Israel had knowledge of the September 11 attacks... read below, this excerpt has appeared in UK and French Newspapers The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) announced on Tuesday 5 March that it has yet to level charges against any of the Israeli suspects it has detained in what is being described as the greatest revelation of an Israeli spying operation since the 1986 John Pollard case. Le Monde and Intelligence Online, a French online magazine, claim they have obtained a draft version of a secret US government report issued by the Justice Department which proves that an active Israeli intelligence network has been detected within America. It adds that there is proof that members of the network may have trailed suspected Al-Qa'eda operatives in the United States without informing federal authorities, leading to speculation over whether the Israeli government might have had prior knowledge of the events of 11 September. Intelligence Online was first to report that the investigation, which has been ongoing since April 2001, has led to 120 Israelis being detained or deported on immigration charges. According to the report it has obtained, which is dated June 2001, the ring was active in the states of Arkansas, California, Florida and Texas, and consisted of around 20 cells of between four and eight members, aged between 22 and 30 who had recently completed Israeli military service in an army intelligence division. According to the Justice Department report, the students represented themselves as art students and made efforts to gain access to sensitive federal office buildings and the homes of government employees, U.S. officials said. A draft report from the Drug Enforcement Administration ? which first characterized the activities as suspicious ? said the youths' actions "may well be an organized intelligence-gathering activity." Immigration officials deported them for visa violations; no criminal espionage charges were filed. The arrests, made in an unspecified number of major US cities from California to Florida, came amid public warnings from US intelligence agencies about suspicious behavior by people posing as Israeli art students and "attempting to bypass facility security and enter federal buildings." In Washington, however, U.S. law enforcement officials discounted the report, with one calling the assertion of a spy ring "a bogus story." In Washington on Tuesday, U.S. Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden said of the Le Monde report, "At this time, we have no information to support this." US officials said that some Israeli students had been sent out of the country for immigration violations, not for spying. In Israel, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Yaffa Ben-Ari said it was "nonsense" that the students were spying on the United States. Another Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Irit Stopper, confirmed that a few Israelis posing as art students were expelled from the United States for working without permits. However they were not accused of espionage, she said. She did not say how many Israelis were expelled and did not give any additional details. According to the editor of Intelligence Online, Guillaume Dasquieh, the US government report issued by the Justice Department on March last year, reveals that the investigation has been ongoing since April 2001 and that the ring was active in the states of Arkansas, California, Florida and Texas, and consisted of around 20 cells of between four and eight members who were aged between 22 and 30 and had recently completed Israeli military service in an army intelligence division. Le Monde said more than one third of the suspected Israeli spies had lived in Florida, from January up until June last year, when the report was published, where at least 10 of the 19 Arabs involved in the September 11 airplane attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon were also based. The newspaper also said that it had learned that six suspected spies had used portable telephones bought by a former Israeli vice consul in the United States. The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report said a majority of the young people questioned by US investigators acknowledged having served in military intelligence, electronic signals interception or explosive ordnance units in the Israeli military. The DEA said one person questioned was the son of a two-star Israeli general, one had served as the bodyguard to the head of the Israeli Army and another served in a Patriot missile unit. At least five of the Israelis had resided in Hollywood, Florida, the same town in which alleged hijacker Mohammad Atta and four of his accomplices in the attacks also lived, the paper said. Two Israelis lived in Fort Lauderdale, near Delray Beach, where hijackers in the planes that crashed into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania resided temporarily, the report added. The U.S. Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, a federal agency, circulated a public warning in March 2001 urging employees to report contact with people describing themselves as Israeli art students. "These individuals have been described as aggressive," the warning said. "They attempt to engage employees in conversation rather than giving a sales pitch." Despite the strong alliance between Israel and the US, high-profile episodes of spying have been uncovered in the past, the most prominent of which was the 1986 life sentence given to Jonathan Pollard, an American Jew who passed U.S. military secrets to Israel.