Friday, September 8, 2006

How hi-tech Hezbollah called the shots

Asia Times

"Hezbollah's ability to repel the Israel Defense Forces during the recent conflict was largely due to its use of intelligence techniques gleaned from allies Iran and Syria that allowed it to monitor encoded Israeli communications relating to battlefield actions, according to Israeli officials, whose claims have been independently corroborated by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

"Israeli EW [electronic warfare] systems were unable to jam the systems at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, they proved unable to jam Hezbollah's command and control links from Lebanon to Iranian facilities in Syria, they blocked the Barak ship anti-missile systems, and they hacked into Israeli operations communications in the field," Richard Sale, the longtime intelligence editor for United Press International, who was alerted to this intelligence failure by current and former CIA officials, told Asia Times Online.

"It goes to the heart of one of the factors ... routinely regarded as one of the clear advantages for all First World versus Third World nations or forces - electronic warfare and secure communications," said Gary Sick, who was national security adviser under US president Jimmy Carter. "We are supposed to be able to read and interfere with their communications, not vice versa. A lot of calculations are based on that premise.""

The ability to hack into Israel's military communications gave Hezbollah a decisive battlefield advantage, aside from allowing it to dominate the media war by repeatedly intercepting reports of the casualties it had inflicted and announcing them through its television station, Al-Manar.

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