HOME About Blog Contact Hotel Links Donations Registration
NEWS & COMMENTARY 2008 SPEAKERS 2007 2006 2005

Friday, January 12, 2007

Secret Talks with Hezbollah

Saudi king Abdallah began a set of secret negotiations with Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah but the initiative was almost torpedoed by an Israeli operation.

According to information obtained by Intelligence Online, four Israeli F-16 fighters were ordered on the night of Dec. 26-27 to intercept the private Falcon business jet of Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief, prince Moqrin bin Abdulaziz.

The aircraft was setting out on a highly secret flight from Jeddah to Beirut and was carrying two high-level members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah who had just met with Saudi king Abdallah bin Abdulaziz. These were Naim Kassem, the movement’s number two man, and Mohammed Fneish, member of the political bureau, a legislator and former energy minister.

Just before the aircraft took off around 11 p.m., the Saudis, who had been warned of Israel’s intentions, alerted Washington and Amman. They also made direct contact with the Israelis.

According to our sources, the Israelis stood down the operation only after a lot of tough talk by Washington to Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert. King Abdallah of Jordan also gave his “personal guarantee” to the Saudi king that Israel would not attack the aircraft, which finally took off after a two-hour delay. It arrived in Beirut without the Hezbollah aides being informed of the threat that had weighed against them.

Details of the negotiations with Hezbollah were decided on Dec. 24 during an official visit the Saudi head-of-state paid to the sultanate of Oman. On the occasion, prince Moqrin, who is head of the General Intelligence Directorate and was accompanying the king, met in Muscat with Iranian intelligence and security minister Gholam Hossein Mohseni-Ejei.

The latter voiced his support for the idea of a visit to Saudi Arabia by Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah for talks on the Lebanese crisis. The two intelligence chiefs also agreed that a pilgrimage to Mecca that Nasrallah would be making for the first time since Hezbollah was founded in 1982 would be presented as the official reason for his presence in Saudi Arabia.

At the same time in Beirut, the Saudi ambassador, Abdulaziz Khoja, wound up preliminary talks with the Hezbollah leader. As a result Moqrin arrived in his private aircraft in Beirut on the evening of Dec. 26 and was discreetly led to one of the apartments used by Nasrallah in the southern suburbs of Beirut. It was planned the two would leave shortly afterwards for the airport. But just before leaving Nasrallah received a message and announced he was cancelling his trip “for security reasons.” It was thus Kassem and Fneish who traveled back with Moqrin, to be received for three hours by Abdallah. Others attending the secret gathering included prince Bandar.


Web IntelligenceSummit.org
Webmasters: Intelligence, Homeland Security & Counter-Terrorism WebRing
Copyright © IHEC 2008. All rights reserved.       E-mail info@IntelligenceSummit.org