Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was allegedly a KGB agent in Syria in the 1980s, the Jerusalem Post reported today on a Channel 1 news broadcast.
A 1983 document from the archive of former Russian defector and KGB operative Vasil Mitrokhin included a list of sources and agents who worked in Damascus, including a note revealing Abbas’ Russian code name “Krotov [mole].”
The list was provided to Channel 1 by Israeli researchers Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez from Hebrew University’s Truman Institute. The researchers obtained the archive, released last year, after requesting the entire file from Cambridge University.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s special Mideast envoy, Mikhail Bogdanov, was the Soviet Union’s ambassador in Damascus in 1983. Bogdanov has been advocating this week for a meeting between Abbas and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu in Moscow.
It’s unclear what the nature of Abbas’s work was as an operative and whether he was an agent before or after 1983.