|The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations|
המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים
|"Where no stratagem is, the people fall; but in the multitude of counsellors there is salvation." (Proverbs 11:14)
Seal of The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations
|Formed||December 13, 1949 as the Central Institute for Coordination|
|Agency executive||Meir Dagan, Director|
|Parent agency||Office of the Prime Minister|
The Mossad (HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim, Hebrew: המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים - Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations) is the national intelligence agency of Israel. "Mossad" is the Hebrew word for institute or institution.
The Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection and covert operations including paramilitary activities. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security), but its director reports directly to the Prime Minister.
The "Mossad Le'aliyah Bet" was a small, unorthodox Zionist organization whose mission in 1938 was to bring Jews to the British mandate of Palestine. This was done to subvert the British quotas on Jewish immigration. The Mossad's modes of operation, its ideology, and politics resulted in the creation of the intelligence agency for the Israeli government once it was established in 1948. The agency consisted of several of the existing members who had worked to establish Israel as a Jewish state.
From its headquarters in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, the Mossad oversees a staff estimated at 1,200 personnel, although it may have numbered up to 2,000 in the late 1980s. The Mossad does not use military ranks, although most of its staff have served in the Israel Defense Forces as part of Israel's compulsory draft system, and many of them are officers. It is assumed to consist of eight different departments.
The largest is Collections, tasked with many aspects of conducting espionage overseas. Employees in the Collections Department operate under a variety of covers, including diplomatic and unofficial. Their field intelligence officers, called katsas, are similar to case officers of the CIA. Thirty to forty operate at a time, mainly in Europe and the Middle East.
The Political Action and Liaison Department is responsible for working both with allied foreign intelligence services, and with nations that have no normal diplomatic relations with Israel.
Psychological warfare is also a concern of the Lochamah Psichologit Department, which conducts propaganda and deception activities as well.
Additionally, the Mossad has a Research Department, tasked with intelligence production, and a Technology Department concerned with the development of tools for Mossad activities.
|State of Israel|
|Demographics · Culture|
|Laws (Basic) · Politics|
The Mossad was formed on December 13, 1949 as the "Central Institute for Coordination", at the recommendation of Reuven Shiloah to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Shiloah wanted a central body to coordinate and improve cooperation between the existing security services– the army's intelligence department (AMAN), the General Security Service (GSS or "Shin Bet") and the foreign office's "political department". In March 1951, it was reorganized and made a part of the prime minister's office, reporting directly to the prime minister.
Mossad's former motto: be-tachbūlōt ta`aseh lekhā milchāmāh (Hebrew: בתחבולות תעשה לך מלחמה) is a quote from the Bible (Proverbs 24:6): "For by wise guidance you can wage your war, and in abundance of counselors there is victory" (NRSV). (In Hebrew, "tachbūlōt" - "wise guidance" in English - can also be translated as "cunning", "trick", or "deception") The motto was changed recently as part of the Mossad's public 'coming out' to another Proverbs passage: be-'éyn tachbūlōt yippol `ām; ū-teshū`āh be-rov yō'éts (Hebrew: באין תחבולות יפול עם, ותשועה ברוב יועץ) (Proverbs 11:14). This is translated by NRSV as: "Where there is no guidance, a nation falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety."
In 1960, the Mossad discovered that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was in Argentina and through surveillance, they confirmed that he had been living there under the name of Ricardo Klement. He was captured by a team of Mossad agents on May 11, 1960, and subsequently smuggled to Israel where he was tried and executed. Argentina protested what it considered as the violation of its sovereignty, and the United Nations Security Council noted that "repetition of acts such as [this] would involve a breach of the principles upon which international order is founded, creating an atmosphere of insecurity and distrust incompatible with the preservation of peace" while also acknowledging that "Eichmann should be brought to appropriate justice for the crimes of which he is accused" and that "this resolution should in no way be interpreted as condoning the odious crimes of which Eichmann is accused." Mossad abandoned a second operation, intended to capture Josef Mengele.
The Mossad is commonly understood to be responsible for the assassination of Canadian engineer and ballistics expert Gerald Bull outside his Brussels apartment March 22, 1990. He was shot multiple times in the head outside his apartment. Bull was at the time working for Iraq on the Project Babylon supergun expressedly against the wishes of Israel.
Assisted in air and overland evacuations of the Jews from war-torn Sarajevo to Israel in 1992 and 1993.
The assassination of Hussein Al Bashir in Nicosia, Cyprus, in 1973.
