi. They knew he had earned a legitimate degree in electrical engineering specializing in power plant technology and electrical generation. So they had to invent a second academic career in military engineering, which they did by claiming that while he was attending an civil engineering program, he was also attending a military engineering program.
The only problem is that Abusisi didn’t attend the institute claimed in the charge sheet and his alleged academic advisor doesn’t exist. Yes, Shabak-friendly commenters here and at Israelly Cool claim to have located the real advisor who taught him rocket technology. But there are a few problems with the claims, rendering them bogus. The claim is that the Konstantin Petrovich (there is no such name as such in Russian since it omits the family name) referred to in the charge sheet is Barakhov Konstantin Petrovich, of the Kharkov Aerospace Institute (KHAI).
The truth is that Abusisi earned in PhD in the 1990s and the Petrovich linked above joined the department in 2004. Second, from his picture it is clear that this clearly young man would be too young to have served as Abusisi’s PhD advisor fifteen years ago. Third, this man teaches mathematics and not rocket engineering. Fourth, Abusisi studied at an entirely differently academic institution, the Kharkov Academy of Municipal Economy. Other than that, Shabak and their fellow travelers here and at Israelly Cool are golden.
Leonid Levin, a Russian-speaking reader of this blog has provided the name of the real Petrovich which Abusisi likely “gave up” under torture to his interrogators. He is Konstantin Petrovich Vlasov who worked at the Kharkov Academy of Municipal Economy, where Abusisi did earn his degree, at the time when the latter studied there as a graduate student. This Petrovich had nothing to do either with arms research or weapons development and in fact his field of research was electrification, the same as Abusisi’s. Though, to be candid, Ukrainian sources have questioned Vlasov about the former and he does not appear to remember him, as he had many foreign students at the time. The possibility should be noted that Vlasov may not wish to insert himself into the matter since it’s become such a hot potato politically in his country. This may have ‘hindered’ his ability to recall a possible former student.
The BBC’s Ukrainian service reports (in Ukrainian) that an opposition MP who is the head of the parliamentary committee on defense and national security claims that Ukraine’s counter-intelligence service was implicated in the kidnapping. He made a request for further information from the director of the service and received no reply.
Amazingly, Ukrainian media sources say (in Ukrainian) that nation’s foreign ministry is still claiming, despite Israel’s admission that it has Abusisi, that it knows nothing about his whereabouts and awaits a response from the Israeli embassy. It is no coincidence that the Ukrainian minister of the interior (the guy who runs the country’s security apparatus) is heading to Israel soon for a visit to enhance bilateral cooperation. Which may mean there are other future ‘extraordinary’ collaborations in store. This could be the beginning of a ‘beautiful’ friendship to quote Casablanca.
Right-wing Israeli media are now crediting Abusisi with providing the intelligence that led to Israel’s bombing in Sudan a few days ago, which allegedly killed arms smugglers providing weapons to Hamas. The next report likely will credit him with the information that led to Eichmann’s capture in Argentina in 1962!! And the 1982 bombing of the Osirak reactor in Iraq. Word on the street is that he’s also given up the whereabouts of Gilad Shalit, Hassan Nasrallah, Khaled Meshal, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Osama bin Laden, and the Mossad is making plans to act upon this intelligence. Mossad/Shabak hit the intelligence mother lode when they nabbed him!
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.