British SIGINT never heard Kerry’s “evidence.”


"Mossad have nothing comparable to the Troodos operation. The reported content of the conversations fits exactly with key tasking for Troodos, and would have tripped all the triggers. How can Troodos have missed this if Mossad got it? The only remote possibility is that all the conversations went on a purely landline route, on which Mossad have a physical wire tap, but that is very unlikely in a number of ways – not least nowadays the purely landline route.
Israel has repeatedly been involved in the Syrian civil war, carrying out a number of illegal bombings and missile strikes over many months. This absolutely illegal activity by Israel- which has killed a great many civilians, including children – has brought no condemnation at all from the West. Israel has now provided “intelligence” to the United States designed to allow the United States to join in with Israel’s bombing and missile campaign.
The answer to the Troodos Conundrum is simple. Troodos did not pick up the intercepts because they do not exist. Mossad fabricated them. John Kerry’s “evidence” is the shabbiest of tricks. More children may now be blown to pieces by massive American missile blasts. It is nothing to do with humanitarian intervention. It is, yet again, the USA acting at the behest of Israel.
"  Craigmurray


I can't judge Craig Murray's judgement concerning the relative capabilities of British GCHQ and Israeli Unit 8200, but this is cerainly interesting.  pl

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35 Responses to British SIGINT never heard Kerry’s “evidence.”

  1. The beaver says:

    Uh, Huh
    “Although, we are among the Syrian government’s opposition forces, we assume our homeland’s interests to be more important than any other interest and therefore, we have formed a number of battalions to conduct suicide operations and target the US interests in the Middle-East,” Secretary-General of al-Shabab Party Mahir Marhaj told FNA on Saturday.
    He blasted the US and its allies’ warmongering policies and threats, and said, “We in al-Shabab party are highly prepared to confront any war against Syria.”
    Nationalism at play ?

  2. confusedponderer says:

    Troodos is the site of a British SIGINT station on Cyprus?

  3. GulfCoastPirate says:

    For those of us not in the intelligence business – If Mossad fabricated the intercepts wouldn’t someone in our intelligence services know it and wouldn’t it have leaked by now? I do think this is a possible scenario but I’m not sure why those in our intelligence community would keep it quiet.
    Also, do military units still use land lines as a sole means of transmission? It seems to me they would be fairly easy to disrupt by any side in an urban conflict.

  4. turcopolier says:

    That is what the linked article says. pl

  5. Fred says:

    Mr. Putin is asking to see the ‘evidence’:

  6. turcopolier says:

    Land lines are still used because they are hard to intercept unless you can get a tap on the line. It is not necessarily a question of fabrication. SIGINT intercepts are often ambiguous in their meaning. People often see in them what they wish to see. pl

  7. JerseyJeffersonian says:

    Indeed. When the KAL flight was shot down by the Soviet interceptors during President Reagan’s term, the recording of the radio intercepts between the fighters and their command was played back in the Security Council of the UN.
    All of this hugger mugger about the supposed Israeli intercepts, and the refusal to produce the evidence in the same forum? Well, it speaks for itself, doesn’t it. I call BS on the whole, manufactured steaming pile. Even if the chemical weapons release was not, from top to bottom a deliberately engineered false flag event, the caginess concerning the signals intelligence that supposedly was gathered speaks volumes. Don’t talk to me about giving away methods of intelligence gathering when something was supposedly picked out of the ether that is so-o-o irrefutably damning that people will die over it, and dire consequences may flow from it in future, and then refuse to come clean over what the content of this signals intelligence actually was.
    Let the world hear it, and judge it for whether or not it is indicative of what it is said to prove. Congress, larded as it is with knee-jerk Israeli supporters, is not a sufficiently objective or skeptical audience to make decisions authorizing aggressive war-making powers.

  8. jonst says:

    Oh there are lots of points among an decision map that you sideline a perspective view/position. You employ the word “know” in your post GCP…but I would argue that “know” is a very tricky determination to make in intel work. “know” is a term of art here…not a mathematical or biological finding. So you don’t have to “keep it quiet”…you simply have to keep it ambiguous. Then you leave it to the media to keep quiet because the info is “ambiguous” and saying something like ‘Israel made it up’ could be, in certain cases, a career ending decision.
    As to disrupting land lines… I am sure it is something that can be done…but I know this too…more landlines than one might guess at, were still working in Nazi Germany in the final days, hell, final hours, of the Berlin Battle. And they had a LOT of ‘disruptions’ in Berlin….years of them.

  9. jurisV says:

    Much more information on the Craig Murray statements and involvement of the Troodos SigInt site in Marcy Wheeler’s post this morning. The story keeps morphing with a number of surprising twists — such as “Something else happened in the interim. The rebels complained that the US and UK had all this intelligence reflecting an impending attack but didn’t tell them.” – See more at:

  10. Lamoe2012 says:

    Maybe my brain is not fully engaged this morning after my early morning bike ride. I need something explained to me what is in Israel’s long term interests in having a bunch of wild eyed Wahabi Sunnis running Syria? I understand the need to keep the pot boiling and keeping Iran out of your back yard, but sooner or later somebody is going to get the upper hand right now it looks like Assad. Maybe a break up of Syria I can see that as being in Israel’s long term interests. Other than the Iran thing I can’t make much sense out of Israel backing the rebels.

