(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) During a late-May meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak, President Donald Trump leaked highly classified details of a covert Israeli mission deep in Syrian territory, Vanity Fair reported on Wednesday.
According to the report, the mission was carried out by the Mossad, Israel’s national intelligence agency, and Sayeret Matkal, the IDF’s elite special forces unit. Their target was an Islamic State cell that had developed the means to hide explosives in laptop computers, which could pass undetected through airport security.
The new weapon was thought to have been made by Saudi national Ibrahim al-Asiri, al-Qaeda’s master bomb maker in Yemen.
The report said that U.S. Homeland Security officials, promptly followed by British authorities, banned passengers traveling from certain Muslim countries from carrying laptops and other portable electronic devices larger than a cell phone on arriving planes. The ban would only be lifted on an airport-by-airport basis four months later after the appropriate security measures could be adopted.
Details of the covert mission were reconstructed for Vanity Fair by “two experts on Israeli intelligence operations.”
“In a dark night at the tail end of last winter, just a month after the inauguration of the new American president, an evening when only a sickle moon hung in the Levantine sky, two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 helicopters flew low across Jordan and then, staying under the radar, veered north toward the twisting ribbon of shadows that was the Euphrates River,” Vanity Fair’s report stated.
Within the American intelligence community, the Israeli mission was hailed by knowledgeable officials as a “casebook example” of an important ally’s “hard-won field intelligence being put to good, arguably even lifesaving, use.”