Israel’s Mossad spy agency hacked a Syrian official’s computer to uncover information about a nuclear facility in Syria that Israel later destroyed, according to a report in the German magazine Der Spiegel.
Mossad agents planted a Trojan horse program on the official’s computer while he was staying at a hotel in London. The program copied details of Syria’s nuclear program and sent them to the agents’ computers, the report disclosed.
On Sept. 6, 2007, Israeli F-15 jets destroyed a facility in Syria’s eastern desert said to be a nuclear reactor under construction.
Der Spiegel also disclosed that, before the strike, Israeli intelligence listened in on conversations between officials at the Syrian site and experts from North Korea who reportedly were aiding Syria in building the reactor.
An earlier report in a Swiss publication, noted by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, revealed that a month before the airstrike, a 12-man Israeli commando unit carried out a reconnaissance mission at the al-Kabir reactor site, taking soil samples and photographs.
The article in the daily Neue Zuercher Zeitung was written by Hans Ruehle, former chief of the planning staff of the Germany Defense Ministry. An Iranian defector revealed that Iran was financing North Korean efforts to make Syria a nuclear power, Ruehle wrote.
Ruehle said: “Israel estimates that Iran had paid North Korea between $1 billion and $2 billion for the project.”