The Mossad also spelled Mosad, in full Mossad Merkazi le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim, (Hebrew: “Central Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations”), one of the three major intelligence organizations of Israel, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security).
The Mossad is concerned with foreign intelligence gathering, intelligence analysis, and covert operations.
Formally established in December 1949 as the Institute for Co-ordination, the Mossad was the successor to the intelligence arm of the Haganah (the Jewish military force in Palestine during the British mandate period).
Reuven Shiloah, who had been involved in special operations and secret diplomacy during the pre-state period, served as the first director. Bureaucratic conflicts hampered the new agency in its early days; it took more than a year for the agency to become operational, and it suffered an early embarrassment in 1951 when an Israeli spy ring in Baghdad was exposed and intelligence officers were arrested.
Shiloah retired in 1952 and was replaced by Isser Harel, who had previously served as the head of Shin Bet. Harel was credited with building the Mossad into a highly professional organization capable of conducting operations around the world during his 11-year tenure (1952–63). One high-profile success, the capture in 1960 of former Nazi Adolf Eichmann in Argentina by a Mossad team and his exfiltration to Israel to stand trial for war crimes, demonstrated the agency’s proficiency and confidence in high-risk operations.
The Mossad maintains numerous Israeli secret agents in Arab and other nations. The most famous of these was Eli Cohen, an Egyptian-born Jew who infiltrated the highest ranks of the Syrian government by posing as a Syrian businessman before being discovered and executed in 1965.
The Mossad and its operatives have carried out very deadly undercover operations against enemies of Israel and former Nazi war criminals living abroad. Mossad agents tracked down and assassinated the Arab guerrilla leaders responsible for the massacre of Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, and the Mossad has also been linked with several assassinations of Palestinian leaders in Europe, the Middle East, and North Africa.
Mossad has been a part of some of the most daring undercover operations in the world. This special operation and foreign intelligence agency launched operation ‘Wrath of God’ to track down and kill all the PLO activists responsible for hostage and killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
The following is a part of the lists of recognized and non-recognized operations carried out by Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, sorted in chronological order.
Nikita Khrushchev’s speech capture (1956) Mossad capture of a copy of the Nikita Khrushchev’s speech denouncing Joseph Stalin. The Mossad passed it on to the United States, which published the speech, embarrassing the USSR.
Operation Garibaldi (1960) Mossad operation in Buenos Aires for the location, identification, kidnapping and later movement to Israel of senior Nazi fugitive Adolf Eichmann.
Assassination of Herberts Cukurs (February 23, 1965) Mossad operation in Montevideo in which the famous Latvian fugitive war criminal Herberts Cukurs was assassinated.
Operation Diamond (1963–1966) Covert operation which began in mid – 1963, and ended on August 16, 1966, when the most advanced Russian war plane at that time, the Mig-21, was stolen from Iraq and landed at an air base in Israel.
Wrath of God (began in 1972) Covert operation directed by Israeli government and Mossad to assassinate individuals alleged to have been directly or indirectly involved in the 1972 Munich massacre.Their targets usually included members of Black September and PLO. Most of the assassinations were carried out by bombings.
Lillehammer affair (July 21, 1973) Mistaken killing of an Arab waiter in Lillehammer, Norway due to the Israeli agents mistaking their victim for Ali Hassan Salameh, the chief of operations for Black September. Most of the Mossad team was captured and tried for the murder, in a major blow to the intelligence agency’s reputation.
Operation Entebbe (4 July 1976) Intelligence gathering which contributed to the rescue of 102 hijacking hostages.
Assassination of Zuheir Mohsen (1979) Killing of as-Sa’iqa leader Zuheir Mohsen.
Assassination of Yehia El-Mashad (June 13, 1980) Mossad operation held in Paris, France, in which the Egyptian atomic scientist Yehia El-Mashad, who was involved in the development of the Iraqi nuclear reactor, was assassinated.
Operation Opera (7 June, 1981) Intelligence gathering on the progress of Iraq’s nuclear reactor which led to the Israeli air strike on it.
Operation Moses (November 1984 – January 1985) Planning the evacuation of some 8,000 Ethiopian Jews to Israel.