  11. Neil Richardson says:

    “…but I know this too…more landlines than one might guess at, were still working in Nazi Germany in the final days, hell, final hours, of the Berlin Battle. And they had a LOT of ‘disruptions’ in Berlin….years of them. ”
    And the Germans achieved surprise against SHAEF, 12th AG and especially the First Army before Wacht am Rhein in 1944. Although the Germans weren’t sure of the extent of Ultra’s success, they (especially Hitler) had some suspicion that Enigma might not have been as “unbreakable” as they’d believed back in 1939. Most communications were carried out via landlines or couriers. While the “victory disease” probably was the main reason for the surprise (the G-2 sections of the above formations did not believe the Germans had the ability to launch a major counteroffensive), Col. Koch (G-2 of the Third Army) had relied on OB analysis from prisoner interrogations as well as HUMINT to reach a completely different conclusion. He’d convinced Patton that there was a huge buildup of armored reserves in the Schnee Eifel. That led to the contingency planning for a potential 90 degree pivot even as the Third Army was starting its winter offensive into the Saar.

  12. smoke says:

    Express reports a leak from a “senior RAF officer” asserting that Brit sigint picked up a conversation in which a Syrian “regional commander” gave orders to an artillery captain to fire chemical shells. When the captain initially protested, he was threatened with execution.
    The conversation was monitored and recorded by British officers based at the remote mountain-top RAF Troodos Signals Intelligence listening post in Cyprus and within minutes details of the conversation had been relayed to GCHQ, Whitehall and the Pentagon…
    … Last night senior Ministry of Defence sources confirmed that the Prime Minister was aware of several intercepts that had been picked up by nuclear submarine HMS Tireless, by RAF spy planes and by the Troodos listening station but they said the messages were initially treated with “caution” by analysts, who feared they might be fakes “planted” by rebels desperate for Western military support….
    The reporting suggests that the leak occurred after the British Parliament vote and before Obama announced that he would wait for a vote by Congress.
    Article ends on some curious notes. Says the Parliamentary vote has caused British troops to withdraw from the hunt for leaders of “Al-Queda in the Arabian Peninsula” who have entered Syria and are directing particularly vicious rebel attacks. Also suggests a concern for chemical attacks on the Cyprus base.
    One note, probably journalistic accident: The article implies but does not state specifically that the “regional commander” was from the Syrian Army.

  13. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Israelis correctly estimate that the tab will be picked up by the United States.

  14. jonst says:

    Nice summary Neil…yup, the Germans always surprised when it came to certain tech feats. They could also be very poor tech wise…equally surprising to me. See radar issues and anti sub warfare, among others.
    I would not be underestimating anyone’s capability to communicate…especially within interior lines….I might make a million other mistakes…but not that one.

  15. jonst says:

    I don’t they are backing the “rebels”…I think they are backing anything that resembles chaos. For the moment, anyway. And anything that severs Iran’s logistical capabilities. They will get to the rebels later, if and when they have to cross that ‘bridge’.

  16. Andrew says:

    If I may take a wild guess…take a hold of the greater Golan area and beyond a.k.a. buffer zone …remove all antiquities (a la Iraq, etc.) liquidate all intellectuals…leave a morass of whacky tribal- wild eyed Wahabi Sunnis-infighting that needs to be culled periodically,thus developing new and improved weapons for the world to use to quell uppity natives. For a more eloquent analysis/vision please visit the Oded Yinon plan. I am sure the good Col. will destroy me if I am wrong

  17. turcopolier says:

    It seems strange that Cameron would accept such a humiliating defeat without revealing the truth. There are limits to the strictures of security. pl

  18. David Habakkuk says:

    It appears from the WSJ report of a few days back that Bandar has persuaded all kinds of people that if things are left in his capable hands, reliable ‘moderate’ Islamists will come out on top in Syria.
    To am ignoramus about the Middle East, like myself, it becomes a bit difficult to work out precisely which Islamists Bandar likes and which he dislikes. And it becomes even more difficult to be clear as to the precise grounds he has for confidence that the strategies he recommends will ultimately empower the kind of ‘moderate’ Islamists we are supposed to like.
    It seems however that quite a few people in Washington and London still see him as some kind of wonder worker.
    As the old operetta song has it: ‘If I am dreaming let me not be woken.’

  19. Mark Logan says:

    Syrian rebels might be capable of acquiring physical access to landlines, and not limiting themselves to listening, right?

  20. lally says:

    From “smokes” excerpts above:
    “but they said the messages were initially treated with “caution” by analysts, who feared they might be fakes “planted” by rebels desperate for Western military support….”
    ? How would the “rebels” have the sophisticated technological capability of planting fake conversations? That’s right up there with the Israelis. Impressive.

  21. turcopolier says:

    All you need is a radio and the right frequencies. pl

  22. Neil Richardson says:

    And in Millennium Challenge 2002, LTG Van Riper had used couriers and IIRC the muezzins’ call to prayer to communicate.

