Yes, it is a reference, and if you do not see the reference in the first second, this blog is not for you (no judgement). The BBC alerted me to two events playing at this very moment and in light of the Al Jabri situation, I wonder how stupid people have become. Or better stated, how on earth did essential skills get lost this fast and this complete?
The first article is ‘London ‘hitman’ on trial over plot to kill Pakistani activist in Netherlands’ (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-59988413) a mere two hours ago. There we see “Kingston Crown Court heard that Mr Goraya, who was living in Rotterdam at the time, “was known for speaking out against the activities of the Pakistani government and appears to have been targeted for that reason”.” This gives me a few issues on the matter. In the first on what planetary scale is any activist worth £100,000? In the second, if this was a proper operation, there would be little or no intel on the matter before the deed was done. I am disputing the abilities of MI-5, MI-6 and the AIVD, but to have such a complete picture implies that the stage was not about removal, but about visibility. Basically the person known as Muhammad Gohir Khan was a dead spy from the start, the numbers were excessive because there was every chance he would fail, but colour me happy, there are a dozen Pakistani minded people in Rotterdam who will give it a try for €10,000. That is my thought on the matter. As I see it and as I see the information pass me by, I am reminded of the 70’s with Russians dressed in weird raincoats like they are Humphrey Bogart on route to a renaissance movie fair. So when we see “the prosecution alleging he reacted “enthusiastically” to a proposal by a man named only as “MudZ””, I see a setting where MudZ is leaving a message to Pakistani entrepreneurs in the Netherlands that there is a decent bag of cash waiting for them. No matter how we judge them, the Inter-Services Intelligence of Pakistan knows what its been doing, they have been sharpening their teeth on Indian operations for well over a decade, as such the weird amount and the visibility that we see implies that Muhammad Gohir Khan was always intended to be a dead spy. The problem is that both sides (Dutch and United Kingdom) took the bait and now the contract is firmly on Dutch soil, no contact, a mere contractor needs to do the deed, send the image of accomplishment and the transfer (most likely via Western Union) will be in effect. And in this Lieutenant General Nadeem Ahmad Anjum will be enjoying a lovely cup of tea looking and the chaos that two or three agencies caused for him, the bast spy in all this is the one who does not realise what he or she caters to, if the unknown is a cadaver, it will be a John or Jane Doe that does not realise what they were until the message that “Ahmad Waqass Goraya has been dealt with” is out in the open. Intelligence at its (almost) finest.
The second article, which was also from the BBC is one that hit the wires 12 hours ago (at https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-59977916), there we see ‘Israel says it broke up Iranian spy network that recruited women’, now the news is not that staggering, it is out in the open that the state of Israel has a excellent record in stopping Iran and with the retirement of General Soleimani their work became increasingly more easy. So when I see “The Iranian handler, who called himself Rambod Namdar, allegedly approached the women on Facebook and then kept in contact with them for several years via the encrypted messaging service WhatsApp”, so at what point is Facebook a secure connection? And when I see “four Jewish women of Iranian descent, who the Shin Bet said were recruited by a handler claiming to be a Jewish man living in Iran”, as well as “Shin Bet said this was a “serious case” in which there was a plan to establish an Iranian spy network inside Israel, and that the women faced “severe charges”” I wonder if any of the women considered walking into Mossad HQ stating that something weird was going on and asking Mossad for directions. The idea that anyone from Iran trusts Facebook to hold a candle for them is ludicrous in a few ways and from there the pot stirs a little louder and a little less sincere. A stage that Shin Bet saw and prevented, hopefully in time to stop Iran causing any havoc. The weird part is that all this logically speaking should have had close to zero chance of success, so why did it? Did we forget to activate the common sense in our brains? Did we switch off critical thinking? I do not presume to know, because I wonder how this could have continued to this degree, on both fronts I might add. If people are that gullible, I do not envy the work Shin Bet has ahead of them, things are a mess. And people who cultivate such activities without vetting the intelligence are doomed to be a tool, optionally a dead tool. So whilst Shin Bet wonders where this Rambod Namdar is at present, I reckon that he (or whoever he/she is) needs to stay under the radar in Iran for some time, because Mossad is looking for that individual now.
Two cases in a day and that is when we consider the previous issues with Al Jabri, I merely wonder what on earth is going on with global intelligence and illegal operations, it boggles the mind. Did Facebook make everyone stupid?