Friday, July 27, 2007

Wikipedia and the Intelligence Services

In the aftermath of the Lockerbie bombing in 1988, the finger of suspicion quickly pointed to a Syria-based Palestinian organization -- the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, General Command (PFLP-GC) -- hired by Iran. The terrorist group was created by a former Syrian army captain, Ahmed Jibril, who broke away from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1968.I had learned from a recently released U.S. National Archives file that Shin Bet, the Israeli Security Agency, had infiltrated the PFLP and helped the Entebbe hijackers (Israeli commandos rescued the hostages in Uganda in 1976), so I wanted to learn more about the link between the PFLP and the PFLP-GC. I also wanted to learn more about allegations made by David Colvin, the first secretary of the British Embassy in Paris, concerning the rather bizarre collaboration between the PFLP and the Shin Bet.
As I could not locate the article in which I had learned about the allegations, I consulted the article on the Entebbe Operation on Wikipedia, where I knew the story had been noted. To my surprise, I found that all references to the alleged collaboration between the PFLP and the Shin Bet had been suppressed. Moreover, it is no longer possible to edit the page. Read full text


Bob Calder said...

How did Brandt overcome his distaste for Wikipedia in order to do something constructive?

Are you going to try to do research on it and publish? This looks like an important item on the "to do" list.

Bob Calder said...

On second thought this may be good. It supports the Wikipedia argument because the social intelligence of the Internet was able to uncover the rogue editor. How often does government interference with news agencies get outed in the rest of the world? Virtually never. Even though we know that the owners of there news channels are personally connected to the officials. This is something that should be blatantly obvious to Brandt since he may have invented social mapping and his brain-child was half of the solution.

Bari2K said...

It's true: in Operation Entebbe Wikipedia doesn't show Israel secret service Shin Bet was behind the hickjacking.

Nevertheless Wikipedia gives accurate information about former isreali terrorist covert actions in Egypt like Operation Susannah also known as
Lavon Affair

The UK secret service realased documents about how Israel used FLPO figthers are in
Hijacking of Air France flight 139 at Entebbe Airport in June 1976

A few articles about this recentely know terrorist covert action made by Israel are:

1) The Guardian, UK: Documents claim Israel aided Entebbe hijack
2), USA: Unholy Alliance / The myth of Entebbe and the history of Israeli false-flag operations

BTW I don't agree with phrases like "unholly alliance" or "bizarre collaboration between the PFLP and the Shin Bet" it's obvious enemies don't collaborate.

What I believe happened is Shin Bet people used palestinean figthers, being palestinean people unware they were being instrumentalized, reduced to a tool.

Released documents explain why Israel did it. According to The Guardian:

"The operation was designed to torpedo the PLO's [Palestine Liberation Organisation] standing in France and to prevent what they see as a growing rapprochement between the PLO and the Americans.

"Their nightmare is that after the November elections, one will witness the imposition in the Middle East of a Pax Americana, which will be the advantage of the PLO (who will gain international respectability and perhaps the right to establish a state on evacuated territories) and to the disadvantage of the Refusal Front (who will be squeezed right out in any overall peace settlement and will lose their raison d'etre) and Israel (who will be forced to evacuate occupied territory)."

kageki said...

I've noticed other odd things in my recent exploration of wikipedia which has lead me to believe that wikipedia is being manipulated behind the scenes.

One has to do with the page for the Iran-Iraq war. I swear just until recently there was the famous picture of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam on that page with captions and all. Now it has been completely deleted.

Also check the page for the Big Lie. The term associated with Hitler. For some reason wikipedia does not cite the entire quote from Hitler's book although other websites offer it. Despite this omission, the wikipedia page on this topic appears first.

In fact as I started to do some research regarding the reason for Hitler's hate for Jews, it becomes more apparent that any of Hitler's comments about Jews are diminished or often not discussed at all.

Even before reading your article I was starting to feel suspicious regarding certain wikipedia pages. Most likely any controversial topic on wikipedia is subject to some form of manipulation. You just managed to provide a more solid confirmation for this activity. Since it is well-known that even mass media is subject to manipulation, it is not too hard to imagine that wikipedia has succumbed to the same fate.

Stephen said...

The original story was that a diplomat in Paris received information from an arab source that he had heard that shin bet had infiltrated the PFLP and helped them do the hijack in order to discredit the Palestinians.

So at the very best there is nothing more than gossip, hearsay evidence.

What makes it even more unlikely is that Shin Beth is the home security service, the foreign one is the Mosaad. I think the editors of wikipedia did a good job in pulling the link.

Rashid Patch said...

Disinformation at Wikipedia?

I first noticed this when trying to track down a story.

First, I was looking at a story on Yahoo! News at

about videos shown during at a trial in England, of people accused of a $106,000,000 bank robbery in England in 1966.

The story ended with this:

"The robbery is believed to be the largest heist during peacetime. It eclipsed a $70 million theft from the Central Bank in Fortaleza, Brazil in August, a $65 million heist at the Knightsbridge Safe Deposit Center in London in 1987, and a $50 million robbery at the Northern Bank of Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2004.

But all four were dwarfed by the wartime theft of $900 million in U.S. bills and as much as $100 million worth of euros from the Iraq Central Bank in 2003."

