Counterterrorism tech is making spy craft harder, Mossad chief says
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Counterterrorism tech is making spy craft harder, Mossad chief says

Noting rise of biometric passports, Yossi Cohen tells audience that ‘everywhere we go, we have to take into account that security services are getting stronger’

Head of Mossad Yossi Cohen speaks at the launch event for Libertad foundation. June 27, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)
Head of Mossad Yossi Cohen speaks at the launch event for Libertad foundation. June 27, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

The head of the Mossad spy agency on Monday said advances in counterterrorism technology have had the unintended effect of confounding Israel’s international espionage efforts.

Yossi Cohen was speaking at a Finance Ministry seminar.

“Countries’ struggle against global terrorism has affected us as well,” Cohen said in a rare address, explaining that the move by many nations to biometric passports had complicated operations. “Everywhere we go, we have to take into account the fact that security services are getting stronger.”

“For normal people, this is good,” he said, according to Reuters. “For people who don’t want it so much, the matter is of course a challenge of a different order.”

He explained: “You can imagine that a large part of the agency’s problems or challenges speak to the fact that your passport is, essentially, in your fingerprint, in your retina, or in your face…This arena, which very much affects us, has changed beyond recognition and is ballooning.”

Cohen called the legendary spy agency, “the spearhead in the fight against threats to Israel, chiefly Iran’s nuclear project and its entrenchment in Syria,” as well as Hamas.

He praised US President Donald Trump for quitting the nuclear deal with Iran and recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“There is no doubt that Trump’s arrival at the White House has been good for Israel, and has better delineated the good guys and the bad guys.”

Hamas has blamed Mossad in the killings of a Hamas rocket scientist who was shot dead by gunmen in Malaysia in April, and a drone engineer who was killed in Tunisia in December 2016.

In August, a senior official from a Middle East intelligence agency said Mossad was behind the killing of  a top Syrian chemical weapons and rocket scientist.

Israel has said Mossad was behind a January raid in Tehran, in which it seized a trove of documents on Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program.

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