This site may load slowly at times because of the numerous images. Please reload the page if some of the images do not appear. Thank you.

Search This Site

The Ruthless World Of MOSSAD


Rafi Eitan, the legendary former Operations Chief of Mossad told me when we sat together in his living room in a north Tel Aviv suburb:

"I always tried to kill when I could see the whites of a person's eyes. So I could see the fear. Smell it on his breath. Sometimes I used my hands. A knife, or a silenced gun. I never felt a moment's regret over a killing."




It follow the biblical injunction (and the Mossad's old motto):"By way of deception thou shalt make war." The agency's job, its website explains more prosaically, is to "collect information, analyse intelligence and perform special covert operations beyond [Israel's] borders."



Founded in 1948 along with the new Jewish state, the Mossad largely stayed in the shadows in its early years. Yitzhak Shamir, a former Stern Gang terrorist and future prime minister, ran operations targeting German scientists who were helping Nasser's Egypt build rockets – foreshadowing later Israeli campaigns to disrupt Iraqi and (continuing) Iranian attempts to acquire nuclear and other weapons.

The Mossad's most celebrated exploits included the abduction of the fugitive Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who was later tried and hanged in Israel. Others were organising the defection of an Iraqi pilot who flew his MiG-21 to Israel, and support for Iraqi Kurdish rebels against Baghdad. Military secrets acquired by Elie Cohen, the infamous spy who penetrated the Syrian leadership, helped Israel conquer the Golan Heights in the 1967 Middle East war.

It was after that that the service's role expanded to fight the Palestinians, who had been galvanised under Yasser Arafat into resisting Israel in the newly occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. The 1970s saw the so-called "war of the spooks" with Mossad officers, operating under diplomatic cover abroad, recruiting and running informants in Fatah and other Palestinian groups. Baruch Cohen, an Arabic speaker on loan to the Mossad from the Shin Bet internal security service, was shot in a Madrid cafe by his own agent. Bassam Abu Sharif, of the Marxist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was badly disfigured by a Mossad parcel bomb sent to him in Beirut.

Steven Spielberg's 2006 film Munich helped mythologise the Mossad's hunt for the Black September terrorists who massacred 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics. Eleven of them were eliminated in killings across Europe, culminating in the small Norwegian town of Lillehammer, where a Moroccan waiter was mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, the Munich plot's mastermind. Salameh was eventually killed by a car bomb in Beirut in 1979 – the sort of incident that made Lebanese and Palestinians sit up and notice last year's botched training episode in Tel Aviv.


Meir Amit: The man who made Mossad


Meir Amit, when he had been director of Mossad, later insisted "we are like the official hangman or the doctor on Death Row who administers the lethal injection. Our actions are all endorsed by the State of Israel. When Mossad kills it is not breaking the law. It is fulfilling a sentence sanctioned by the prime minister of the day".



 The Killing of Israeli athletes by Black September in the Munich Olympics

The campaign against Black September – which ended with the catastrophic arrest of five Mossad agents. Sylvia Raphael, a South African-born Christian with a Jewish father, was sentenced to five years in a Norwegian prison (of which she served slightly over a year); she may have been among the young Europeans in Israel who were discreetly asked, in nondescript offices in Tel Aviv, if they wished to volunteer for sensitive work involving Israel's security. Other agents who had been exposed had to be recalled, safe houses abandoned, phone numbers changed and operational methods modified.

Over the years, the Mossad's image has been badly tarnished at home as well as abroad. It was blamed in part for failing to get wind of Egyptian-Syrian plans for the devastating attack that launched the 1973 Yom Kippur war. Critics wondered whether the spies had got their priorities right by focusing on hunting down Palestinian gunmen in the back alleys of European cities, when they should have been stealing secrets in Cairo and Damascus. The Mossad also played a significant, though still little-known, role in the covert supply of arms to Ayatollah Khomeini's Iran to help fight Saddam Hussein's Iraq, as part of the Iran-Contra scandal during Ronald Reagan's presidency.

It has, in addition, suffered occasional blows from its own disgruntled employees. In 1990, a Canadian-born former officer called Victor Ostrovsky blew the whistle on its internal organisation, training and methods, revealing codenames including "Kidon" (bayonet), the unit in charge of assassinations. An official smear campaign failed to stop Ostrovsky's book, so the agency kept quiet when another ostensibly inside account came out in 2007. It described the use of shortwave radios for sending encoded transmissions, operations in Iran for collecting soil samples, and joint operations with the CIA against Hezbollah.

