Agents of Israel’s Mossad intelligence service hacked into the computer of a senior Syrian government official a year before Israeli fighter jets destroyed a mysterious complex in the Syrian desert, according to Der Spiegel.
They hacked with a Trojan horse. The intelligence agents planted a Trojan horse on the official’s computer in late 2006. At that time he was staying at a hotel in the Kensington district of London. The German newspaper Der Spiegel reported Monday in an extensive story: How Israel Destroyed Syria’s Al Kibar Nuclear Reactor
The official reportedly left his computer in his hotel room when he went out, making it easy for agents to install the malware that siphoned files from the laptop. The files contained construction plans for the Al Kabir complex in eastern Syria — said to be an illicit nuclear facility — as well as letters and hundreds of detailed photos showing the complex at various stages of construction.
At the beginning, the construction site looked like a treehouse on stilts, complete with suspicious-looking pipes leading to a pumping station at the Euphrates. It is probably in 2002. Later photos show concrete piers and roofs, which apparently had only one function: to modify the building so that it would look unsuspicious from above. In the end, the whole thing looked as if a shoebox had been placed over something in an attempt to conceal it. But photos from the interior revealed that what was going on at the site was in fact probably work on fissile material.
Early in the morning of September 6, 2007, Israeli fighter jets bombed the complex, located in the desert near the Euphrates river about 80 miles from the Iraq border. The attack, named “Operation Orchard,” seemed to come out of nowhere and was marked by a resounding silence from both Israel and the United States afterward.
Israel claimed the incident never occurred. The United States claimed ignorance, but a State Department official suggested the target was nuclear equipment obtained by “secret suppliers.”
Source: Der Spiegel