Mossad, Sonic Weapons & Khaled Meshaal
On September 25, 1997, Khaled Mashal—a prominent Hamas leader—was the target of an assassination attempt carried out by the Israeli Mossad under orders of the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Two Mossad agents carrying Canadian passports entered Jordan and injected Mashal with an unknown nerve toxin. A few days later, Netanyahu surrendered to international pressure and provided the antidote. Toxin and antidote were developed by the Israel Institute for Biological Research; its name is often shortened as IIB.
I followed with interest the reports; back then I had enough contacts to corroborate the IIB involvement. You never know when such a piece of information would become handy; for me, it did years later. The IIB is located not far from the Weizmann Institute of Science (WIS), on the southern entrance to Nes Tziona (a town whose name means “Flag towards Zion”). Overall the area is known as Israel’s academic powerhouse, with most of Israel’s weapons of mass destruction linked one way or the other to it.
The IIB makes a remarkable sight because there is nothing to see there. A solid wall blocks everything. Approaching the guards at the entrance is not a bright idea, since this event would probably end with a quiet investigation of the person attempting that. Next to the main entrance is what usually is referred to as the “other-half.” Roughly half the institute had been purchased by a Japanese pharmaceutical corporation; glimpses of the interior of this part are sometimes available to passersby. Invisible, the other areas of the institute are less benign in nature. Developing biological warfare is not considered a benevolent occupation; accordingly, every institution developing it would be as isolated as the IIB is. Moreover, there is no doubt about these activities. On October 4, 1992, El Al Flight 1862, crashed into the Groeneveen and Klein-Kruitberg flats in the Bijlmermeer neighborhood of Amsterdam. Many people died and were injured by this Boeing 747 cargo plane. The cargo included over 280 kilograms of depleted uranium, which is used for certain types of missiles, and 190 litres of dimethyl methylphosphonate, which could be used in the synthesis of Sarin nerve gas. The owner of the latter was the IIB.
Israel is so tiny that reality folds there in odd ways. Everything is related to everything else. Dating back to 1955, and located in Ramat Gan—part of Gush Dan, the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area—Bar Ilan is the second largest academic institution in Israel, and the most dubious one due to its semi-open links with the Shin Beth and the Mossad. Bar-Ilan is a hotbed of Shin Beth patsies, agents and informants. Yigal Amir, Rabin’s assassin, and his Shin Beth manipulator, Avishai Raviv had been students there. The fact that extreme nationalism is bred there is not surprising, after all the university enforces Talmudic-Pharisaic interpretations of the Bible even on exact sciences students. It is named after Rabbi Meir Bar-Ilan, a Religious Zionist leader who believed in providing a dual curriculum of secular academic studies and Talmudic Torah studies. In The Cross of Bethlehem, I described David Y. He was a Shin Beth informant studying at the Weizmann Institute of Science. David was the second and last student admitted to WIS just after the initial interview the year I began my studies at the WIS. I was the other one. However, his admission had been different from mine. He had prior knowledge of the identity of the members of the selecting panel. Consequently, he had brought relevant scientific articles to the event. He showed them to me while we were waiting outside the interview room. Like Avishai Raviv and Yigal Amir, David had graduated from Bar Ilan University. The impression the papers caused on the panel was enough to get him into the WIS. After he practiced spying on us, he left for the USA. There, he siphons out science from America to Israel.
Bar Ilan University is also unexpectedly related to the IIB. The State of Israel uses an effortless trick to disguise some of the academic titles achieved in its universities. In the first years of the Weizmann Institute of Science, the institution was busy developing Israel’s nuclear program. In order to protect the true work of the scientists there, the academic degrees achieved in the process were awarded by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Most of these works were disguised so that their connections with the Israeli nuclear mass destruction weapons program were not evident. The same goes for the Bar Ilan University, which issues academic titles for works carried out at IIB.
Back to Mashal’s assassination attempt, several of the reported details were bizarre. The first was the large disclosure of certain details of the attack by the Hebrew media. Usually censorship obscures these details. But now, the authorities seemed eager to disclose details. Were they intended as disinformation? Great emphasis was given to “a device attached to Mashal’s left ear that transmitted a lethal nerve toxin.” Yet, the device was never found. Khaled Mashal reported a strong noise like an explosion in his left ear. Could another explanation be offered? What does Occam’s razor indicate here? What was the simplest hypothesis to explain the attack? I kept reading the reports.
Khaled Mashal was slowly dying in Jordan; many systems in his body began deteriorating until Netanyahu handed over the antidote. The deterioration of several systems indicated the unknown toxin was apparently administered below the Blood-Brain Barrier (known as BBB). The BBB is a separation of circulating blood and cerebrospinal fluid in the central nervous system and protects the brain from many toxic molecules and microorganisms. A toxin would usually be injected above the BBB if the brain is the target. The toxin would most often be injected below the BBB in order to target the body. For attackers, the latter is easier, since the body is a much larger target than the head; moreover, the main sensory organs of the body are located in the head, making undesired access to it difficult. Nevertheless, we have a testimony of an explosion in the ear combined with an acute poisoning of the body. Does that mean the victim’s testimony is wrong?
Not at all; it means the operation was complex. Probably, Khaled Mashal was attacked twice, once by each one of the Mossad agents approaching him. The first agent aimed a cellular phone loudspeaker at Mashal’s ear and hit him with a soundwave shock. It inflicted pain and disorientation on the victim; that’s why he fell on the ground. The toxin was slow acting and wouldn’t have caused that, the subsequent slow deterioration of the victim’s condition indicates that.
That probably was the explosion reported by Mashal. It was the way the cowards made sure he wouldn’t be able to react. Nonetheless, he was stronger and braver than they were. The fact that the device was never found can be easily explained. Maybe, the Jordanian authorities found a mobile phone on the suspects or nearby the crime scene. Maybe, it was taken by a passerby during the confused seconds after the attack. Such a device could have been a key element of the attack. There is no better way of hiding a sound-emitting weapon than within an artifact naturally designed to emit sound. On January 5, 1996, the Shin Beth assassinated Yahya Ayyash with the help of a modified cellular phone. The Khaled Mashal assassination attempt may have been an additional instance of such a use.
Meanwhile, the second agent injected the toxin somewhere in Mashal’s body and dropped the unsuspicious tiny needle used to perpetrate the crime. It could have been disguised as any sharp-shaped artifact. Nobody searched for a needle because everybody was focused on the sound-emitting device.
The operation illustrates Israeli cowardice in two aspects: the attack was from behind and Netanyahu didn’t stick to his decision to assassinate Mashal by providing the antidote to Jordan. It illustrates also the illegitimacy of the Israeli administration: no judicial process was ever held against Khaled Mashal and thus the assassination attempt was illegal. Moreover, it disclosed the use of sonic weapons. It is easy to find technical data on them, but extremely difficult to locate their users. They are kept as secrets comparable to nuclear weapons. The reason is that they can be used inconspicuously without leaving as many traces as fire weapons do, especially since they use directional soundwave packets. Eventually, some of these hellish devices would be used against me during the brutal attack of July 2009.
This is the first part of the chapter of the same name in The Cross of Bethlehem II: Back in Bethlehem.