Vanity Fair published a piece scrutinizing how US President Trump’s relayed secret Israeli intelligence information to Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov. This was previously reported by The New York Times and ABC News back in the late spring – early summer of 2017, although the details were vague.
Vanity Fair claims that during his meeting with Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov and then Russia’s ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak on May 10, 2017, US President Donald Trump relayed information about secret Israeli intelligence operation in Syria, having put the life of the Mossad agent in danger.
According to the article, in February of 2017 two Israeli CH-53 helicopters flew over Jordan and deployed Sayeret Matkal commandos, the Jewish state’s elite counterterrorism force, with along with members of the technological unit of the Mossad, its foreign-espionage agency to Syria. They targeted an ISIS lab where Ibrahim al-Asiri, the Saudi national who had been al-Qaeda’s master bomb maker in Yemen, was developing a new bomb that imitated a laptop battery. It would be extremely difficult to find the bomb during airport security checks.
Vanity Fair heavily criticized Trump for his disclosing the sensitive data to Russian diplomats, citing that this incident may make other intelligence outfits reconsider sharing their findings with the US. The alleged Russian connection to the US President was also called in the question in the piece, stating that only Russian journalists were allowed into the meeting. Both Kremlin and the White House has denied that this exchange ever happened.
The question of the spy who provided Israeli intelligence still remains. It was not disclosed whether he was a double agent Israel had either turned or infiltrated into the ISIS cell, or whether he was simply a local who’d happened to stumble upon some provocative information he realized he could sell. The fact that Israel had its own agents in ISIS raises more suspicion than the flimsy accusations of Trump’s connections to Russia ever did.