The MOSSAD

Israeli National Intelligence Agency

Secret Intelligence - Global Intelligence
SISS  06.04.20
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Historical Background

The Mossad is the national intelligence agency of Israel. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security).  Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism. In contrast to the government and military, the goals, structure and powers of the Mossad are exempt from the constitutional laws of the State of Israel. However, its activity is subject to secret procedures that have never been published. Its director answers directly to the Prime Minister. Its counter-terrorist unit is known as Kidon.

 

The largest department of Mossad 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. The Political Action and Liaison Department is responsible for working with allied foreign intelligence services, and nations that have no normal diplomatic relations with Israel. Additionally, Mossad has a Research Department, tasked with intelligence production, and a Technology Department concerned with the development of tools for Mossad activities.

Mossad was formed on December 13, 1949, as the Central Institute for Coordination at the recommendation of Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion to Reuven Shiloah. Ben Gurion wanted a central body to coordinate and improve cooperation between the existing security services—the army's intelligence department (AMAN), the Internal Security Service (Shin Bet), and the foreign office's "political department". In March 1951, it was re-organized and made a part of the prime minister's office, reporting directly to the prime minister.

 

Divisions within Mossad

Metsada is a unit responsible for attacking the enemy. Metsada runs "small units of combatants" whose missions include "assassinations and sabotage".

The Kidon is a unit which belongs to the Caesarea department (one of Mossad's eight departments). It is described by Yaakov Katz as "an elite group of expert assassins who operate under the Caesarea branch of the espionage organization. Not much is known about this mysterious unit, details of which are some of the most closely guarded secrets in the Israeli intelligence community." It recruits from "former soldiers from the elite IDF special force units." This unit has been a part of Israel's policy of assassinations, a policy that Israel has used more than any other country in the West, with Ronen Bergman stating it has carried out at least 2,700 assassination missions.

Opinion - "Inspector Clouseau, Bond or the Terminator?" - Mystery is an asset.

It might not be particularly contentious to say that Mossad is the most revered and respected secret intelligence organisation in the world.  In fact, amongst their peers and even adversaries, many would still say they are the best at what they do.  Why that is, is open to debate.  Here are some of our opinions.

 

Different intelligence organisation’s will have their own culture and therefore their own set of particular prime motivators that drive the philosophy of that organisation forward.  Aside from the most common of these which is generally the protection of one’s own nation, its people at home and abroad and then its advancement, one would expect this to be underpinned by a unique identifier common to that nation.  Normally this is borne out by its own history and circumstances that have led it to where it is today.  In the case of what is now the state of Israel, there are few nations or race of people that will have suffered from the incalculable and constant injustices faced by the Jewish people.  So much so, that the drive to protect must be underpinned to a large extent with a drive for accountability.   Although some national intelligence organisations will be more co-operative that others, one can't help but feel that when a race of people have been betrayed by so many nations as the Jewish people have, then it would be understandable why the Mossad are far more insular, protectionist, or defensive about their activities even to their own State.

 

If we were to compare the motivators of those in other intelligence agencies such as the CIA, MI6, the FSB or the German BND, the Jewish people have a unique spot.  It would be hard for example, to expect an MI6 operative to have the same burden or weight and personal appreciation of the historical injustices on their shoulders as a Mossad representative.  MI6 was formed in the early 20th century and arguably has more of a military based fingerprint, as is the case with the CIA for example. Perceptions of what a Jewish person is, has changed significantly over recent decades largely due to their Military reputation and the significant global successes of Mossad.  Prior to that, and especially pre-Munich, the image my well have been that of a more forgiving intellectual than a deadly assassin.  That shift has altered perceptions and is a testament to how a people, not only the Jews, can gather and switch roles from being the hunted, to the hunter.  The rather useful pairing of fear and respect has worked in their favour for sure, but the mystery and deep state clandestine nature of the organisation gives it even more of an advantage.

"The Talmud says, “If someone comes to kill you, rise up and kill him first.” This instinct to take every measure, even the most aggressive, to defend the Jewish people is hardwired into Israel’s DNA. From the very beginning of Israel’s statehood in 1948, protecting the nation from harm has been the responsibility of its intelligence community and armed services." - R.Bergman¹

There has to come a point in time when, if your family is facing endless, inhumane, unjust, fierce oppression and slaughter, then a line has to be drawn in the sand....and it becomes overwhelming...enough is enough.  People that choose not to fight are not cowardly, but brave in their own ways.  Often it can simply be a matter of faith.  However, the right to be able to choose not to fight and to still live a free life without persecution and in the pursuit of wisdom and knowledge, is one that has to be protected at all costs, bar none.  Offering people in that position the gift of plausible deniability is a gift indeed.  It also requires a certain level of humility and an acknowledgement of service to something far greater than the self...perhaps those who have fought and died in the past.  In essence that is what MOSSAD and the independence it has, is able to give to the Jewish people.  It takes on board a burden of responsibility to provide the majority with the freedom to not fight and to not be persecuted.  This is all conjecture on our part and is a by-product of writing about an organisation such as the Mossad where the vacuum of secrecy is so airtight that people can literally only speculate.  To echo what was quoted above, invariably, as humans, we like a good fireside story and no better a story concocted than one without the benefit of fact.  Or, fiction is far more interesting than fact.  Forgive the crude attempt a parallelism to underline the point.  The upshot of this, is that although for sure there are many secret intelligence organisations that exist to defend those unable to defend themselves, arguably none more so in terms of scale can be compared to those of Jewish race. 

