MossadHa-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim (Hebrew: Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks , המוסד למודיעין ולתפקידים מיוחדים) is an Israeli intelligence agency, commonly referred to as Mossad. It is responsible for intelligence collection, covert action, and counter-terrorism. Its focus is on Arab nations and organizations throughout the world.
Mossad was formed in April 1951 from the Central Institute for Coordination and the Central Institute for Intelligence and Security. Mossad is a civilian service, and does not use military ranks, although all of the Mossad's staff have served in the Israeli Defence Force (as a part of Israel's compulsory draft system), and many of them are officers.
Mossad has long had a reputation for being an extremely effective agency (see links below). However, it has also been involved in several spectacular debacles. In 1973, Mossad murdered Ahmad Bouchikhi, an innocent Arab waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, who had been mistaken for Ali Hassan Salameh, one of the leaders of the Palestine Liberation Organization. The Mossad agents used fake Canadian passports, which angered the Canadian government. In 1997, two Mossad agents were caught in Jordan, on mission to assassinate Sheikh Haled Mashal, a Hamas leader. Again, they were using fake Canadian passports. This led to a diplomatic row with Canada, and Israel was also further forced to release several Palestinian prisoners, in particular the militant Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in exchange for the Mossad agents.
Mossad is headquartered in Tel Aviv and has eight departments:
- Collections Department is the largest, with responsibility for espionage operations.
- Political Action and Liaison Department conducts political activities and liaison with friendly foreign intelligence services and with nations with which Israel does not have normal diplomatic relations.
- Special Operations Division (Metsada) conducts assassination, sabotage, and paramilitary projects.
- LAP (Lohamah Psichlogit) Department is responsible for psychological warfare, propaganda and deception operations.
- Research Department is responsible for intelligence synthesis.
- Technology Department is responsible for development of technologies to support of Mossad operations.
Famous Mossad Operations
- Obtaining Khrushchev's secret Stalin-denouncing speech
- Capturing of Adolf Eichmann
- Killing of those responsible for the Munich massacre at the 1972 Olympic Games and the Lillehammer affair.
- Kidnapping of Mordechai Vanunu
- Providing intelligence for daring Israeli military operations, thousands of miles away from Israel, for instance, for Operation Entebbe.
CEO's of Mossad