A senior ISIS commander, who was captured and arrested in Libya by anti-terrorism security, has been exposed as an agent of Mossad, the Israeli intelligence service.
The ISIS leader, who was in charge of more than 200 Islamic State fighters, was arrested in the city of Benghazi, Libya following a bloody battle between allied troops and ISIS fighters. Soon after his capture and arrest, Libyan anti-terrorist officers were stunned to discover the high-ranking ISIS leader was actually Ephraim Benjamin, a known Mossad operative.
The ties between the Israeli government and the terror group Daesh, otherwise known as the Islamic State or ISIS have long been speculated. The Israeli government has often referenced Daesh as a “useful tool” and acknowledged that they prefer Syria to be under ISIS control rather than led by the country’s duly elected President Assad and his government.
Israel has also provided extensive aid and even medical treatments for Daesh militants. However, the revelation that known Mossad operatives are working as high-ranking commanders for ISIS suggest that the connection between Israeli intelligence and the terror organization runs even deeper than most people imagined.
According to a report from the Israeli website Inian Merkazi and Abna news agency, Ephraim Benjamin was known in Libya as “Abu Hafs” and had begun work in Libya after the 2011 NATO-led invasion of Libya that ousted former leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Middle East Monitor reported that Hafs/Benjamin was said to have become a prominent imam in a Benghazi mosque, before becoming a Daesh leader who commanded more than 200 fighters. Middle East Monitor has since removed the report from its site.
According to MPN, Libyan authorities have allegedly accused Benjamin of gathering intelligence information on Daesh for Mossad and Middle East Monitor noted that some Libyan news outlets took to calling him the “Mossad Shiekh”. Inian Merkazi suggested that Benjamin’s arrest showed that Mossad was influential in the rise of Daesh in the region, given that Benjamin began work in Libya in 2011 while Daesh did not begin operation in Libya until 2015.
Other regional media outlets, such as Masr Alarabia, have described Benjamin as being one of Mossad’s “Arabists” – Mossad agents with Arab features who fluently speak Arabic and use local dialects. Such “Arabists” have gained a reputation for infiltrating Palestinian protests and activist organizations, as well as assassinating prominent Palestinians who are vocally against the Israeli occupation.
However, now it appears that Mossad “Arabists” may be involved in more than the suppressing Palestinian dissent. Given that Israel has repeatedly stated it does not want Daesh to be defeated, it is clear that Benjamin, who allegedly commanded hundreds of men in Daesh, was not gathering intelligence in order to defeat Daesh but rather to strengthen it.
Given the reports of Benjamin’s arrest, last year’s strange-seeming statement by Israel’s military intelligence chief, Maj. Gen. Herzi Halevy, makes more sense. Halevy had stated that Israel does not want to see Daesh defeated and also had expressed concern about the recent offensives against Daesh territory, lamenting the “most difficult” situation the group had found itself in at the time.
He further added that Israel would do “all we can so as to not find ourselves in such a situation” where Daesh faces defeat.
In light of Benjamin’s arrest, part of Halevy’s concern for Daesh may have been born out of the fear that a Daesh defeat could put the lives of Mossad agents, as well as years of their work within Daesh, at risk.
November 10, 2017