 

It would be difficult but not impossible to compare the persecution of those people to those of other races in other nations.  Certainly, mankind and the many barbaric fibres that make up a rich tapestry of oppression, injustice and prejudice, has many examples of the pain and suffering of minorities.  However, few have been as long lasting and spanned as many centuries. That historical underpinning simply does not exist in the same way elsewhere.  Patriotism or Nationalism as a driver is one thing, but the desire to survive and the desire to seek out accountability for extreme injustice can be far more powerful, especially when the two are combined.  It is true that sometimes emotion and reflecting on injustice can cloud judgment and decision making, but not in the case of the Mossad.  That rage and burning in the belly coupled with highly intelligent, well trained information gatherers who have quite literally "written the book" on foreign intelligence operations expertise, has led to Mossad being one of the most secretive of secretive organisations....and for good reason.

Who they are and how they are perceived are completely different things of course, and we suspect it is no different in the Israeli secret intelligence services as it is with many others i.e. there cannot simply be one 'type'.  Reading and listening to various commentators in the know, also adds to the mystery because there are often minor contradictions.  Take for example investigative journalist, and Israeli military expert, Ronen Bergman and his outstanding work carried out over nearly a decade including his book about the Mossad "Rise and Kill First".  In an interview² to promote the book it was interesting to hear him on the one hand describe the lethal and deadly assasinations carried out over decades, and then to amusingly refer to the typical Mossad agent resembling Inspector Clouseau rather than James Bond.  Again, perhaps an indication that this is not an organisation driven simply by blood thirsty revenge, but one that has the insight and intellect to stand back, understand weaknesses (previous leaders have made mistakes), remedy them, and lead proactive campaigns with precision, based on precise intelligence.  One will hear the same said by heads of most intelligence agencies.... these guys just do it better, and our opinion is that it is because of history, time, and strong will.  Bergman suggested in the interview that the reason is more down to the fact that the threats being faced in Israel and across the world are not just imminent, but "happening now".  Clearly a component, although the weight of the past may be too heavy for it to be the main driver.  So, the title of this paragraph was designed to capture the maybe rather obvious conclusion that the Mossad's mystery may be an asset, but the likelihood is that their composition is probably very similar to many other organisations in that they will come in all different shapes, sizes and backgrounds.  However one cannot help think that although sometimes the ingredients of a dish might be the same, some just have a little more kick than others.

Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Marrakech

The new Jewish Holocaust Memorial in Marrakech by NGO PixelHelper was demolished by the Moroccan authorities two weeks after the Jerusalem Post annouced its development as the only memorial of its kind between Israel and South Africa.   Among other things it highlights an issue, and maybe echoes a point made by Bergman which is that the threats against the Jewish people are very much global, present, and occur now....on a daily basis.  The international threat is not unique to the Jewish people of course, because there are several groups of minority or oppressed people who are spread across the world and face threats on a daily basis.  Where the Mossad differs from the defenders of those other groups of people, is that they seem to take the fight to the oppressors more directly than any other before them and do so through what must be a highly intricate, mature, overseas network.
 
 
(photo credit: OLIVER BIENKOWSKI)
 
 1.  "Rise and Kill First - The Secret History of Israel's Targeted Assassinations" by Ronen Bergman and Ronnie Hope, Feb 2018.
 2.  Interview - R. Bergman and Bret Stephens, an op-ed columnist at The New York Times and former editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Post (2019). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq9-F4FbzC8

Other International Intelligence Agencies covered here.

Poland's Agencja Wywiadu French DPSD & DSGE  -  German BND  -  Japan's CIRO  -  Holland's AIVD  -  Portugal's SIRP  -  Russian SVR

Don't do it UK

03 May 2020

The fact there is even talk of an easing of the lock down is madness.  Which bright spark in Whitehall, the CO or whoever has the PM's ear, thought of this?  There are some good guesses.

It can only be an attempt at appeasement, politically and socially.  This is plain to see and everyone saw this Cumming, and yet there are daily reports of easing. The ironic statistic is that according to polls, the majority of the public are opposed to it.  So what motivates the decision?  Cynics will run wild here...more easing = more return to work = more money in coffers.  Not that we would ever suggest those cycnics had a point of course.

