Friday, June 25, 2010

Claims Israel uses Australia as spy base

Claims Israel uses Australia as spy base
February 18, 2005 - 6:44PM

uses Australia as a base to monitor the activities of potential enemies in the region, according to an American security expert.

The Israeli diplomat expelled from
Australia in December, and now linked to Australian Attorney-General Philip Ruddock's daughter, was likely involved in intelligence gathering towards that end, said Paul Buchanan, who has worked for the US military and defence department.

Canberra-based diplomat Amir Lati's visits to two alleged Israeli spies in custody in New Zealand last year, before his expulsion from Australia, suggested he was a "handler" of the pair, said the New Zealand-based academic.

The most credible suspicion about Lati was that he was engaged in official covert intelligence gathering, Buchanan said, where a diplomat conducts spying operations under the guise of his official role.

He said Israeli diplomats and local supporters involved in such espionage in
Australia were part of a campaign to gather intelligence on anti-Israel activity in South-East Asia and the Pacific.

Australia and New Zealand are the first line of defence against an Islamist movement that operates in the Pacific Rim," said Buchanan, a senior lecturer in political studies at the University of Auckland.

"They spend most of their time looking at
Indonesia and Malaysia and now the smaller Pacific island countries."

In his diplomatic capacity, Lati last year visited Israelis Uriel Zoshe Kelman and Eli Cara in an
Auckland jail.

Prime Minister Helen Clark accused the pair of spying.

Convicted last year of passport fraud, they were later deported from NZ.

Cara had been based in
Australia as a travel agent and crossed the Tasman many times.

On Friday Clark's office said there were diplomatic moves afoot between
New Zealand and Israel to resolve the issue, which has damaged relations between the two nations.

Buchanan said Clark had been foolish to confront
Israel over the matter as the Jewish state would be less likely to share crucial intelligence with New Zealand.

had taken the right approach to quietly expel Lati without explanation, he said.

"You do not want to jeopardise that relationship over a small diplomatic incident - the New Zealanders have."




But they're dealing, of course, with two scandals, the Israelis, because it's now been revealed also that Amir Laty's replacement, a Mr Arye Scher has been linked to a child sex scandal in Brazil when he was posted there in the year 2000. He was cleared of wrongdoing but sanctioned in Israel, and there's moves by the Jewish community here to stop him coming to Australia.

We have enough home grown peadophiles thanx without specialists moving in. Thats one less. Shame he did'nt get caught here. We could have set our Australian Special Operations Group onto him --------->Link

Amir Laty linked to Mossad spies in NZ

AM - Saturday, 19 February , 2005 08:08:00
Reporter: Louise Yaxley

John Howard flies to New Zealand later today leaving behind uproar over the apparent expulsion of an Israeli diplomat late last year. Amir Laty left Australia in late December. The Federal Government won't say why and refuses to confirm that he had to get out or he would have been expelled.

But across the Tasman there is nothing quiet about the row with Israel. There, the Prime Minister Helen Clark cut off all high-level diplomatic contact over her accusation that two Israeli men were spies. While they're being handled very differently, the two cases are linked, as Louise Yaxley reports.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Amir Laty spent just over a year as a junior diplomat in Canberra. And he's reported to have spent plenty of that time drinking at the capital's nightspots and bars, mixing with a wide range of locals, especially women.

But also during that time he travelled to New Zealand to visit two Israeli men jailed for falsely trying to obtain a New Zealand passport. Those two men were later deported. Prime Minister Helen Clark claimed they were part of Israel's spy agency, Mossad.

That visit could have been part of Mr Laty's consular duties but there are suggestions it was much more and that his links to a bungled operation in New Zealand are the real reason he had to get out of Australia.

Jim Veitch is Associate Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Victoria in Wellington and he specialises in Middle Eastern affairs and terrorism.

JIM VEITCH: The Israeli diplomats in both countries have been under pressure and they've come under scrutiny for their activities and it's something that has affected, perhaps, the relationships with both our countries and Israel.

And Israel needs to mend those fences pretty quickly because Israel, I think, needs Australian support, more than it needs New Zealand's support. But now that there's been an incident in Australia that's come to light I think they're moving pretty quick to put things right.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Professor Veitch thinks Helen Clark is right to suspect Mossad.

JIM VEITCH: I am aware that Mossad is very active. It either works with people they employ on an associated basis or they use their own people. And Mossad becomes particularly active wherever it perceives that Muslim communities are becoming active and influential.

And I would think that the actions we've seen from the Israeli Government in this part of the world has been part of the attempt of the Israelis to keep an eye on what happens in the Muslim world and where the influences are marked and so on.

LOUISE YAXLEY: The Australian Government won't say why Mr Laty had to leave the country. The Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, says it wasn't because of a relationship with his daughter, Caitlin Ruddock.

But in New Zeland it's more straightforward because the two men were caught in a police sting and found guilty of trying to falsely obtain a new Zealand passport with an identity stolen from a wheel-chair bound New Zealand man.

Professor Veitch says that caused the freeze in relations between Israel and New Zealand.

JIM VEITCH: Helen Clark made it quite clear that all relationships with Israel would be put on hold until an apology had been received from Israel, and it appears that that apology is in the process of being negotiated through diplomatic channels.

The Ambassador of… the New Zealand Ambassador in Turkey, stationed in Ankara, has been approached from Israel and they are presumed to be working on the process of setting up the words that will eventually become public.

LOUISE YAXLEY: So while John Howard and Helen Clark prepare for a few days of focus on some issues common across the Tasman, it's likely that this time they'll also touch on a subject that doesn't regularly feature on that agenda – the extent of Israel's covert operations in this region.

LOUISE YAXLEY: Louise Yaxley with that report.