President Donald Trump revealed above-top-secret classified information to Russia during a meeting with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador last week. That information came from an Israeli spy who is now reported to have been the “most valuable source of information on external plotting by Islamic State.”
It was one thing to burn an allied intelligence agency, which mostly leads to nebulous possible situations concerning international security cooperation, but it’s potentially much worse than that, the Wall Street Journal reports:
The classified information that President Donald Trump shared with Russian officials last week came from an Israeli source described by multiple U.S. officials as the most valuable source of information on external plotting by Islamic State.
These officials, who are privy to intelligence about the terrorist group’s efforts, said the source of information was particularly valuable for tracking Islamic State’s attempts to place explosive devices on commercial airplanes.
Israel appears to be publicly very diplomatic about the whole thing, with Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, telling the New York Times that “Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump.”
But the WSJ reports that privately, Israeli officials are “fuming.” Also, a key intelligence source that was stopping airplanes from being blown up might be compromised, so there’s that.
At the same time, though, Al Jazeera says that the intel may have actually come from Jordan, rather than Israel:
They said they don’t believe Israel has any high level spies inside ISIL and depends instead on “intelligence sharing with Arab spy services partners”.
“When it comes to ISIL, unlike Jordan, Israel relies on its electronic surveillance collection and its intelligence sharing-arrangement with its Arab partners,” one source said.
Jordan, however, relies on human intelligence - spies on the ground who infiltrate armed groups. Jordanian intelligence has assets inside several fighting groups in Syria and Iraq, including ISIL, the officials said.
Although that all sounds a bit like silly competition.
Not that any of it matters. Hope you all like flying on airplanes.