An Undercover Insider Leaks Secrets to Anti-Iranian Army Cabal
The Syrian army’s Unit 225 is the pale, technologically inferior equivalent of the US National Security Agency (NSA) – except that its remit is limited to internal surveillance.
Unit 225 monitors military and intelligence communications inside Syria, within the Middle East and in other places, where Syrian espionage and terror networks are active.
As eavesdropper on all Syrian military and intelligence electronic and computer activity, this watchdog is obviously one of the most sensitive components of Syria’s security establishment.
Therefore, suspicions against the unit’s director, Gen. Labid Salame, 50, and his top officers – revealed here by DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence sources – are bound to have a traumatic effect on the powers-that-be in Damascus. This particular investigation is therefore tightly confined to the top levels of power in Damascus, personal aides in Syrian president Bashar Assad‘s own bureau and his brother-in-law, military intelligence chief Gen. Assaf Shawqat.
The chief suspect is meanwhile under closely-guarded house arrest.
Our sources report that Gen. Salame and his band are mainly suspected of monitoring and collecting material on the top secret exchanges between Gen. Shawqat and high-ranking Iranian intelligence and army officers and passing it on to anti-Iranian elements buried in the Syrian army.
He trod carefully, leaking the material through double agents and electronic media to senior army generals whom he believed had secret anti-Iranian leanings or else were opposed to Tehran executing a takeover of the Syrian army and intelligence service’s high commands.
In some cases, according to DEBKA-Net-Weekly‘s intelligence sources, Gen. Salame would plant data which interested those officers anonymously in their personal computers, when other means of transmission were unavailable.
The official Syrian inquiry has cast a broad net to ascertain the extent of the betrayal in the high command of Unit 225.
Damascus launched its investigation of its domestic clandestine agencies after Israel raided Syria’s North Korean nuclear site on Sept. 6, 2007. The Syrians needed to find out urgently how their most sensitive national secrets about the site’s location, its security arrangements and the air defenses posted there had come into the hands of Israeli intelligence. They had to crack the mystery of how the Israeli raiders were able to make their getaway to Israel loaded with the nuclear equipment removed from the site. Later, it was passed on to the United States.
In the course of this broad-based probe into an affair which touched on the top-secret nuclear ties between Iran, Syria and North Korea, the investigators chanced on Gen. Salame’s activities and the outflow of the classified material in his care.