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The 'Mossad' Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations


Established:December 1949
Director:Meir Dagan
Deputy Director:Classified
Associate Director for Military Support: Classified
Director of Intelligence: Classified
Director of S&T: Classified
Director of Support: Classified
Director of the CSI: Classified
Director of Public Affairs: PM Office
Inspector General: SC Office
General Counsel: Classified
Budget: Classified
Employees: Classified
For the Haganah branch responsible for coordinating Jewish immigration into the British Mandate of Palestine, see Mossad Le'aliyah Bet

Ha-Mosad le-Modi'in u-le-Tafkidim Meyuhadim  (Hebrew: המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים, The Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations, often referred to as Mossad, meaning The Institute) is Israel's intelligence agency and is responsible for intelligence collection, counter-terrorism, covert operations such as paramilitary activities, and the facilitation of aliyah where it is banned. It is one of the several main Intelligence Community intelligence entities in Israel, such as the Aman (military intelligence) and Shabak (internal security), but its director reports directly to the Prime Minister. Its role and function is like that of the CIA in the USA or MI6 in the United Kingdom.


[edit] History

The Mossad was formed in December 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 "Shabak") and the foreign offices "political department". In March 1951, it was reorganized and made a part of the prime minister's office, reporting directly to the prime minister. Its current staff is estimated at approximately 1,200. Its motto is be-'éyn tahbūlōt yīpōl `ām; ū-teshū`āh be-rōv yo'éts (Hebrew: באין תחבולות יפול עם, ותשועה ברוב יועץ, "14"For lack of guidance a nation falls, but many advisers make victory sure." - Proverbs XI, 14) <ref>About Us, Official Mossad Website. Retrieved October 28, 2006.</ref>

[edit] Structure

From its headquarters in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, the Mossad oversees a staff estimated at approximately 1200 personnel.<ref name="Globalsecurity">Mossad profile, Retrieved October 28, 2006.</ref> Mossad is a civilian service, and 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.<ref name="Globalsecurity"/> 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.<ref name="By_Way_of_Deception">Ostrovsky, Victor. By Way of Deception-The making and unmaking of a Mossad Officer. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990. ISBN 0-9717595-0-2</ref>

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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.<ref name="Globalsecurity"/>

Among the departments of Mossad is the Special Operations Division or '"Metsada" (see Kidon), which is involved in assassination, paramilitary operations, sabotage, and psychological warfare.<ref name="Globalsecurity"/>

Psychological warfare is also a concern of the Lohamah Psichlogit Department, which conducts propaganda and deception activities as well.<ref name="Globalsecurity"/>

Additionally, Mossad has a Research Department, tasked with intelligence production, and a Technology Department concerned with the development of tools for Mossad activities.<ref>Mossad profile, Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved October 28. 2006.</ref>

[edit] High profile operations

The Mossad's many endeavors in serving Israel's security interests have earned Mossad a reputation for being extremely effective as an intelligence agency. Controversy exists over cases where it has employed the tactics of kidnapping and assassination.

[edit] Successful operations

[edit] Failed operations

  • In 1997, two Mossad agents were caught in Jordan, which had signed a peace treaty with Israel, on a mission to assassinate Sheikh Khaled Mashal, a leader of Hamas, by injecting him with poison at a pro-Hamas rally in Amman. Again, they were using fake Canadian passports. This led to a diplomatic row with Canada and Jordan, and Israel was forced to provide the poison antidote and release around 70 Palestinian prisoners, in particular the Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, in exchange for the Mossad agents, who would otherwise have faced the death penalty for attempted murder. In March 2004, 7 years after he was released, Yassin was killed in an Israeli helicopter airstrike.

[edit] Compromised Mossad Actions

  • 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 obtain New Zealand passports fraudulently 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. [1] Both Kelman and Cara served half of their 6 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 4th men involved in the passport affair but managed to leave New Zealand before being traced. Amir Lati, 2nd Secretary at the Israeli Embassy in Canberra was later expelled from Australia in January 2005 for reasons still not disclosed by the Australian Government.

[edit] Directors of Mossad

[edit] Mossad in popular culture

  • The House on Garibaldi Street - A 1979 movie starring Topol and Martin Balsam, about the Mossad operation in 1960, whereby the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann was captured and brought to justice in Israel after 15 years in hiding in Argentina.
  • NCIS - Starting with the third season, NCIS added a character Ziva David, who is a Mossad officer attached to NCIS as a liaison officer. Her father is portrayed as the current director (deputy-director in season 3), and her half-brother was a Hamas terrorist.
  • Walk on Water - The movie's main character is Eyal, a Mossad agent sent to locate a Nazi war criminal.
  • The Little Drummer Girl - 1984 An American actress with a penchant for lying is forceably recruited by Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency to trap a Palestinian bomber, by pretending to be the girlfriend of his dead brother. - IMDB
  • The Constant Gardener - dialogue on spies:
    • Tessa Quayle: "I thought you spies knew everything, Tim?"
    • Tim Donohue: "Only God knows everything, and he works for Mossad."
  • Spooks (UK TV Series) - Three 2006 episodes featured Mossad operations: first a 2-parter violent Black op takeover of a Saudi trade meeting in the guise of Al Qaeda terrorists (episodes 6 and 7), and an effort to execute members of an imaginary militant Christian organisation in the following episode.
  • Triple (Book by Ken Follet) - The main character, Nat Dickstein, works for the Mossad performing a mission with the purpose of stealing 100 tons of uranium into Israel.

[edit] Conspiracy theories

Like other intelligence agencies, the Mossad has frequently been the subject of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. This has included purported involvement in the John F. Kennedy assassination,<ref>"Mossad And The JFK Assassination", Retrieved October 28, 2006.</ref> the death of Princess Diana,<ref>"Will Mossad finally hand over its secret files on Diana's death?", Canada Free Press, September 21, 2006. Retrieved October 28, 2006.</ref> the assassination of Elie Hobeika,<ref>"Sharon witness blown up in Beirut", The Guardian, January 25, 2002. Retrieved November 16, 2006.</ref> and more recently the September 11th attacks<ref>"Mossad - The Israeli Connection To 911", American Free Press, April 14, 2005. Retrieved October 28, 2006.</ref> and the assassination of Rafik Hariri.

[edit] References

<references />

[edit] See also

[edit] Potential whistleblowers

[edit] External links

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