Entries in Mossad (3)


Report: Mossad Tried to Kill Saddam with Exploding Book

AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, which has a long history of using techniques like exploding phones and assassins in wigs to take out Israel's enemies, tried and failed to kill Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein with a book bomb in the 1970s, according to documentary that airs in Israel Monday night.

But the film Sealed Lips says that the notoriously paranoid Hussein refused to open the package containing the book himself, and instead had another Iraqi official open it. The official was killed. Brigadier-General Tzuri Sagi, the mastermind of the alleged operation, told filmmakers the device was prepared by an Israeli bombmaker identified only as "Natan."

The movie, which details the career of Yitzhak Yofi, head of the Mossad from 1974 to 1982, reveals that Mossad also used a letter-bomb in a failed hit on Nazi Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's right-hand man in the extermination of Jews. Brunner had been living in Syria for decades. He is reported to have died of natural causes in 1996.

The alleged attempt on Saddam Hussein's life had previously been unreported, though two subsequent alleged Mossad assassination attempts in 1992 and 1999 have been mentioned in the media.

In the early 1970s Israel was believed to have been assisting the Iraqi Kurdish separatist guerillas via the Shah of Iran's special forces. Iraq and Iran fought a bloody war from 1980 to 1989. In 1991, during the first Gulf War, Saddam Hussein bombed Tel Aviv and Israel's main seaport Haifa with Scud missiles.

The Mossad has a rich history of targeted assassinations, mainly against Palestinian faction leaders. In the 1970s, Israeli agents killed a member of Black September, which was responsible for the 1972 Olympics massacre, by detonating his telephone. Most recently, a hit squad made up of dozens of men and women traveling on fake passports and wearing disguises that included wigs and tennis outfits were believed to have assassinated Hamas leader Mahmoud al Mabhouh in his Dubai hotel room in 2010.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Facing Unrest, Syrian Regime Blames Israeli Spy for Hezbollah Hit

EPA(DAMASCUS, Syria) -- Syria is now in month seven of a popular uprising that shows no signs of abating, and the U.N. has just imposed new sanctions on President Bashar al-Assad's regime for killing demonstrators.

So what's an embattled ruler to do?  Change the subject by diverting the public's attention to an ancient foe.

More than three years after Hezbollah military commander Imad Mugniyah was killed by a car bomb, Syrian State Television has broadcast a taped "confession" by a Palestinian philosophy graduate who says he provided a crucial tip to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad right before Mugniyah was killed.

In the interview, titled "The Confessions of the Spy Eyad Youssef Enaim," 35-year-old Enaim says he was recruited by the Mossad in early 2006 and gave them the license plate number of one of the two cars in Mugniyah's convoy hours before the car was blown up on a Damascus street on Feb. 12, 2008.  Syrian State Television said the interview "uncover[ed] some of the threads of the conspiracy against Syria," implying Mossad's alleged role in the murder is more evidence of long-standing international efforts to overthrow the Assad regime, most recently embodied in the current public protests.

When Mugniyah was killed in 2008, Syrian authorities and their Hezbollah allies were quick to blame Mossad, and it's true that Mugniyah had been hunted by U.S. and Israeli intelligence for decades.  One of the world's most wanted terrorists, Mugniyah was linked to the attacks on the U.S. embassy and the U.S. Marine barracks in Lebanon in 1983 that killed 258 Americans.  He has also been tied to the kidnapping of U.S. citizens, the hijacking of TWA Flight 847, and the bombings of the Israeli embassy and the Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires in 1992 and 1994, which killed 115 people.  The U.S. had posted a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture on the Rewards for Justice website.

But the Syrians never presented any evidence of Israeli involvement in 2008 even though earlier this month State television said Enaim has been detained since June 2008.  The Syrian regime was in fact on the list of suspects who might have wanted Mugniyah dead because of an intramural dispute with Hezbollah, according to Western intelligence officials.  A new confession unearthed more than three years later doesn't lend more credibility to accusations of Mossad's involvement, according to Robert Baer, a former CIA intelligence officer who spent more than a decade tracking Mugniyah down.

"No one, including the Syrians, has produced an authentic piece of evidence that would suggest they know who killed Mugniyah," Baer told ABC News.

Mossad is also a convenient target for Middle Eastern regimes battling for survival, both because of the spy agency's history of assassinations and other covert operations in the region, and because of popular hostility toward Israel.  During Tehran's Green Revolution in 2009, the Iranian regime tried to claim unrest was being fomented by Mossad.  Earlier this year, the Egyptian government accused Mossad of orchestrating the revolution that eventually overthrew the Mubarak regime.

After the broadcast, Eyad Enaim's eldest brother, Ahmad, presented Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad with official documents debunking the timeline put forth in the "confession."

In the Syrian TV interview, Enaim, a Palestinian refugee raised in Jordan, says he was attending his sister's wedding on the West Bank in late 2005 when he was arrested by Israeli authorities.  Ahmad asserts the wedding took place in January 2003, a date corroborated by an official marriage certificate.  Ahmad also disputes the claim made in the video that Enaim was arrested by Israeli authorities, presenting an affidavit from the Hebron Ministry of Detainees & Freed Detainees Affairs dated Sept. 18, 2011, certifying Enaim has never been detained by Israeli authorities.

The office of Hezbollah Member of Parliament Hussein Hajj Hassan declined to comment on Enaim's "confession."  Requests for comment were not returned by the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Iran Hangs Man Convicted of Spying for Israel's Mossad

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- Iranian officials announced Tuesday they have hanged a convicted Iranian spy for Israel.

Iran's state news agency says authorities at Tehran's Evin prison have hanged Ali Akbar Siadat, a man convicted of spying for Israel's intelligence agency, the Mossad, from 2004 until 2008.

Iran's state report says Siadat confessed to giving Israeli agents classified information on Iranian military maneuvers, bases and missile capabilities in exchange for over $60,000.

Details on Siadat's arrest, the evidence against him and his trial were never made public, which has led some analysts in Israel to question the charges.  Officials in Jerusalem are not commenting on the report.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio