Special Reports
Cheney secret team involved saboteurs as well as assassins
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jul 24, 2009, 00:14

(WMR) -- WMR has learned from U.S. and foreign intelligence sources that Dick Cheney�s super-secret clandestine operations team, primarily made up of Department of Defense Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) personnel, in some cases worked closely with their Israeli commando counterparts to carry out sabotage against Iranian and Pakistani nuclear facilities, as well as assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists, other individuals who were knowledgeable about the role of Israelis in supplying nuclear materials to Pakistan and Iran, and commit terrorist attacks on civilian aircraft.

Although the CIA decided against working closely with the Cheney-directed JSOC team, agency officials were well-aware of its operations and special relationship with Mossad �Kidon� department, which is responsible for conducting assassinations and kidnappings. �Kidon� is the Hebrew word for bayonet.

During the time Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was in charge of the Pentagon, his neoconservative subordinates, including Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, authorized the entrance into the Pentagon of top Israeli Defense Force and Mossad officers, including Kidon personnel, according to information obtained by WMR. There were no records maintained of the Israeli visits or the identities of the visitors in what was described by Pentagon officials as a complete violation of Pentagon security procedures.

The operations of the JSOC-Mossad team were coordinated by the Office of Special Plans, a unit that operated as a CIA rival under the direction of Feith and other pro-Israeli elements within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, including Feith�s deputy, William Luti, a close adviser to former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Gingrich recently called for stepped up U.S.-led sabotage against Iranian targets. The JSOC-Mossad team also utilized the services of the Iranian terrorist organization, the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), designated as a terrorist group by the U.S. State Department, to coordinate sabotage and assassinations inside Iran.

Because of the rift between the CIA under George Tenet and the Department of Defense under Rumsfeld and his neocon deputies, the CIA backed off the operation for two major reasons: the CIA did not trust the Mossad and Langley saw Cheney as a major threat to more legitimate CIA operations.

In February 2007, Radio Farda, a neocon contrivance operated under the aegis of the State Department, broadcast a news item that Dr. Ardeshire Hassanpour, 44, a nuclear scientist at Iran�s uranium enrichment facility in Isfahan, died from �mysterious causes.� Hassanpour died on January 18, 2007, and it is believed by many that the scientist was one of many �enemies� assassinated by the joint U.S.-Israeli assassination and sabotage team operating under the aegis of Cheney�s office in the White House.

Cheney�s team reportedly struck earlier, on December 23, 2002, when a Russian-built Antonov An-140 crashed into the side of a mountain in central Iran while on its final approach to Isfahan airport. Between 44 and 48 people aboard the aircraft were killed, including 6 Russians and a number of Ukrainian engineers. A woman and child were also on board. The plane was en route to Isfahan from Kharkiv after making a refueling stop in Turkey. Although press reports stated that on board the aircraft were Ukrainian and Russian engineers, the fact that the plane was heading to Isfahan, a major Iranian nuclear research and engineering site raised eyebrows at the time.

The Iranian newspaper, Jam-e-Jam, reported that Mossad agents operating in Turkey had sabotaged the aircraft while it was being refueled in Turkey.

In February 2002, Iran AirTour flight 956 a Tupolev Tu-154, crashed into the side of a mountain near Khorramabad, 270 miles southwest of Tehran, killing all 119 passengers and crew on board. Residents of a village near Khorramabad said they heard a �big explosion.�

On January 9, 2006, a Falcon jet carrying 11 members of Iran�s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) crashed near Orumiyeh, capital of Iran�s West Azerbaijan province. The ground commander for IRGC�s forces, General Ahmed Kazemi, was one of the victims. The joint JSOC-Mossad team, operating from neighboring Azerbaijan, where the Mossad and CIA have major stations, is suspected of being behind the crash. WMR is aware that JSOC personnel, some ex-Delta Force contractors operating under journalistic cover, had already been in Iran to identify �soft targets� for assassinations and sabotage. These personnel allegedly reported directly to Colonel Steven Bucci, the personal military assistant to Rumsfeld at the Pentagon.

