Reagan ambassador decimated Italy’s intelligence capabilities in the Arab world

The CIA translated and maintained in its voluminous files an article from the Milan newspaper Il Mondo that described the joint actions of the CIA and “the American Jewish Lobby” to purge Arabists from the Italian intelligence service (SISMI) and counter-terrorism service (SISDE) in the early 1980s.

The article, once stamped “For Official Use Only” and dated January 8, 1982, states that “a mass defection among the [intelligence] professionals” affected “the most delicate of the intelligence agencies.”

The article states that among the blows to SISMI and SISDE they “came with the recent influx of CIA personnel here, both before and after the arrival of the new U.S. ambassador to Rome, Maxwell Rabb (a member of the very powerful American Jewish lobby who has business connections in Israel).” The article continues by stating that “Italy’s capacity for foreign penetration (and ‘foreign’ for Italy in this delicate context means primarily the Middle East)” declined.

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