But the worst own goal came in 1997, during Binyamin Netanyahu's first term as prime minister. Mossad agents tried but failed to assassinate Khaled Mash'al – the same Hamas leader who is now warning of retaliation for Mabhouh's murder – by injecting poison into his ear in Amman, Jordan. Using forged Canadian passports, they fled to the Israeli embassy, triggering outrage and a huge diplomatic crisis with Jordan. Danny Yatom, the then Mossad chief, was forced to quit. Ephraim Halevy, a quietly spoken former Londoner, was brought back from retirement to clear up the mess.

Yossi Melman, the expert on intelligence for Israel's Haaretz newspaper, worries that, as before the 1973 war, the Israeli government may be getting it wrong by focusing on the wrong enemy – the Palestinians – instead of prioritising Iran and Hizbullah.

"The Mossad is not Murder Inc, like the Mafia; its goal is not to take vengeance on its enemies," he wrote this week. "'Special operations' like the assassination in Dubai – if this indeed was a Mossad operation – have always accounted for a relatively small proportion of its overall activity. Nevertheless, these are the operations that give the organisation its halo, its shining image. This is ultimately liable to blind its own ranks, cause them to become intoxicated by their own success, and thus divert their attention from their primary mission."

From an official Israeli point of view, the Mossad has an important job to do. Its reputation for ruthlessness and cunning remains a powerful asset, prompting what sometimes sounds like grudging admiration as well as loathing in the Arab world – where a predisposition for conspiracy theories boosts the effect of the disinformation and psychological warfare at which the Israelis are said to excel.



Mossad's own unique memorial in Tel Aviv to the dead - a concrete maze shaped in the form of a brain. Each name engraved on the concrete was of an agent who had been killed while trying to destroy Israel's enemies.

Some of those agents had one thing in common. Amit had sent them to their deaths.

"We did all we could to protect them. We trained them better than any other secret service. Sometimes, out on a mission, the dice is against you. But there will always be brave men ready to roll the dice," he said.

"Israel need not apologize for the assassination
or destruction of those who seek to destroy it.
The first order of business for any country
is the protection of its people."

Washington Jewish Week, October 9, 1997



The man known to Mossad as "The Engineer" ( Yihyeh Ayyash) was a top Hamas bomb-maker. He lived on the West Bank, protected by gunmen.

One day he received a visitor - a distant cousin from Gaza. The young man spoke like so many from that hotbed of Islamic fanaticism.

Over mint tea, the two men spoke far into the evening. Finally, The Engineer invited his guest to stay over. The offer was accepted. The youth asked if he could use The Engineer's mobile phone to call his own family to say they should not worry.

He asked if he could make the call from outside the house to improve reception. The Engineer nodded. The call over, the two men fell asleep on the floor.

Next day, the youth left to return to Gaza. That morning, The Engineer received a call on the mobile. As he put the phone to his mouth and started to speak, his head was blown off.

The youth had been recruited by Mossad to plant a powerful explosive inside the phone. The detonation signal had come from a kidon half a mile away.

No one had seen him arrive. No one saw him go.

HISTORY OF MOSSAD: PART 5 (Caution: This video may contain graphic scenes)


Were laid down over half a century ago by Meir Amit, the most innovative and ruthless director-general of the service.

"There will be no killing of political leaders, however extreme they are. They must be dealt with politically. There will be no killing of a terrorist's family unless they are also directly implicated in terrorism. Each execution must be sanctioned by the incumbent prime minister. Any execution is therefore state-sponsored, the ultimate judicial sanction of the law. The executioner is no different from the state-appointed hangman or any other lawfully-appointed executioner."

 Former Mossad agent Tzipi Livni has reached top echeleons of Israeli politics


The women  learn how to use their sex. To be ever ready to sleep with someone to obtain vital information. The link between intelligence work and sexual entrapment is as old as spying itself. Meir Amit had said when he was Mossad's chief:

"Sex is a woman's weapon. Pillow talk is not a problem for her. But it takes a special kind of courage. It is not just sleeping with an enemy. It is to obtain information."


It revolved around killing Saddam during a visit to one of his mistresses.

Mossad agents in Baghdad had discovered that the woman, the widow of a serving Iraqi officer who had died mysteriously, would be driven from the palace to keep a tryst with Saddam in a desert villa outside the city.

Heavily guarded, the villa would be a hard target to hit.

But Mossad believed there was a window of opportunity between the time Saddam would land in his helicopter near the villa and enter its well-protected compound.