The alleged assassination of Atef Bseiso in Paris in 1992. French police believe that a team of assassins followed Atef Bseiso from Berlin, where that first team connected with another team to close in on him in front of a Left Bank hotel, where he received three head-shots at point blank range.
The assassination of Dr. Mahmoud Hamshari with an exploding telephone in his Paris apartment in 1972.
The assassination of Dr. Basil Al-Kubaissi in Paris in 1973.
The assassination of Mohammad Boudia in Paris in 1973.
Operation Plumbat (1968) was an operation by Lekem-Mossad to further Israel's nuclear program. The German freighter "Scheersberg A", disappeared on its way from Antwerp to Genoa along with its cargo of 200 tons of yellowcake, after supposedly being transferred to an Israeli ship.
The sending of letter bombs during the Operation Wrath of God campaign. Some of these attacks were not fatal. Their purpose might not have been to kill the receiver. Some of the more famous examples of the Mossad letter bombs were those sent to Nazi war-criminal Alois Brunner.
The assassination of Zaiad Muchasi by an explosion in his Athens hotel room, 1973.
On July 21, 1973, Ahmed Bouchiki, a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, was killed by Mossad while walking with his pregnant wife. He had been mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of Black September, the Palestinian group responsible for the Munich massacre, who had been given shelter in Norway. The Mossad agents had used fake Canadian passports, which angered the Canadian government. Six Mossad agents were arrested, and the incident became known as the Lillehammer affair.
In 1986, Mossad used an undercover agent to lure nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu from the United Kingdom to Italy where he was abducted and transported to Israel where he was tried for treason because of his role in exposing Israel's nuclear program.
For its alleged role in the 7/7 bombs in London, according to the 2007 edition of a book about the Mossad entitled “Gideon’s Spies,” shortly after the 7/7 London underground bombings, the British domestic intelligence agency MI5 gathered evidence that a senior al-Qaeda operative known only by the alias Mustafa travelled in and out of England shortly before the 7/7 bombings. For months, the real identity of Mustafa remained unknown, but in early October 2005, Mossad told MI5 that this person was, in fact, Azhari Husin, a bomb-making expert with Jemaah Islamiyah, the main al-Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia. Husin studied in Britain and reports claim that he met the main 7/7 bomber, Mohammad Sidique Khan, in late 2001 in a militant training camp in the Philippines (see Late 2001). Meir Dagan, the head of Mossad, apparently also told MI5 that Husin helped plan and recruit volunteers for the bombings. Mossad claimed that Husin may have been in London at the time of the bombings, and then fled to al-Qaeda’s main safe haven in the tribal area of Pakistan, where he sometimes hid after bombings. Husin was killed in a shootout in Indonesia in November 2005. [Thomas, 2007, pp. 520, 522] Later official British government reports about the 7/7 bombings did not mention Husin. http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=israel_institute_for_intelligence_and_special_tasks
In February 1956, a friendly member of the Politburo provided the Mossad with a copy of Nikita Khrushchev's speech denouncing Joseph Stalin. The Mossad passed it on to the United States, which published the speech, embarrassing the USSR. This was a major intelligence coup that raised the prestige of the organization.
Prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1978–79 in Iran, SAVAK (Organization of National Security and Information), the Iranian secret police and intelligence service was created under the guidance of United States and Israeli intelligence officers in 1957 to protect the regime of the shah by arresting, torturing, and executing the dissidents (especially Leftists). After security relations between the United States and Iran grew more distant in the early 1960s which led the CIA training team to leave Iran, Mossad became increasingly active in Iran, "training SAVAK personnel and carrying out a broad variety of joint operations with SAVAK."
It was alleged by private intelligence agency Stratfor, based on "sources close to Israeli intelligence", that Dr. Ardeshir Hosseinpour, a scientist involved in the Iranian nuclear program, was killed by the Mossad on January 15, 2007.
A US intelligence official told The Washington Post that Israel orchestrated the defection of Iranian general Ali Reza Askari on February 7, 2007. This has been denied by Israeli spokesman Mark Regev. The Sunday Times reported that Askari had been a Mossad asset since 2003, and left only when his cover was about to be blown.
Operation Sphinx - Between 1978 and 1981, obtained highly sensitive information about Iraq's Osirak nuclear reactor by recruiting an Iraqi nuclear scientist in France. On April 5, 1979, the Mossad destroyed 60 percent of the Iraqi reactor components being built in France; "[An] environmental organization named Groupe des écologistes français, unheard of before this incident, claimed credit for the blast." The reactor was subsequently destroyed by an Israeli air strike in 1981.
