Ben-Menashe Case Eyes Bomb Residue

In an interview on Wednesday, Ben-Menashe, 61, said he did not want to speculate about who was behind the attack. However, he noted that he has accumulated a number of enemies over the years after going public with information about his work for Israeli intelligence from 1977 to 1989 and exposing secret dealings by the Reagan administration with Iran and Iraq. In more recent years, as an international consultant often working in global hotspots,
Ben-Menashe has been involved in other controversies, including a role blowing the whistle on a questionable 2010 business deal by Arthur Porter, who was then in charge of overseeing Canadian intelligence services and who ran the McGill University Health Centre. Porter resigned both posts, and the scandal has tarnished the Harper government, which let Porter serve in a highly sensitive position as chair of the Security Intelligence Review Committee from Sep 3 2008, until his resignation on Nov 10 2011.
That position gave Porter access to not only sensitive secrets of Canadian intelligence but of US intelligence as well. In Jun 2010, Porter paid Ben-Menashe’s consulting firm $200k to help broker a $120m development grant for Porter’s homeland of Sierra Leone. However, Ben-Menashe learned that the grant was to be funneled through an outfit known as the Africa Infrastructure Group, which Porter owned, and the deal was using a questionable Swiss bank.
After discovering these irregularities, Ben-Menashe said he returned the $200k fee and terminated the grant proposal. According to Ben-Menashe, Porter blamed him for sinking the scheme, which was later exposed by Canada’s National Post precipitating Porter’s fall from grace. Last month, McGill University also sued Porter for $317,154. So, the nasty dispute with Porter is one of the avenues of inquiry being followed by Montreal police.
Ben-Menashe also has been the target of the Israeli government for divulging state secrets in the early 1990s and he remains a bête noire in some Israeli circles to this day. Ben-Menashe began talking with journalists and congressional investigators after he was arrested in the US in 1989 on charges of selling military equipment to Iran and was disowned by his Israeli superiors. As a correspondent for Newsweek, I interviewed him in a federal prison in Lower Manhattan as he was awaiting trial. He said that because Israel was not protecting him, he felt he had no choice but to tell the truth and reveal secrets about Israel’s work with the Reagan administration in the 1980s, including then-hidden aspects of the Iran-Contra scandal. 
When I checked with Israel about Ben-Menashe, government spokesmen insisted that he was an “impostor” who had never worked for Israeli intelligence. But I then obtained official Israeli letters of reference describing his decade-long work within the External Relations Department of the IDF, a branch of Israeli military intelligence. After that, Israeli officials changed their story, labeling him “a low-level translator,” another false claim that was picked up by some US journalists with close ties to Israel. The letters revealed that Ben-Menashe had served in “key positions” handling “complex and sensitive assignments.” In fall 1990, a New York jury acquitted Ben-Menashe after concluding that he indeed was working on official Israeli business in his transactions with Iran.
But the Israeli government continued to work aggressively to discredit Ben-Menashe and destroy his reputation. After his acquittal, Ben-Menashe also gave more interviews and provided testimony about secret dealings implicating the Israeli government and powerful Republicans in questionable or illegal activities. Much of Ben-Menashe’s complicated past and present are now elements that Montreal police must shift through, along with the wreckage of Ben-Menashe’s home, as they try to solve last Sunday’s mystery of a terror fire-bombing.

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