The plan to kill Saddam has long been on Mossad's agenda. But previous attempts had failed due to Saddam's obsession with changing his movements at the last moment.

Mossad believed he would not do so this time.

"The woman is irresistible," said a report from one of its Baghdad undercover agents.

Mossad had scouted an air corridor through which it believed a kidon could be flown in below Iraqi radar.

A final rehearsal was held in the Negev desert. Israeli commandos doubled as Saddam and his bodyguards - a party of five.

As they landed close to a replica of the villa, the kidon were in position. They were equipped with specially adapted shoulder-firing missiles. But their weapons were to only fire blanks for the rehearsal.

In a tragic mistake, one of the missiles had been replaced with a live one. It killed the make-believe Saddam and his bodyguards.

The operation was cancelled.


Mossad has made no friends on the ground. They rarely do. That is their style: go it alone. They believe they know more than anyone else in fighting terrorism. And they may be right.


Two years ago this week, Dagan sent a team of kidon to Damascus to assassinate Imad Mughniyeh. His Mossad file included details of organising the kidnapping of Terry Waite and the bombing of the US Marine base near Beirut airport, killing 241 people. The United States had placed a £12.5 million bounty on his head. Dagan just wanted him dead.
What is kidon?

Kidon (Hebrew: כידון‎, "bayonet") is the name of a department within Israel's Mossad that is responsible for assassination and kidnapping. 

Mossad psychiatrists, psychologists, behavioural scientists, psychoanalysts and profilers – collectively known as the "specialists" – were told to decide the best way to kill Mughniyeh.

They concluded that he would be among the guests of honour at the Iranian Cultural Centre celebrations in 2008 for the celebration of the Khomeini Revolution. The team rigged a car-bomb in the headrest of the Mitsubishi Pajero they discovered Mughniyeh had rented, to be detonated by a mobile phone. As Mughniyeh arrived outside the Culture Centre at precisely 7pm on February 12, the blast blew his head off.


In their base deep in the Negev Desert – the sand broken only by a distant view of Israel's nuclear facility at Dimona – the kidon practise with a variety of handguns, learn how to conceal bombs, administer a lethal injection in a crowd and make a killing look accidental.

They review famous assassinations – the shooting of John F Kennedy, for example – and study the faces and habits of potential targets whose details are stored on their highly restricted computers. There, too, are thousands of constantly updated street plans downloaded from Google Earth.

Mossad is one of the world's smallest intelligence services. But it has a back-up system no other outfit can match. The system is known as sayanim, a derivative of the Hebrew word lesayeah, meaning to help.

There are tens of thousands of these "helpers". Each has been carefully recruited, sometimes by katsas, Mossad's field agents. Others have been asked to become helpers by other members of the secret group.

Created by Meir Amit, the role of the sayanim is a striking example of the cohesiveness of the world Jewish community. In practical terms, a sayan who runs a car rental agency will provide a kidon with a vehicle on a no-questions basis. An estate agent sayan will provide a building for surveillance. A bank manager sayan will provide funds at any time of day or night, and a sayan doctor provides medical assistance.


Within the global intelligence community, respect for Mossad grew following the kidon assassination of Dr Gerald Bull, the Canadian scientist who was probably the world's greatest expert on gun-barrel ballistics. Israel had made several attempts to buy his expertise. Each time, Bull had made clear his dislike for the Jewish state.

 Gerald Bull's gun

Instead he had offered his services to Saddam Hussein, to build a super-gun capable of launching shells containing nuclear, chemical or biological warheads directly from Iraq into Israel. Saddam had ordered three of the weapons at a cost of $20 million. Bull was retained as a consultant for a fee of $1 million.

On the afternoon of March 20, 1990, the sanction to kill Bull was given by the then prime minister, Yitzhak Shamir. Nahum Admoni, the head of Mossad, sent a three-man team to Brussels, where Bull lived in a luxury apartment block. Each kidon carried a handgun in a holster under his jacket.

When the 61-year-old Bull answered the doorbell of his home, he was shot five times in the head and the neck, each kidon firing their 7.65 pistol in turn, leaving Bull dead on his doorstep. An hour later they were out of the country on a flight to Tel Aviv.

Within hours, Mossad's own department of psychological warfare had arranged with sayanim in the European media to leak stories that Bull had been shot by Saddam's hit squad because he had planned to renege on their deal.


