Mossad has long history of assassination operations
February 21, 2010 6 Comments
By JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | intelNews.org |
The recent assassination of Hamas military official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh has sparked a public debate about the history of the Kidon (formerly known as Caesarea), Mossad’s elite assassination unit. Several participants in this debate frequently mention the infamous Black September killings of the 1970s (operation BAYONET), which exterminated almost every original member of the Palestinian group that perpetrated the massacre of the Israeli athletes in the 1972 summer Olympic Games in Munich. In reality, however, these operations were not conducted by the Kidon, but by a separate unit outside Mossad’s operational structure, created specifically for this purpose. The same applies to other extrajudicial assassinations of Palestinians in the Occupied Territories, which are usually perpetrated by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic intelligence agency. An excellent summary of the Kidon’s most important assassination operations, which go back nearly half a century, can be found in a recently published article in German newsmagazine Der Spiegel. The article mentions the 1962-1963 targeted assassinations of West German scientists working in Egypt’s nuclear armaments program (operation DAMOCLES), which many observers appear to have forgotten. It also briefly revisits the 1987 assassination of the Palestine Liberation Organization leader Khalil al-Wazir (a.k.a. Abu Jihad) in Tunis, the 1995 killing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad’s Fathi Shikaki in Malta, and the 1996 killing of Hamas’ chief engineer Yehiyeh Ayyash with a booby-trapped cell phone. It also mentions the more recent assassination of Hezbollah official Imad Mughniyah in Lebanon, as well as the aborted killing attempt of Hamas leader Khaled Mashal in Jordan, with a nerve toxin.