20 May 2006

A pretty bizarre story

Ynet published what would be a good plot for a new spy serial.

Terrorists planned to blow up El Al plane

Swiss security services uncover 2005 plot to bring down Israeli plane during takeoff through RPG attack.

A plot to blow up an El Al plane at Geneva's international airport has been thwarted. Swiss intelligence agencies uncovered a terrorist cell last December that plotted to strike an Israeli plane while it was taking off through an RPG rocket attack in December 2005.

RPG would definitely not figure as a weapon of my choice to bring down a plane, but the dolts in question probably do not know much about these affairs. Anyway, it is just a start for the thickening intrigue.

The plot to shoot the plane was uncovered by Claude Kuvasi, a Swiss secret service member who worked under the codename Babylon. Swiss newspaper Blick reported that Kuvasi was planted as an undercover agent in an Islamic center in Geneva to find out if a terror cell was operating in it. In order to encourage the trust of the head of the Islamic center, Hani Ramadan, Kuvasi converted to Islam.

Really, a courageous act. It seems that a valiant Swiss secret service warrior will stop at nothing in pursuit of his goals. And here comes the big payola:

Phone taps on the terrorists revealed that the terrorists planned to smuggle an RPG rocket from Russia and fire it at the plane, before escaping to Iraq. Kuvasi gave a warning about the terrorist attack to his handlers on December 12, 2005.

However, the seeds of the new teachings grew and produced fruit:

Kuvasi, who became closer to the head of the Islamic center in Geneva, Hani Ramadan, feared that his new friend will face complications due to the fact that some of his students planned a terror attack. Kuvasi wrote a letter to Ramdadan saying his conscience guided him and he was therefore obligated to reveal how Swiss intelligence spied on him.

The revelation has since taken a bizarre twist, with the Blick newspaper reporting that Kuvasi, who recently carried out a spying job in Syria, escaped his handlers, and is hiding in Egypt. The former agent is now hoping that the current revelation will prevent Swiss intelligence from interrogating and torturing Islamic suspects.

If this story doesn't leave Le Carre standing, I am a big hairy spider. Er... actually I am, but it does not matter.

In related news Ynet brings up another Swiss twist, directly related to the above:

Europe objects to El Al's anti-missile shield

European countries set to bar Israeli aircraft equipped with ant-missile system from landing at their airports

El Al passenger planes will be barred from landing in some European countries because they have been equipped with defense systems against shoulder-held missiles, German newspaper Der Spiegel reported. The Swiss aviation authority has already barred El Al aircrafts equipped with the new system from landing in the country, and the German paper said more countries are expected to soon follow.

Of course, the El-Al defense system does not help against RPGs, only against missiles. In any case, the decision hardly lends itself to a logical explanation. It has rather more to deal with the usual EU bureaucracy and stupidity than with anything else.

Oh well, we should just wait for the usual scum deciding that it is the turn of one of European airlines to become a target.