David Ben-Gurion, Israel's first prime minister, established Mossad as ha-Mossad Leteum (the Institute for Coordination) on April 1, 1951. Mossad had a checkered record in its first decade. On the positive side, it was the first intelligence agency to capture a copy of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev's February 1956 "Secret Speech," in which he denounced the crimes of Josef Stalin before the 20th Party Congress. Mossad also ran several key operations in Arab lands, with Wolfgang Lotz in Egypt and Eliahu Cohen in Syria.

The Syrians eventually exposed Cohen, however, and hanged him in Damascus Square, while the Egyptians captured, tortured, and imprisoned Lotz in 1964. Meanwhile, another operative in Egypt, David Magen, turned out to be a double agent, and the work of Avraham Dar in Egypt during the mid-1950s ended in a disaster for Israeli intelligence, with numerous agents captured and imprisoned. At least one apparent success of this era turned out to be a political failure when Ben-Gurion reversed Mossad efforts to intimidate West German scientists who were assisting the Egyptians. Eager to develop better relations with West Germany, Ben-Gurion dismissed Mossad director Isser Harel (1952–63), who he had once accorded the title Memuneh, "the one in charge."

1960s and 1970s. Mossad, which gained its present name as the Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks in 1963, fared much better in the 1960s. Joint operations with Shin Bet, the internal security force, led to the capture of Eichmann—who had overseen the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust—from his hiding place in Argentina. Under the leadership of Meir Amit (1963–68), Mossad focused on intelligence-gathering, which greatly aided Israeli military efforts in 1967. During this period, Mossad also assisted the defection of an Iraqi airman who delivered to Israel a Soviet MiG-21 fighter jet in 1963. In 1968, Mossad successfully captured eight missile boats that Israel had ordered from France, but which President Charles de Gaulle had placed under embargo. That year also saw the capture of nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu, who had revealed Israeli nuclear secrets to the British press.

Following the massacre of Israeli athletes by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Mossad directed an assassination effort under an action team dubbed "the Wrath of God" (WOG). Over the next two years, WOG tracked down and killed more than a dozen members of Black September, but also accidentally killed a Moroccan waiter who had no affiliation with the terrorist group.

Failure to predict Egyptian actions leading to the Yom Kippur War in 1973 forced the resignation of several top officers, including Mossad director Zvi Zamir (1968–74). Yet, on July 3–4, 1976, Mossad more than recovered its reputation with the daring raid at Entebbe, codenamed Operation Thunderbolt. After intensive intelligence-gathering at the site, the Israelis assaulted the plane, rescuing all but four of its 97 passengers and losing a single officer—along with 20 Ugandan soldiers—in the process.

1980s and 1990s. During the 1980s, Mossad's intelligence-gathering against Arab countries helped pave the way for Israeli airstrikes against Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) headquarters in Tunisia, and against an Iraqi nuclear reactor. In April 1988, a Mossad assassination team infiltrated the residence of Abu Jihad, deputy to PLO chief Yassir Arafat, and killed him. Two years later, in March 1990, another hit team killed Gerald Bull, a Canadian scientist aiding the Iraqi weapons program, at his apartment in Brussels.

Among the less successful activities of Mossad during the 1980s and 1990s was its involvement in the Iran-Contra affair, when it acted as an intermediary between the United States and Iran. Embarrassment surrounding the failure of Mossad to prevent the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin by an Israeli citizen in November 1995 led to the resignation of Mossad director Shabtai Shavit in 1996. Prime Minister Shimon Peres then appointed Major General Danny Yatom, the first Mossad chief ever publicly identified. In 2000, Mossad undertook a recruitment campaign, complete with newspaper advertisements and a Web site that took applications on line.


In the few weeks since taking over Mossad, Meir Dagan knew he already commanded something his recent predecessors never managed. Respect.

Barely raising his voice he spoke.

"When I was fighting in Lebanon, I witnessed the aftermath of a family feud. The patriarch's head had been split open, his brain on the floor. Around him lay his wife and some of his children. All dead. Before I could do anything, one of the murderers scooped up a handful of brain and swallowed it. This is how you will all now operate. Otherwise someone will eat your brain."

His every word held them in thrall - even if they sent a shudder through some of his listeners, hardened as they were.


They have a special team of scientists working at the Institute for Biological Research in Tel Aviv. They prepare the deadly toxins for the kidon.

Where other intelligence agencies no longer allow their agents to kill, kidon have no such restraint. They remain fully licensed to assassinate in the name of Israel once they have routinely convinced the incumbent prime minister of the need to do so.

