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The identity of the commander of Israel’s secretive Unit 8200 has been revealed due to a security oversight. (Photo: screenshot)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

The Guardian revealed that the spy chief, whose name is Yossi Sariel, “has left his identity exposed online”, due to an “embarrassing security lapse”.

The identity of the commander of Israel’s secretive Unit 8200 has been revealed due to a recent security oversight, the British newspaper The Guardian reported on Friday. 

The unit’s commander “occupies one of the most sensitive roles in the military”, according to The Guardian. Therefore, his identity “is a closely guarded secret.”

However, the Guardian revealed that the spy chief, whose name is Yossi Sariel, “has left his identity exposed online,” due to an “embarrassing security lapse”.

Unexpected Source

The breach stemmed from an unexpected source: a book entitled ‘The Human Machine Team, which was published on Amazon under the pseudonym Brigadier General YS, seemingly to conceal the author’s identity. 

This publication, authored by Sariel, “provides a blueprint for the advanced AI-powered systems” that the Israeli army has been using in Gaza, according to the Guardian.

Despite attempts to maintain anonymity, the digital footprint left by the book inadvertently led to a private Google account registered under Sariel’s name. 

The exposure of Sariel’s identity not only undermines the clandestine nature of Unit 8200’s operations but also poses significant security risks, potentially compromising ongoing intelligence activities.

‘A Mistake’

The revelation, according to the report, has sparked a broader conversation about the role of technology and innovation within intelligence agencies. 

Unit 8200, once revered for its intelligence capabilities, now faces scrutiny over its failure to anticipate and prevent significant security breaches, such as the military operation carried out on October 7 by the Palestinian Resistance movement Hamas in southern Israel.

Critics argue that Unit 8200’s emphasis on technological prowess may have come at the expense of traditional intelligence-gathering methods, leaving critical vulnerabilities exposed. 

In a statement late on Friday, the Israeli army described the exposure of Sariel’s personal details as a “mistake”, adding that “The issue will be examined to prevent the recurrence of similar cases in the future.”

‘The Human Machine Team’

In his book, Sariel advocates for a paradigm shift in military strategy, advocating for the integration of AI-powered decision support systems to enhance operational effectiveness. 

On Wednesday, an investigation carried out by +972 Magazine and Local Call shed light “on the link between Unit 8200 and the book authored by a mysteriously named Brigadier General YS,” the Guardian noted.

The investigation revealed that the Israeli military’s airstrikes in Gaza were carried out using a previously undisclosed AI-driven database named Lavender, which reportedly identified 37,000 targets on their apparent and unverified links to Hamas.

Despite official claims by the Israeli army that the unprecedented death toll among the civilian population was due to the fact that Hamas “uses the civilian population as human shields and conducts fighting from within civilian structures”, the officers cited in the report revealed a different reason.

“In contrast to the Israeli army’s official statements, the sources explained that a major reason for the unprecedented death toll from Israel’s current bombardment is the fact that the army has systematically attacked targets in their private homes, alongside their families,” the report stated.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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