Both The 1979 CIA assessment of Israel's intelligence services and former Mossad officer Victor Ostrovsky agree that Mossad spies on the United States.
According to the 1979 CIA assessment, Mossad not only runs operations against the representatives of Arab countries in the United States, but also collects political, economic, and scientific intelligence throughout the world, including the United States.1
Victor Ostrovsky puts it another way. For Mossad, collecting intelligence on Arabs in the United States is the main course, and spying on the United States is the mustard - not central, but something you like. Ostrovsky claims that there's a special, very secret, section of Mossad that spies on the United States called Al. This part of Mossad employs twenty or thirty veterans, and three katsas, and views New York City and Washington D.C. as its "playground."2
The CIA assessment explicitly states that Zim offices are used by the Mossad for cover:3
Official organizations used for cover are: Israeli Purchasing Missions and Israeli Government Tourist, El Al and Zim offices.
Zim Israeli American Shipping Company announced its move out of the Twin Towers to Norfolk, Virginia in early April of 2001.4 (This corresponds with the period of time when Silverstein Properties had moved into position as top bidder and likely future lessee of the Towers, and was negotiating with the Port Authority for the lease of the World Trade center. The agreement would be finalized in late April, 2001.)5,6 Zim Shipping had occupied space in the Twin Towers since 1976.7 Consider that length of time. The Twin Towers opened their doors to the first occupants, about the beginning of 1971. Five years later, when Zim occupied its offices, Gerald Ford was President of the United States. Zim stayed in the Twin Towers through the presidential administrations of Carter, Reagan, George Bush, and Clinton, and decided to move out at the very beginning of George W. Bush's administration; an occupancy of some twenty-five years in all.
Zim stayed in the Twin Towers for approximately their whole lifetime. On September 11th, 2001, there were only thirty-five workers, a skeleton sales staff, left in its offices. According to Crain's New York Business, the upper-level managers had moved to Norfolk, others had been laid off. The article in Crain's reports that the staff left behind survived.8
It's impossible not to notice that Norfolk, Zim's new home after leaving the towers, is not only close to the other city in Mossad's playground - Washington D.C. - but also a gigantic naval hub, a center of military and maritime activity that the coming "War on Terrorism" would make far more active.
Given that Zim's remaining staff did survive the September 11th attacks, Zim Shipping's long stay in the Twin Towers seems both propitious and improbable. How improbable? Here's a rough estimate. Suppose it requires six months to move a small company. In a twenty-five year period, there would be fifty evenly spaced opportunities to move. Zim picked the last possible opportunity: optimizing both the survival of its staff, and its longevity in the middle of what Ostrovsky called "Mossad's playground." The improbability of Zim's long, long occupancy and lucky departure might be measured by the improbability of picking this last opportunity to move: roughly one in fifty. That's about the chance of picking a chosen card out of a deck: not a miracle, but not likely. If you saw someone do it, you'd think it was a neat trick. You'd wonder how it was done.
1 "What Begin and Reagan Didn't Want You to Know", Counterspy , May-June, 1982, 40-41
2 Victor Ostrovsky and Claire Hoy, By Way of Deception (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990), 269
3 Counterspy , 43
4 Alice Lipowicz, "Zim-American Israeli ships itself out of NY", Crain's New York Business April 9, 2001, Vol. 17 Issue 15, 4, Ebsco Host
5 "Trade Center Talks Between Vornado, Port Authority Stall", The Wall Street Journal , March 20, 2001, B9, http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB985056652614683341, accessed 9/17/2016
6 Lois Weiss and Steve Cuozzo, "Larry Bags WTC; Silverstein $3.21B Bid wins Towers", The New York Post , April 27, 2001, 34
7 Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations and Executives lists Zim American Israeli Shipping Co., Inc. for the first time in its 1976 volume, with an address in the World Trade Center
8 Lore Croghan, "Shipper Sights Land on Staten Island," Crain's New York Business November 19, 2001, Vol. 17 Issue 47, 7