Mossad's assassins routinely witness some of Israel's leading forensic pathologists at work so as to better understand how to make an assassination look like an accident.

They learn how a pinprick or small blemish left on a victim's skin can be a give away. They are shown how to ensure against this.

It makes them probably the most sophisticated lawfully-approved killers in the world.

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This


Anonymous said...

Israel reserved the right to take every action- legitimate or otherwise- to protect the lives of its citizens. Mosad is a most faithful and efficient tool in accomplishing this very vital function of government, to protect the lives of its citizens.

don leflore said...

When Israel says never again it means it. Here is a culture that has given so much to the world, upgraded communities and shared their skills to bring prosperity and has had to deal with extreme hatred that ignored none of their generations. The world watched and did nothing as the Nazi's murdered Jews in death camps. Not one of the free nations were instrumental in helping Jews reestablish a Jewish nation. It was with communist weapons they won the war of independence, not arms from the free world. Now the world expects them to seek a compromise with an enemy who has already said that it won't rest until Israel is wiped from the face of this earth. Israel stands alone and the desolate has more children than the children of the son that was promised. Know this Israel you have many Americans that support you and would rather see you strike first against "Mohammed Alla Akbah" you and your people have suffered enough. The Mosad, IDF, Israeli Paratroopers and commandos, the Golani Div. and Air Force give them HELL and make them pay a heavy price for their blind hearted adventures. Against all odds Israel is a nation again, whenever "Mohammed Alla Akbah" feels froggy and wants to jump Israel makes him bow down. Only a fool can not see that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has your back. Here the Mossad has a supporter and one who realizes that you have no choice but to play real hard ball against your enemies. After what the world let the Nazi do Israel has the right to stay mad enough to kick the roof off the sky when it needs to. Continue to honor my prayers and hopes that your courage will never fail.

Anonymous said...

I am a christian and think that every country has the right to protect itself and it population. May the Lord carry on to protect the nation and people of Israel.

Anonymous said...

Кур за изсраел, кур за мосад

Anonymous said...

By illegally invading Palestine and terrorizing, torturing, raping, murdering and robbing Palestinians of their land to establish the illegal 'Israel', Zionist terrorists and criminals don't have any rights to defend themselves and the land that they have stolen from Palestinians. Zionist terrorists and criminals have deliberately invented countless nonsensical ridiculous fairy tales to justify the unjustifiable Zionist crimes against Palestinians. Only Zionist terrorists and criminals support Israel.

Post a Comment

You Might Like These....

Search This Site

Popular Articles On This Site

More History Sites

Illustrated History

A Lousy Journalist?

A Lousy Journalist?
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

History Quotes

May 1945 - If hell on earth existed, than it existed in Prague after May the 5th. 1945. Old men, women and children were beaten to death and maimed. Rapes, barbaric cruelties, horror-scenarios of hellish proportions - here they had been let lose.

- Ludek Pachmann, Czech Chess-Grand Master and publicist, forty years after the fact.

Copyright Issue

All the images on this site have been uploaded from the internet. Their copyrights lie with the respective owners.

If inadvertently any copy-righted material is published on this site, the owners of the material may contact us at We will remove the relevant portion immediately


"History is a guide to navigation in perilous times. History is who we are and why we are the way we are."

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.


HISTORY, n. An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
-- Ambrose Bierce

We learn from history that we learn nothing from history.


"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know no way of judging of the future but by the past."

"Patriotism ruins history."

Snippets from History

This short but important battle played a key role in the decision to use atomic bombs when attacking Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The battle showed just how far Japanese troops would go to defend their country.

Snippets From History

Paulus didn't give the order to 6th Army to surrender, but his troops no longer had much fight left in them. Resistance faded out over the next two days, with the last die-hards finally calling it quits. One Red Army colonel shouted at a group of prisoners, waving at the ruins all around them: "That's how Berlin is going to look!


History is Philosophy teaching by examples.


"Those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it."
-- George Santayana

Points to Ponder: Why Is China Unstable?

The aim of individuals in any society is money and power. Societies that give equal chance to all its members to get them will be the most stable. That is why democracies are more stable than other systems of governance.

China after Deng's reform gave the chance to get rich but power is in the hands of an elite; the Communist Party of China. Membership to the party is at the whims of the local party bosses. This leaves out many people who crave political power dissatisfied and disgruntled. There in lies the roots of instability. The Party suppressed these demands once at Tiananmen in 1989. But force is hardly the way to deal with things like these.

READ MORE: Tiananmen Square Massacre