Effective and Notorious
Mossad (the Hebrew word for “institute”) is one of the world’s most effective and notorious intelligence services. Its policy of targeted assassination is unparalleled among the world’s intelligence agencies.
In 2017 the combined budget of Mossad and Shin Bet, Israel’s domestic security service, was $2.4 billion, according to the reliable Israeli daily, Ha’aretz. Cohen was appointed in 2016.
Uniquely among the world’s intelligence services, Mossad takes credit for assassinating its enemies.
Israeli officials have acknowledged organizing the assassination of five Iranian nuclear scientists, as part of an effort to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
UAE authorities say a team of 26 Mossad agents was responsible for killing a senior Hamas military commander in a Dubai hotel room in 2010.
Mossad has diverse cyber capabilities. Israeli intelligence reportedly infiltrated the Stuxnet virus into the computers of Iranian nuclear facilities causing high-speed centrifuges to malfunction. The virus, discovered in 2010, was produced by a joint U.S.-Israeli team, according to the Washington Post.
In April 2018, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israeli operatives had broken into an archive on the Iranian nuclear program from 1993 to 2003. Israeli officials estimate that they obtained approximately twenty percent of the entire archive. The trove included some 55,000 pages of documents and a further 55,000 files on CDs—files that included photos and videos in addition to documents. Iran denied the claim.
The Israeli intelligence services are key to Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories.
According to a 2018 Human Rights Watch report, Israeli authorities enforce “severe and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinians’ human rights” and “facilitate the unlawful transfer of Israeli citizens to settlements in the occupied West Bank.”