  23. Fred says:

    “… it becomes a bit difficult to work out precisely which Islamists Bandar likes and which he dislikes.”
    I can hear Prince Bandar now. “Oh that attack? Why my Islamists are not the Islamists you are looking for.”

  24. Fred says:

    This would imply that the UK knows the name of the ‘regional commander’, the artillery unit, and its commander. Just how often do ‘regional commanders” give firing instructions via radio to units in the field? I would think not that often and that whoever that unknown ‘captain’ was he would at least have some idea of just who’s been on the radio talking to his unit over the past two years of war. A couple of my relatives played (or tried to) just such radio games with US Army units back in the ’80s when they were on active duty. I can imagine the rebels have been having a go at that for a long time.
    It also means that contrary to allot of other reports Syrian army artillery units have readily available chemical shells – containing Sarin – and a radio order – meaning nothing is in writing – is the type of order to be issued in authorizing their use. I find that awful hard to believe.

  25. DH says:

    I agree with Andrew that the probable impetus for Israel’s incitement of further rebel insurgency is the re-taking of the Golan. But please, let us drop such objectionable adjectives as ‘wild-eyed,’ lest we compromise our semi-unimpeachable objectivity.

  26. SAC Brat says:

    Aircrew did this during the Vietnam war. If they were in a certain area over North Vietnam they would be assigned to transmit a script over a specified frequency to simulate one side of communications with an agent on the ground.

  27. lally says:

    Col. I was thinking more along these lines:
    “According to Mohammad Ayoub, a senior engineer at the TRA, it is possible to not only “twin” phone lines, but to forge phone calls too. “This can be done not only by fabricating the call data record, but by using advanced technology, such as forging a person’s voice,” he said at the press conference.”
    “For his part, Dr. Hoballah explained that Israel was capable of planting a phone line in any other suspicious line.
    “The whole content of a phone could be copied to a completely different phone, and a phone call could be conducted, without the real line owner knowing about it,” Dr. Hoballah explained.
    In parallel, engineer Mohammad Ayoub clarified that an entire audio recording could be fabricated by exchanging the actual voice with another one using the voice print.”
    “”Israel “controls information and data packets, and can enter a network, shut down parts and transfer information or delete it,” he added.
    “They can fabricate calls that originally did not exist.”

  28. turcopolier says:

    The Brits are likely to be intercepting radio signals from Syria. There are all kinds of ways to do these things. Arabs always imagine the most complicated ones. KISS. pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    SAC Brat
    Yes. MACVSOG did all kinds of things like that. we still lost the political war in the US. pl

  30. lally says:

    No doubt the Brits are listening. I found the analysts’ “suspicions” of rebel planted phone conversations to be of interest given that the Israelis can (among other things) actually create phone calls; according to the evidence presented to and accepted by the International Telecommunications Union conference.
    The Lebanese experiences provide the most insight into what the Israelis can get up to. Evidently, their presentation was credible enough for the ITU to officially censure Israel.
    What about those early claims of the Unit 8200 discovery of the implicating phone calls?

  31. smoke says:

    Yes. Hard to know what to make of the leak. As well as the curious assertion that a British unit was in Syria, hunting rebel jihadi leaders, of whom the British, evidently, do not approve.
    All seems pretty raw. Insufficiently coherent to be spin?

  32. Alba Etie says:

    There is also large aquifers in the Golan Heights yes?

  33. confusedponderer says:

    I found Bandar’s rather open threat to Russia remarkable:
    If you play ball I’ll make sure that your precious olympics don’t get ruined by stuff like Chechen acts terrorism. And if you don’t …
    The Russians will not forget that.
    And interesting beyond that: In essence Bandar sais that he can switch Islamist terrorist groups on and of at will. Now how interesting is that?

  34. turcopolier says:

    There are springs up there. That is why there are towns like the ruined city of Kuneitra. How much water I don’t know. pl

  35. smoke says:

    Upon reflection, I think this RAF leak is likely to have been a defense of Troodos & Brit sigint, possibly in response to Craig Murray’s report. Fairly straightforward. To make the following points:
    1) Troodos did, indeed, pick up suspect conversations. AND immediately forwarded them to the relevant govt bodies.
    2) Analysts were not confident that conversations were what they appeared at face value. (Maybe because, like many correspondents here, they are well aware how readily such messages can be falsified.)
    3) A Syrian retaliatory strike, in response to a Brit/US attack would be capable of reaching Troodos – with chemical weapons.
    4) This point not as clear to me. Why is the hunt by a British unit for particularly vicious jihadi leaders of the rebels mentioned? Perhaps to indicate how all the hubbub about airstrikes has had the effect of stopping a more desirable, ongoing, culling operation, which might benefit both Syrian people & British interests.?
    In sum, not an enthusiastic endorsement of the airstrike proposal. British sigint indicating Syrian guilt exists but may not be reliable. There is a danger of losing or compromising Troodos’ capabilities in an air war./ But Troodos cannot be shut down by chemical strikes because it has defensive clothing. One secret operation has already been shut down by Parliament’s vote.

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