המוסד הוא אחד משירותי הביון הידוע לשמצה והיעיל ביותר. אין מקביל למדיניות החיסולים שלו באף סוכנות ביון אחרת בעולם.
גורמים ישראלים רשמיים הכירו בארגון חיסולם של חמישה מדעני גרעין איראניים, כחלק מהמאמץ למנוע מאיראן השגת נשק גרעיני. רשויות איחוד האמירויות טעונות שצוות של 26 סוכני מוסד היו אחראיים להרג של מפקד צבאי בכיר של החמאס בחדר המלון שבדובאי בשנת 2010.
למוסד יכולות סייבר מגוונות. בשנות האלפיים, לפי הדיווחים, המודיעין הישראלי החדיר את וירוס ה-Stuxnet לתוך המחשבים של מתקני הגרעין האיראניים הגרם לצנטריפוגות במהירות גבוהה לכשל בתפקוד. הווירוס שהתגלה בשנת 2010, נוצר על ידי צוות ישראלי – אמריקאי משותף, על פי הוושינגטון פוסט.
באפריל 2018, הודיע ראש ממשלת ישראל, בנימין נתניהו, כי סוכנים ישראלים פרצו לארכיון של תוכנית הגרעין האיראנית של השנים 1993 עד 2003. גורמים ישראלים רשמיים מעריכים שהם השיגו כעשרים אחוז מכלל הארכיון. האוצר כולל כ-55,000 מסמכים וכ-55,000 קבצים על דיסקים – קבצים הכוללים תמונות וסרטונים בנוסף למסמכים. איראן הכחישה את ההכרזה.
שירות הביטחון הכללי של ישראל, המקביל ל-FBI האמריקאי, מכונה השב”כ. על פי נתוני ארגון “Human Rights Watch”, הרשויות הישראליות אוכפות “הגבלות חמורות ומפלות על זכויות האדם של הפלסטינים” ומסייעות ל”העברה בלתי חוקית של אזרחי ישראל להתנחלויות בגדה המערבית הכבושה.”
על פי נתוני עיתון “הארץ”, התקציב המשולב של שני השירותים בשנת 2017 היה 2.4 מיליארד דולר. ראש שירות המוסד, יוסי כנן, מונה לתפקיד בשנת 2016.
It may all be hype, but in the Israeli press, Mossad chief Yossi Cohen is touted in the Israeli press as a successor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his partner in coalition government, former IDF chief of staff, Benny Gantz.
Cohen has expressed loyalty he the prime minister, who faces criminal fraud charges. And when COVID-stricken Israel ran short of medical masks, Cohen came to Netanyahu’s rescue.
Further burnishing Cohen’s Zionist credentials: He was the first Israeli to talk about the possibility of assassinating Iranian general Qassem Soleimani, as I reported here last October.
According to an unsourced Jerusalem Post, Cohen played some still unknown role in the U.S. drone strike that killed Soleimani in January.
Besides the above well-known operations, details have begun to leak of Cohen’s other military-style operations and assassinations of top terror-scientists, as well as his still not fully disclosed involvement in America’s taking out Qasem Soleimani, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Quds Force chief (this according to NBC, Avigdor Liberman and information known to The Jerusalem Post). These details will continue to be revealed by the time he steps into the political arena.
This is pretty thin sourcing, so the story may not be true, merely evidence of Cohen’s political ambitions.
The phenomenon of intelligence chiefs becoming chiefs of state is global. George H.W. Bush, former CIA director, was elected U.S. president in 1988. Vladmir Putin was a KGB intelligence officer before he became Russian president. Yossi Cohen wants to follow in their footsteps.
As Israel copes with the COVID19 crisis, Netanyahu has tapped Cohen to obtain medical supplies from Mossad’s intelligence networks. Mossad reportedly delivered 10 million masks.