The alleged assassination of Canadian scientist Gerald Bull, developer of the Iraqi supergun, in 1990. The most common theory is that the Mossad was responsible, and its representatives have all but claimed responsibility for his assassination. Others, including Bull's son, believe that the Mossad is taking credit for an act they did not commit to scare off others who may try to help enemy regimes. The alternative theory is that Bull was killed by the CIA. Iraq and Iran are also candidates for suspicion.
In what is thought to have been a reprisal action for a Hamas suicide-bombing in Jerusalem on July 30th 1997 that killed 16 Israelis, Benjamin Netanyahu authorised an operation against Khaled Mashal, the Hamas representative in Jordan. On the 25th September, 1997, Mr Mashal was injected in the ear with a toxin (thought to have been the synthetic opiate Fentanyl). Jordanian authorities apprehended two Mossad agents posing as Canadian tourists and detained a further six.
The fall out from the failed assassination eventually led to the release of Sheik Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of the Hamas movement, and scores of Hamas prisoners. Mr. Netanyahu flew into Amman on the 29th September to apologize personally to King Hussein, but was met instead by the Kings brother, Crown Prince Hassan.
Eli Cohen, a spy for the Mossad, infiltrated the highest echelons of the Syrian government, was a close friend of the Syrian President, and was considered for the post of Minister of Defense. He was captured and executed in the first half of the 60s.
The alleged assassination of Mohammed Suleiman, the alleged head of Syria's nuclear program, in 2008. Suleiman was killed by an offshore sniper while on a beach near Tartous in Syria.
The Mossad is suspected of killing Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a senior Hamas military commander in January 2010 at Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. The killing was carried out by a team thought to consist of at least 26 agents, travelling on fake passports. They entered al-Mabhouh's hotel room, where Mabhouh was electrocuted and interrogated, and then his veins were probably injected with poison (lab tests have as yet failed to determine the poison's exact chemical composition), then the door to his room was locked from the inside. Burns were found under his ears, on his legs, in his groin, and on his chest. Although Hamas has declared Israel responsible for the assassination, no direct evidence linking Mossad to the activity has been found. The passports used were comprised of: six British passports, cloned from those of real British nationals suspected by Dubai; five Irish passports, apparently using genuine data from living individuals; forged Australian passports that raised fears of reprisals against innocent victims of identity theft; a genuine German passport; and a false French passport. Dubai's police chief said that he was "99 percent" certain that the Mossad was behind al-Mabhouh's killing. Emirati police say they have fingerprint and DNA evidence of some of the attackers, as well as retinal scans of 11 suspects recorded at Dubai airport. .However later in March,Dubai police chief said "I am now completely sure that it was Mossad."and furthermore went on to say "I have presented the (Dubai) prosecutor with a request for the arrest of (Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin) Netanyahu and the head of Mossad," for the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
In a September 2003 news article, it was alleged by Rediff News that General Zia-ul-Haq, the then President of Pakistan, decided to establish a clandestine relationship between Inter-Services Intelligence and Mossad via officers of the two services posted at their embassies in Washington, DC. The article further claimed that the ISI had offered Mossad information about Libyan, Syrian, Jordanian and Saudi Arabian military which it had acquired through officers on official military deputations on those countries.
In July 2004, New Zealand imposed diplomatic sanctions on Israel over an incident in which two Australian based Israelis, Uriel Kelman and Eli Cara, who were allegedly working for Mossad, attempted to fraudulently obtain New Zealand passports by claiming the identity of a severely disabled man. Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom later apologized to New Zealand for their actions. New Zealand cancelled several other passports believed to have been obtained by Israeli agents. Both Kelman and Cara served half of their six month sentences and, upon release, were deported to Israel. Two others, an Israeli, Ze'ev Barkan, and a New Zealander, David Reznick, are believed to have been the third and fourth men involved in the passport affair but they both managed to leave New Zealand before being apprehended.
NCIS features a prominent main character named Ziva David, who is the daughter of Mossad's director (Eli David) and used to work as a Mossad Liaison assigned to NCIS. The character now works as a Probationary Special Agent to NCIS.
The Mossad (Hebrew: המוסד, Arabic: الموساد) is the national intelligence agency of Israel. Its full name is Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations (Hebrew: המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים HaMossad leModi'in uleTafkidim Meyuchadim, Arabic: الموساد للاستخبارات والمهام الخاصة al-Mūssād li'l-Istikhbārāt wa'l-Mahāmm al-Khāṣṣa). "Mossad" is a Hebrew word for institute or institution.
The Mossad gathers intelligence information and performs covert operations, which include paramilitary activities. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security), but its director reports directly to the Prime Minister.