On February 19, 2003, another plane, a Russian-built Ilyushin-76, carrying elite IRGC soldiers crashed into a mountain in central Iran. The plane was transporting 302 members of the IRGC from Zahedan in southeastern Iran to Kerman, 500 miles southeast of Tehran.

On November 27, 2006, an Antonov-24 of the IRGC crashed at Meharabad International Airport in Tehran after its engines caught fire on take-off. 36 IRGC members and the crew died. The plane was en route to Shiraz on a �military mission.�

On December 8, 2005, an Iranian C-130 military aircraft transporting a number of journalists from Meherabad Airport to Bandar Abbas crashed into a 10-story building after take-off from the airport. One hundred eight passengers and crew were killed as well as 34 on the ground. The plane was attempting to make an emergency landing when it crashed. The Iranian journalists and photographers, 68 in total, were en route to Chabahar to cover a military exercise. The JSOC-Israeli team is also suspected of being behind the crash of the journalists� plane.

On May 30, 2009, a bomb was found onboard Kish Air flight Y9-7030 MD-82 with 131 passengers. The bomb on the plane, which was en route from Ahvaz, Khuzestan to Tehran, was successfully defused after the plane made an emergency landing. The bomb incident took place just prior to the Iranian presidential election.

And in what may represent a warning by the special U.S.-Israeli assassination and sabotage unit not to probe too deeply into its past clandestine work, a Caspian Airlines Tupolev-154 crashed on July 15 75 miles northwest of Tehran after take-off from Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran en route to Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. Iran and Armenia maintain close relations. All 168 people on board the plane were killed. Caspian Airlines is an Iranian-Russian joint venture airline. An eyewitness is reported by the AP as saying the tail section of the plane burst into flames as it circled for a place to make an emergency landing prior to crashing near the city of Qazvin.

There are also suspicions that the JSOC-Israeli team, with the then-involvement of the CIA, was operational under Cheney�s aegis prior to 9/11. On July 11, 2001, Ali Mahmudi Mimand, the �father of Iran�s missiles,� including the Shihab III medium range missile, was reportedly killed in a mysterious explosion at the Shahid Hemat Industrial Group, south of Tehran. Mimand was chief of Iran�s secretive �Zelzal� missile development group. The JSOC-CIA-Mossad team is believed to have been behind the assassination of Mimand.

The JSOC-Mossad team is also strongly believed by some U.S. intelligence sources to have been behind the February 12, 2008, car bombing assassination of Hezbollah military commander Imad Mugniyeh in Damascus and the poisoning deaths of a number of targets, including Palestinian President Yasir Arafat who was reportedly blood poisoned at his headquarters in Ramallah on the West Bank.

Poisoning with a later conclusion of �death by natural causes� was a favorite method employed by the JSOC-Mossad team. Their fingerprints are suspected in the May 11, 2007, poisoning of Kyrgyzstan Prime Minister Almaz Atambayev when he declared, in the same month, that the U.S. airbase at Manas could not be used in any attacks on Iran. The poison team may have also been behind the sudden death in December 2006 of Turkmenistan�s dictator Saparmurat Niyazov or �Turkmenbashi.� Niyazov maintained a position of strict neutrality and forbid the U.S. from using Turkmenistan territory for military operations in Afghanistan or the use of Turkmen airspace in operations against Iran.

Fast cancer agents, courtesy of the JSOC-Mossad team, also reportedly took the life of Tajikistan�s Islamic opposition leader Said Abdullo Nuri who died from cancer on August 7, 2006, at age 59. Nuri favored establishing an Islamic state in Tajikistan and was seen as close to Iran.

WMR previously reported that the JSOC team carried out the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto in Rawalapindi on December 27, 2007.

The Cheney joint Pentagon-Israeli team goes to the heart of covert activities conducted by the Bush-Cheney administration. The Obama administration has shown every indication of protecting Cheney and other top Bush administration officials from scrutiny. Obama recently extended Cheney�s Secret Service protection by six months, an indication that the White House is concerned that international arrest warrants for homicide may soon be issued against the former Vice President.

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2009 WayneMadenReport.com

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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