Mossad ‘tried to kill’ Saddam Hussein using ‘exploding book’

Saddam HusseinBy JOSEPH FITSANAKIS | |
Israeli intelligence tried unsuccessfully to kill Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein in the 1970s using a bomb disguised as a book. This revelation is included in a new documentary film, which was aired on Monday evening on Israel’s Channel 1 television. The documentary, entitled Sealed Lips, focuses on the life and intelligence exploits of Yitzhak Hofi. Known informally as “Khaka”, Hofi was the fifth Director of the Mossad, Israel’s foremost covert-action intelligence agency, which he led form 1974 to 1982.  Aside from Hofi, who is still living in Israel, aged 85, the film includes interviews with five other former Directors of the Mossad, as well as with some of the agency’s best-known covert-action operatives. One of them is Brigadier General (ret.) Tzuri Sagi, said to have been the mastermind behind the plan to kill Hussein, who had assumed power in Iraq following a coup in 1968. According to the documentary, as soon as the Mossad tasked Sagi with assassinating Hussein, he employed the best-known bomb-maker in the Israeli intelligence and security services, known by his operational name, “Natan”. “Natan” put together a carefully constructed explosive device, which was hidden inside an Arabic-language book. The device was wired to detonate once the front cover of the book was opened. The film suggests that the Mossad did manage to find a way for the book to reach the Iraqi leader. However, Hussein appeared suspicious about the book and had one of his close aides, an unnamed senior Iraqi government official, open it. As soon as the cover was opened, the device exploded, killing instantly the Iraqi official, but leaving Hussein physically unharmed, though certainly shocked. Later on in the documentary, Sagi reveals that he was also in charge of an elaborate Mossad program to train Iranian special forces in guerrilla warfare, in the hope that these skills would be employed by the Iranians during their eight-year war against Iraq in the 1980s. The Iranians then used the methods taught to them by the Mossad to train Kurdish peshmerga fighting Iraqi government forces on the mountains of northern Iraq. Yet another revelation aired in the film is that the bomb-maker, “Natan”, was also responsible for putting together a sophisticated letter-bomb sent by the Mossad to Alois Brunner, a German former SS official who had assisted Adolf Eichmann transport millions of Jews to Nazi concentration camps throughout Europe during World War II. Brunner, who was living in Syria, received the bomb, but apparently survived the blast, which killed two Syrian postal employees. Brunner is said to have died in Syrian capital Damascus in 1996 of natural causes.

2 Responses to Mossad ‘tried to kill’ Saddam Hussein using ‘exploding book’

  1. Joseph says:

    They are bloody resourceful – the Mossad – emphasis on bloody.

  2. Someone says:

    Clever, but the Yahya Ayyash hit was probably the most ingenious.

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