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Saturday, October 6, 2007

Informant: Meir Kahane Planned Biological Terror Attack On USSR

Meir KahaneINTELWIRE has obtained approximately 2,000 pages of FBI records concerning radical Jewish leader Meir Kahane. This is the second in an ongoing series of releases, published in chronological order. Due to the large number of documents for 1971, they will be posted in three parts.

Click here for an introduction to this series, and documents from 1970

There are some fascinating documents in this installment.

In a January 18, 1971 teletype, an informant provided a detailed look at the inner workings of the JDL. Among the items he disclosed: Kahane was allegedly pursuing a plan to unleash a terrorist attack against the Soviet Union using biological weapons.

"Kahane has seriously discussed capturing a Soviet city. His (illegible) intent is to secure germs of a virulent disease from a hospital or bacteriologist, grow a sufficient amount of these germs, and then smuggle them to a Soviet city. He will then threaten to contaminate the city unless the Soviet (sic) allow Jews to emigrate to Israel. Source advised that the problem of securing the germs and growing them is relatively simple for any bacteriologist. However, the details of getting them to the Soviet Union have not been worked out."

Another document (page 239) presages the sort of complications the FBI would encounter during the 1990s in dealing with Islamic terrorism. An FBI source within the JDL requested that FBI agents train him in the use of explosives.

According to the letterhead memorandum, "the source was advised that the FBI could in no way indoctrinate him relative to explosives. He was also informed that he should in no way instigate conversations or activities which would in any way involve entrapment regarding any activity involving explosives on the part of JDL members."

During the World Trade Center bombing, defense attorneys tried (unsuccessfully) to argue that the FBI's informant in the case, Emad Salem, had entrapped the participants in the conspiracy and provided them with explosives expertise they wouldn't have had otherwise.

While Salem appears to have done no such thing, FBI informant Ali Mohamed did train the conspirators in various paramilitary tactics. Naval Intelligence informant Garrett Wilson also provided paramilitary training and sold weapons to the cell.

I've highlighted a few more interesting notes in the PDF. Much of the current file deals with Kahane's 1970-1971 trip to Israel and persons he met with there, as well as Kahane's efforts to secure a meeting with the Secretary of State William Rogers (by threatening to disrupt the Soviet Mission to the UN until Rogers agreed to the meeting). The documents have been heavily redacted by the FBI.

If anyone spots something particularly noteworthy that hasn't been covered in the previous literature on Kahane, please feel free to drop me a line. Page numbering continues from the first installment.

Meir Kahane FBI Records, 1971 Part One

Page 121: Kahane travels to Israe; an "unknown individual" remains in Israel "obtaining information for Kahane."

Page 127: Kahane and others arrested during a demonstration at the Soviet Mission to the UN.

Page 150: Kahane seeks meeting with Secretary of State; State Department refuses to meet with him, but he says he will go there anyway.

Page 230: Memo to White House, Henry Kissinger, Secretary of State and Attorney General concerning a Kahane appearance. It's interesting to see the intense interest in Kahane's activities across a broad spectrum of government agencies.

Page 264: Kahane threatens to bomb the Soviet embassy.

Kahane FBI Files, 1970

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.


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