Abduction of Mordechai Vanunu (1986) Mossad operation to abduct and bring back to Israel Mordechai Vanunu, an Israeli nuclear technician who had fled Israel for the United Kingdom and revealed nuclear secrets. A female operative lured Vanunu to Rome, where Mossad agents drugged him and smuggled him to Israel, where he was tried and imprisoned for treason.
Assassination of Gerald Bull (March 22, 1990) Shooting dead of Canadian scientist Gerald Bull while he was working on the Project Babylon Supergun for Saddam Hussein.
Assassination of Atef Bseiso (June 8, 1992) Assassination of PLO head of intelligence Atef Bseiso.
Assassination of Fathi Shaqaqi (October 26, 1995) Mossad operation held in Sliema, Malta, in which Fathi Shaqaqi, the founder of the Islamic Jihad organization and the initiator of suicide bombings against Israel, was assassinated.
Assassination attempt of Khaled Mashal (September 25, 1997) a failed Mossad operation in which the institution attempted to assassinate the head of the Political Bureau of Hamas in Amman.
Assassination of Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil (September 26, 2004) The killing of Hamas leader Izz El-Deen Sheikh Khalil in Damascus.
Operation Orchard (September 6, 2007) Successfully infiltrating Syria’s nuclear reactor to gather evidence about the target, which led to the Israeli air strike on it.
Assassination of Imad Mughniyah (February 12, 2008) The killing of Hezbollah leader Imad Mughniyah in Damascus.
Assassination of Muhammad Suleiman (August 1, 2008) Allegedly killing of Muhammad Suleiman, head of Syria’s nuclear program, in Tartus.
Operation Olympic Games (2008-2010) Infiltration of Natanz Nuclear Facility and destruction of centrifuges using Stuxnet worm in joint operation with AIVD, CIA, DGSE and MI6.
Assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh (January 19, 2010) The alleged killing of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.
Assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists (2010-2012) The alleged killing of Iranian nuclear scientists by The MEK operatives trained and armed by It.
Assassination of Muhammad Al-Zuari (December 15, 2016) Allegedly killing of Hamas operative Muhmmad Al-Zuari in Tunis.
Assassination of Fadi Mohammad al-Batsh (April 21, 2018) Allegedly killing of Hamas engineer Dr. Fadi al-Batsh in Kuala Lumpur.
Smuggling of Iranian nuclear archives (2018).
Assassination of Aziz Asbar (August 5, 2018) Allegedly killing of senior Syrian scientist Aziz Asbar in Masyaf.
Arrest of Hussein Mahmoud Yassine (July 24, 2019) Arrest of a suspected undercover Hezbollah agent at Entebbe International Airport in a joint operation with ISO.
Tracking of Hassem Yussuf Zabib and Yasser Ahmed Tzahr (August 24, 2019) Tracking and targeted killing of two Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon in a joint operation with Aman and IDF.
Directors of the Mossad in chronological order.
1948-1953 — Reuven Shiloh
1953-1963 — Issuer Havel
1963-1968 — Meir Amit
1968-1973 — Zvi Zamora
1973-1982 — Yitzhak Hofi
1982-1989 — Nahum Admoni
1989-1996 — Shabtai Shavit
1996-1998 — Danny Yatom
1998-2002 — Efrain Haley
2002-2011 — Meir Dragon
2011-2015 — Tamir Pardon
2015-2020 — Yossi Cohen
2020- Till date – “D”
On Tuesday 15/12/2020 ,Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday chose the next director of the Mossad spy agency, known only as “D” to replace Yossi Cohen.
“D” is the former deputy director of Mossad, the unit responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations and counter-terrorism in Israel. “D” had served in the role for two years.
Israel does not customarily disclose the names of top Mossad personnel for security reasons. But Cohen is widely seen as having a more prominent public profile than many past chiefs of the foreign intelligence service.
If selected, a candidate must go through and pass the Mossad training academy, the Midrasha, located near the town of Herzliya. The Mossad academy is the official summer residence of the Israeli Prime Minister. There they are taught the tradecraft of intelligence gathering for approximately three years.
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