I had not previously heard about a billion dolllar bank robbery in Iraq, so I decided to look it up. I went to Wikipedia and searched for "Central Bank of Iraq"

This short article featured a section headlined "The robbery"

"The robbery

In March 2003, on several occasions beginning on March 18, the day before the United States began bombing Baghdad, nearly US$1 billion was stolen from the Central Bank of Iraq. This is considered the largest bank heist in history.

Approximately $650 million was later found hidden in walls in Saddam Hussein's palace by US troops. It is believed that this was the bulk of the stolen money. The remaining money is currently unaccounted for. Diyaa Habib al-Khayoun, general manager of the state-owned al-Rafidain Bank, claims that $250 million and 18 billion now worthless Iraqi dinars were also stolen, but by professional robbers unconnected to Saddam.

In March 2003, a hand-written note surfaced, signed by Saddam, ordering $920 million to be withdrawn and given to his son Qusay. Bank officials state that Qusay and another unidentified man oversaw the cash, boxes of $100 bills, being loaded into trucks during a five hour operation. Qusay was later killed by US troops in a firefight."

The Wikipedia entry referenced several outside links:

"The Great Bank Robbery", links to:, which is apparently a banking industry news site, which tells the story of Saddam stealing a billion dollars

"UK troops foil Iraq bank robbery", links to:, which is a BBC News report about a different robbery at a different Iraqi bank, in mid-April of 2003.

I was a bit confused by this - so I checked the "discussion" section of the Wikepedia article at:

The discussion contained a request for documentation:

"Does anyone have access to the report in question? It would be good to know the validity of this. See Indymedia. The journal is "International Currency Review", but is reportedly $450 per issue, well beyond my budget for researching a wikipedia article."

Then a link (but no quotes) from International Currency Review

and a paragraph that was even more puzzling:

"How could electronically withdrawing $10 billion from the Central Bank of Iraq possibly work on the eve of the invasion? An electronic withdrawal is simply an electronic order. Some bank official must still, in the end, fork over the cash to fulfill the order or record the liability, and I don't think any Central Bank official in Iraq delivered the entire wealth of the nation to the CIA or any account for that matter just because of some fraudulent electronic transfer. If someone can explain this "report," I'd be interested, because it sounds really bogus to me."

This was discussion of a $10 billion theft, by the CIA!

I did a Google search for "Iraq Central Bank robbery 2003", which produced 443,000 hits. The first was the Wikipedia article. The next three also refered to the Saddam Hussein $1 billion robbery story.

The fifth hit was at "Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)":

That site gave a very different story:

"Secret CIA operation to electronically remove Iraqi Central Bank Reserves before the Start of War:

CIA Accused Of Bank Heist
by Gordon Thomas

Shortly before U.S. forces began streaming across the Iraqi border, commencing Persian Gulf War II, the CIA and the Department of Defense, with a little help from Israel and some Europeans, pulled off a massive bank heist in Iraq to the tune of several billion dollars.

The CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) are accused by International Currency Review, the London-based journal, of mounting a joint ultra-secret operation to electronically remove an estimated $10 billion out of the Iraqi Central Bank hours before the start of Persian Gulf War II. The whereabouts of the money is not known."

Verrrrry interesting! I went back to the Wikepedia article discussion page at:

On that page was a link I had not looked at:

This turns out to be the same Gordon Thomas story as above.

I decided to start looking some more at the organizations reporting the story.

I went back to the Centre for Research on Globalisation website, were I first found the $10 billion dollar robbery story.

This page had a link titled "Wikipedia and Intelligence Services" at

"Wikipedia and the Intelligence Services: Is the Net's popular encyclopedia marred by disinformation?

by Dr. Ludwig De Braeckeleer

Global Research, July 30, 2007

While researching my next article about the Lockerbie bombing, I witnessed an incident that made me wonder whether intelligence agents had infiltrated Wikipedia...."

This story led me here to GaiaPost...

VFPDissident said...

From the Hasbara Fellowships Newsletter:

"Wikipedia is not an objective resource but rather an online encyclopedia that any one can edit. The result is a website that is in large part is controlled by 'intellectuals' who seek re-write the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. These authors have systematically yet subtly rewritten key passages of thousands of Wikipedia entries to portray Israel in a negative light.

"You have the opportunity to stop this dangerous trend! If you are interested in joining a team of Wikipedians to make sure Israel is presented fairly and accurately, please contact for details!"

Some of the money for the hasbara fellowships may come from the Israeli government. You can read more about hasbara on my blog.

kageki said...

This is the original article on BBC with the statement by Colvin.

More links to related articles here:

They even have a whole page dedicated to the Entebbe Operation.

@stephen - the hearsay comment doesn't make much sense to me. Aren't most intelligence sources basically hearsay then? Why would a British diplomat make such a statement if there wasn't good reason to believe in this? If you're going to question this let's also question all the terror "suspects" that get flashed on newspapers with seemingly no evidence at all.

It actually does make sense to use the Shin Bet because the allegation is with their collaboration with the PFLP which more or less is a local phenomenon. The Shin Bet also deals with counter-terrorism. Home security doesn't necessarily mean it's restricted to just inside Israel.

kageki said...

Links to Shin Bet collaboration articles

*Didn't realize the link got cut off in my post above.