Yossi Mellman reports:
It is most likely that Cohen is trying to leverage his contacts to charm his acquaintances – the leaders and heads of intelligence in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – to persuade them to help Israel’s deteriorating health system. It is likely that these two states bought their protective and diagnostic equipment from China. If this is the case, Israel is the only country in the world known to have mobilized its intelligence agency for such a mission. It reflects Netanyahu’s incompetence
Soleimani’s convoy was struck by U.S. missiles as he left a meeting at Baghdad’s airport amid anti-Iranian and anti-American demonstrations in Iraq. Supporters of an Iranian-backed militia had agreed to withdraw from the U.S. diplomatic compound in return for a promise that the government would allow a parliamentary vote on expelling 5,000 U.S. troops from the country.
The Pentagon confirmed the military operation, which came “at the direction of the president” and was “aimed at deterring future Iranian attack plans.” The Pentagon claimed in a statement that Gen. Soleimani was “actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”
Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, under indictment for criminal charges, was the first and only national leader to support Trump’s action, while claiming that that Trump acted entirely on his own.
“Just as Israel has the right to self-defense, the United States has exactly the same right,” Netanyahu told reporters in Greece. “Qassem Soleimani is responsible for the deaths of American citizens and other innocents, and he was planning more attacks.”
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani vowed retaliation for the general’s death, tweeting that “Iran will take revenge for this heinous crime.”
Soleimani was the most capable foe of the United States and Israel in the region. As chief of the Al-Quds force, Soleimani was a master of Iran’s asymmetric warfare strategy, using proxy forces to bleed Iran’s enemies, while preserving the government’s ability to plausibly deny involvement.
After the U.S. invasions of Iraq, he funded and trained anti-American militias that launched low-level attacks on U.S. occupation forces, killing upward of 600 U.S. servicemen and generating pressure for U.S. withdrawal.
In recent years, Soleimani led two successful Iranian military operations: the campaign to drive ISIS out of western Iraq in 2015 and the campaign to crush the jihadist forces opposed to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. The United States and Israel denounced Iran’s role in both operations but could not prevent Iran from claiming victory.
Soleimani had assumed a leading role in Iraqi politics in the past year. The anti-ISIS campaign relied on Iraqi militias, which the Iranians supported with money, weapons, and training. After ISIS was defeated, these militia maintained a prominent role in Iraq that many resented, leading to demonstrations and rioting. Soleimani was seeking to stabilize the government and channel the protests against the United States when he was killed.
In the same period, Israel pursued its program of targeted assassination. In the past decade Mossad assassinated at least five Iranian nuclear scientists, according to Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman, in an effort to thwart Iran’s nuclear program. Yossi Melman, another Israeli journalist, says that Mossad has assassinated 60-70 enemies outside of its borders since its founding in 1947, though none as prominent as Soleimani.
Israel also began striking at the Iranian-backed militias in Iraq last year. The United States did the same on December 29, killing 19 fighters and prompting anti-American demonstrations as big as the anti-Iranian demonstrations of a month ago.
Now the killing of Soleimani promises more unrest, if not open war. The idea that it will deter Iranian attacks is foolish.
“This doesn’t mean war,” wrote former Defense Department official Andrew Exum, “It will not lead to war, and it doesn’t risk war. None of that. It is war.“
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported a year ago that Washington had given Israel the green light to assassinate Soleimani. Al-Jarida, which in recent years has broken exclusive stories from Israel, quoted a source in Jerusalem as saying that “there is an American-Israeli agreement” that Soleimani is a “threat to the two countries’ interests in the region.” It is generally assumed in the Arab world that the paper is used as an Israeli platform for conveying messages to other countries in the Middle East.
Trump has now fulfilled the wishes of Mossad. After proclaiming his intention to end America’s “stupid endless wars,” the president has effectively declared war on the largest country in the region in solidarity with Israel, the most unpopular country in the Middle East.
From The Times of Israel, new details on the political ambitions of Mossad chief Yossi Cohen. According to Aaron Milchan, a billionaire backer of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asked Cohen about his loyalties.
Milchan told the investigator that when Cohen was a candidate to head the National Security Council in 2013, a position he eventually received, “I was asked if he would be loyal to the couple.” Asked to specify which couple, Milchan laughed and answered, “dad and mom,” an evident reference to Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu. “I said I thought he’d be very loyal.”