Israeli vulture "accused" of being a spy

Saudi Arabian security has apparently "detained" a Griffon Vulture they noticed was outfitted with a GPS transmitter. Why? The device bore a Tel Aviv University label prompting concern that the bird was a surveillance device, according to the BBC citing Israel's Ma'ariv newspaper. The BBC article does not include a response from the Saudis. From the BBC:
 Wikipedia Commons 4 4E Eagle Beak Sideview A "The device does nothing more than receive and store basic data about the bird's whereabouts, and about his altitude and speed," a bird specialist at Israel's Park and Nature Authority told the newspaper.

The data would be used to improve understanding of the endangered species' behaviour.

"Now, this poor bird is paying a terrible price. That's very sad," said the unnamed expert...

In December, the governor of Egypt's South Sinai province, Mohamed Abdul Fadil Shousha, suggested the spy agency may have had a hand in a string of deadly shark attacks off the coast of the Sharm el-Sheikh resort.

He said it was "not out of the question" that Mossad had put the killer shark in the area.

"Saudi Arabia 'detains' Israeli vulture for spying"

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  1. This story was invented by western press. Nowhere in the saudiarabian press is mossad mentioned. It is just a story about villagers finding a vulture and being scared by the technology found on it, thus handing it over to the authorities.

    But western press seems to like to use this as a propaganda piece, severly distorting the original text.

  2. Are you a spy?
    No, sir. I’m a vulture transmitting data.
    Data on what?
    Carrion.
    I’m giving the orders around here.

  3. I’m with the Tel Aviv researchers on this: please don’t hurt the bird. It’s a member of an endangered species.

  4. ‘In December, the governor of Egypt’s South Sinai province, Mohamed Abdul Fadil Shousha, suggested the spy agency may have had a hand in a string of deadly shark attacks off the coast of the Sharm el-Sheikh resort.

    He said it was “not out of the question” that Mossad had put the killer shark in the area.’

    This would be funny, if Mr. Shousha didn’t have actual responsibility over the lives of others.

    1. This would be funny, if Mr. Shousha didn’t have actual responsibility over the lives of others.

      Kinda reminds me of that crazy world leader who said that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were going to kill us with their sekrit WMDs, and most of his country believed him, including some ‘respected’ news outlets…the majority of the country also wrongly blamed him for 9/11 and went to war over it! Crazy world indeed, plenty of crazy to go around.

      I’ll tell what is true though: Obama’s a Muslim and a Kenyan and death panels are coming to kill your granny.

    2. You do realise that it really is not out of the question for spy agencies to use animals in novel ways, right?

      1. Do you realize that technology allows us to use more efficient methods for intelligence gathering than using wild animals?

  5. Was the vulture flying over Saudi Arabia on Shabbos? For a vulture to spread it’s wings and fly on the day of rest would go against all teachings. This is the question nobody is asking!

  6. Maybe I’m sceptical but does anyone else think this might be a propaganda job to portray the Saudis as middle age Luddites. All the “reports” seem to be from Israel and I cant see any official releases from the Saudis.

    1. Anon, if you read the actual articles, the reported origin is Al-Weeam, a saudi arabian newspaper. I can’t read arabic, unfortunately, and their site is in arabic

      1. My first reply from yesterday seems to have been deleted. I’ll try again because this is a a factual correction:

        The story does not originate in Saudi media as claimed. All references to the “arrest” of the vulture and it being a “mossad spy” trace back to right-wing Israeli media which has a poor track record of accurate arabic translations. There are no official Saudi statements that support the Israeli press version, either.

        If the deletion of my original correction was not a glitch, it would be helpful to have an explanation.

  7. Kinda reminds me of that crazy world leader who said that Saddam Hussein and Iraq were going to kill us with their sekrit WMDs, and most of his country believed him, including some ‘respected’ news outlets…the majority of the country also wrongly blamed him for 9/11 and went to war over it! Crazy world indeed, plenty of crazy to go around.

    I feel like there is a big difference between believing a dictator who has in the past tried to develop nuclear weapons and has used chemical weapons is developing them and believing that Israelis used 14 squirrels to spy on your country.

    As far as I can tell, conspiracy theories run rampant in the middle east. Don’t get me wrong, there are kooks everywhere, but I believe ours are of a higher caliber. :)

  8. The Hartlepool townsfolk who hanged the monkey, which washed up from a wrecked French ship, had never seen a monkey or a Frenchman and thought it was a Frenchman. I wonder whether the Saudis who found the vulture thought that that’s what Jews must look like.

  9. Please dont kill that innocent and already endangered animal, having carried a GPS is already a heavy burden to him to carry, besides, dont kill the messenger, and please dont torture it for obtaining information/confession, she is innocent, and does not understand your language anyway. In Allah’s name, please!

  10. Jumping on band wagons much?
    2 minutes with Google decidedly convinced me that this is nothing but rumour-mongering.

    http://arabnews.com/saudiarabia/article230917.ece

    “The device is now under investigation. There is no suggestion from the authorities that it is a spying device, or that there is any connection with Mossad. Those rumors developed from Internet chat rooms and were picked up by mainstream news carriers. An online newspaper carried the story saying that the bird was an eagle labeled X65; this story was strangely illustrated with a roost of vultures. The Jewish Chronicle Online in Friday’s edition reported it as R65. However, the Hail vulture was, according to our sources, labeled X63.

    The griffon vulture was removed to Thumama wildlife reserve outside Riyadh where, far from being arrested, it is being well cared for and, according to Dr. Mohammed Shobrak who has been in close contact with the vet tending the bird, will be released when it has recovered from the trauma of capture and multiple handling.”

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