Monday, December 17, 2001
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This partial transcript of
Special Report with Brit Hume, Dec. 11, was
provided by the Federal Document Clearing House. Click
here to order the
Part 1 of 4
BRIT HUME, HOST: It has
been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy
was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard
pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a
life sentence. At first, Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was
part of a rogue operation, but later took responsibility for
Now Fox News has learned some U.S.
investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much
engaged in spying in and on the U.S., who may have known
things they didn't tell us before Sept. 11. Fox News
correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a
CARL CAMERON, FOX NEWS
CORRESPONDENT: Since Sept. 11, more than 60 Israelis
have been arrested or detained, either under the new patriot
anti-terrorism law, or for immigration violations. A handful
of active Israeli military were among those detained,
according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also
failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged
surveillance activities against and in the United States.
There is no indication that the Israelis
were involved in the 9/11 attacks, but investigators suspect
that they Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the
attacks in advance, and not shared it. A highly placed
investigator said there are "tie-ins." But when asked for
details, he flatly refused to describe them, saying, "evidence
linking these Israelis to 9/11 is classified. I cannot tell
you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified
Fox News has learned that one group of
Israelis, spotted in North Carolina recently, is suspected of
keeping an apartment in California to spy on a group of Arabs
who the United States is also investigating for links to
terrorism. Numerous classified documents obtained by Fox News
indicate that even prior to Sept. 11, as many as 140 other
Israelis had been detained or arrested in a secretive and
sprawling investigation into suspected espionage by Israelis
in the United States.
Investigators from numerous government
agencies are part of a working group that's been compiling
evidence since the mid '90s. These documents detail hundreds
of incidents in cities and towns across the country that
investigators say, "may well be an organized intelligence
The first part of the investigation focuses
on Israelis who say they are art students from the University
of Jerusalem and Bazala Academy. They repeatedly made contact
with U.S. government personnel, the report says, by saying
they wanted to sell cheap art or handiwork.
Documents say they, "targeted and
penetrated military bases." The DEA, FBI and dozens of
government facilities, and even secret offices and unlisted
private homes of law enforcement and intelligence personnel.
The majority of those questioned, "stated they served in
military intelligence, electronic surveillance intercept and
or explosive ordinance units."
Another part of the investigation has
resulted in the detention and arrests of dozens of Israelis at
American mall kiosks, where they've been selling toys called
Puzzle Car and Zoom Copter. Investigators suspect a front.
Shortly after The New York Times and
Washington Post reported the Israeli detentions last
months, the carts began vanishing. Zoom Copter's Web page
says, "We are aware of the situation caused by thousands of
mall carts being closed at the last minute. This in no way
reflects the quality of the toy or its salability. The problem
lies in the operators' business policies."
Why would Israelis spy in and on the U.S.?
A general accounting office investigation referred to Israel
as country A and said, "According to a U.S. intelligence
agency, the government of country A conducts the most
aggressive espionage operations against the U.S. of any U.S.
A defense intelligence report said Israel
has a voracious appetite for information and said, "the
Israelis are motivated by strong survival instincts which
dictate every possible facet of their political and economical
policies. It aggressively collects military and industrial
technology and the U.S. is a high priority target."
The document concludes: "Israel possesses
the resources and technical capability to achieve its
(END VIDEO CLIP)
A spokesman for the Israeli embassy here in
Washington issued a denial saying that any suggestion that
Israelis are spying in or on the U.S. is "simply not true."
There are other things to consider. And in the days ahead,
we'll take a look at the U.S. phone system and law
enforcement's methods for wiretaps. And an investigation that
both have been compromised by our friends overseas.
HUME: Carl, what about this question of
advanced knowledge of what was going to happen on 9/11? How
clear are investigators that some Israeli agents may have
CAMERON: It's very explosive information,
obviously, and there's a great deal of evidence that they say
they have collected none of it necessarily conclusive. It's
more when they put it all together. A bigger question, they
say, is how could they not have know? Almost a direct
HUME: Going into the fact that they were
spying on some Arabs, right?
HUME: All right, Carl, thanks very much.
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