In all probability, the Mossad’s reputation far exceeds its actual accomplishments. But then again, no one is really sure by what degree. Think of some of the most daring acts of international espionage, the car bombing of Imad Mughniyeh, the Hizbullah military chief in downtown Damascus or the killing of in Dubai, conventional wisdom blames or credits (depending upon your point of view) the Mossad.
Ultimately, it really doesn’t matter if they did it or not. The very fact that everyone assumes they did it, or could have done it, is enough to act as a deterrent. And that’s what Israel has strived to achieve. When asked to comment on both attacks an official Government spokesman neither confirmed nor denied Israel’s involvement. As one defense official put it, “Let them think we did it, even if we didn’t”.
Principally the Mossad is responsible for collecting intelligence, covert operations and counterterrorism. It was founded in December 1949 as the central body to coordinate cooperation between the existing security forces.
The largest department in the Mossad is Collections, responsible for intelligence gathering overseas. Other departments are Research which produces intelligence and Technology which develops tools for Mossad activities.
Some of its best known activities include:
-Abducting the famous Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from Argentina and smuggling him to Israel where he was tried and convicted.
-In August 2001 the Mossad cautioned the FBI that it had picked up indications of what it called a “large scale target” and that upwards of 200 terrorists had entered the U.S. One month later the world witnessed the devastating attack on the World Trade Center in N.Y. and the Pentagon building in Washington.
-In 1992 and ’93 the Mossad was instrumental in evacuating Bosnian Jews from war torn Sarajevo to Israel.
-In 1969 – the smuggling of Israeli Navy boats out of Cherbourg, necessitated by the French embargo against Israel.
-1972-’72 Killing of the terrorists involved in the murder of Israel’s athletes at the Munich Olympics.
-Sending a letter bomb which maimed Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner.
-Abducting nuclear whistleblower Mordechai Vanunu from Rome.
-The Mossad was instrumental in helping the U.K’s M15 in tracking down the brains behind the 7/7 bombings in London.
The Mossad kept ongoing contacts with Russian Refusenicks in the USSR during the crackdown against the Jews in the decades between the 50’s and the 80”s.
These plus spectacular acts of heroism in the Arab lands since the founding of the State, have earned the Mossad an enviable reputation among similar organizations around the world.
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