by Graeme Wood
He said agents had little trouble passing themselves off as Australians as few people in the Middle East have much knowledge about the country.
"Consider the fact that Australians speak English and it's an easy cover to take, very few people know very much about Australia," he said.
"You can tell whatever stories you want. It doesn't take much of an accent to be an Australian or New Zealander, or an Englishman for that matter.
"And I know people had been under Australian cover not once (but) quite a few times. So why not use it (again)?"
"Except for James Bond, who actually pronounces or announces his arrival at the scene by saying, 'I'm Bond, James Bond', most people who work in the intelligence field don't present themselves by their real name," he said.
To detect fake Australians, Arab intelligence agencies could always just feed suspects Vegemite and release anyone who doesn't retch.
When Israelis used Canadian passports to get close enough to spray nerve toxins into Khaled Meshaal's ear in 1997, Canada recalled its ambassador, and relations between the countries were temporarily strained. So far, Australian PM Kevin Rudd has summoned the Israeli ambassador to issue a protest, but the Australian ambassador in Tel Aviv remains in place. Australia also has a separate investigation of suspected Australo-Israeli spies going on.
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