 

We must learn from what the European Government's have and have not done.  Brexit was fine.  It cemented some ancient longing for independence and the typically British "you won't tell is what to do" approach...but the ink is not even dry yet and we are insisting on still aligning ourselves with a World 'leader' who advocates light therapy and disinfectant ingestion as his educated opinion on solving the Pandemic. In a week where the equally damaging but far less powerful David Icke is banned from Youtube and Facebook for breaking "Facebook Community Standards on health misinformation that could cause physical harm".  Ok the guy would not be my preferred dinner party guest but what in that Facebook statement is different from what Trump has been regurgitating?  In true Corleone fashion, "just as I think I'm out they pull me back in" - referring to the claws of social media and click baiting.  It is often amusing but sadly it is a fact at the moment that as we all know, the Presidential Press Conference that is Twitter, is the preferred medium for transmitting policy.  That no doubt has a TED talk or two.

 

In the UK however, if the Government is planning gestures only, then fine...appease at will  But, stay strong Boris..  Thankfully you are not at the stage where we have to give you a daily dose of anti-twitter pills and bed bath yet...let it not be so,

Dept. of Virus Safety (DVS) Corona Certificate - A boost for business.

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A Government Departmer solely for the control and management of a DVS Corona Safety Certificate for UK Businesses.  

According to A.I, the answer is N.O :(

May 15, 2020

The fairly near term seismic impact of quantum intelligence is likely to be borne out of ‘baby step’ incremental moves in AI which, although at exponential rates, will be pedestrian by comparison to the computational abilities waiting for us…very shortly.  Microeconomic moves, blueprints mapped out within specific industries in a decentralised, fragmented fashion to begin with.  A pattern that will change however.

 

One view is that AI is still being undersold and misrepresented as a means of automation rather than what it is really designed to do, which is to be a predictor not an automator of behaviour and processes.  One can almost visualise a point in time when the now fully graduated machine learnt systems jokingly ask "what on earth were those humans thinking".

 

 

So what are the likely short term effects?  Truthfully...too many too mention.  However if we start with basic automation.  With automation comes job cuts.  It always has, especially since the industrial revolution.  Now with Industry 4.0 already here and fuelled by exponential growth and AI, the same is on the cards and the roles people will find themselves in, will either change or become nullified.  Look at the plight of the taxi driver for example.  Driverless cars will certainly remove the need for that job in particular.  So, he or she will have to find something else to do and supplement the economic food chain in another way.  This might in some way explain the inertia we are seeing because, as far as I can see, much of what we are seeing now should have already happened a few years ago.  In all (not some) industries and professions, the human element will be redundant.  This is nothing new of course and has been the subject of countless TED talks. Since Darwin’s On the Origin of the Species, natural selection has the job of removing the waste (to put it crudely).  On that basis…our time is well and truly up.  This is of course meandering towards the ‘philosophical’ and away from the practical implications of automation.  However, I do feel that any talk of new processes, new technology or innovative techniques that involve AI and has the future in mind, has to have an element of philosophical discussion included within it.

It almost feels like there is a giant switch somewhere in the background waiting for someone to flick on.  Once all the debate has finished, once all the micro blueprints and maps have been drawn up to be applied uniformly across industries and nations, then it will be time.  Who knows….rather than waiting for that point of singularity…that point in time which we have pondered about for years, the point of no return and where technology finally becomes self-sufficient…maybe we take control instead and flick the switch ourselves.  It would make sense after all.  If, all things being equal, we know that something is going to happen and the only variable is time, then by fixing that time, we are eliminating any uncertainty.  A form of euthanasia for the human race. One other point to consider.  Putting aside national boundaries, cultural, religious, political differences for a moment.  It would not be outlandish to suggest that the ‘brains’ at the top of pile (the prospective ‘two by two entering the Arc’), those at the pinnacle of their careers or bearers of outstanding skills, might be capable of working in tandem.  If all agree that the equation itself is the same, and all agree what it means, then perhaps they could be the ones to pull the proverbial switch.  How may films, tales, songs, stories and fables have we come across over the years which predict that a select few (not the meak) will inherit the Earth, and lead the human race past Armageddon, or some other such apocalyptic scenario?  Personally, I think it is rubbish and these tales are merely a manifestation of a inane in-built human desire for hope, albeit in this case, for only the few. One can hear the distant, 'child like' desperate questions begging in the parent’s ear “please, please, if we try really hard and do really well, will we get a chance...if we become really really clever will we be saved?”.  Unfortunately, the answer according to A.I is, N.O.

Intelligence Reports

14 April 2020

After AI comes Quantum AI...and then what?

When Google's Sycamore effectively moved us to the next step in AI it will become one of those defining moments...but how will Quantum Artificial Intelligence affect the Intelligence World?

21 March 2020

Neurodiversity & ASD within the Secret Intelligence Services

Some have gone as far as to say that the 'diverse' represent the next step in the evolutionary process.  Maybe.  But, ignore the Neurodiverse at your peril!

12 May 2020

A Government Department of Virus Safety

A Government run, uniform and credible safety certificate to be used across the board, would benefit UK business greatly.

Wuhan conspiracy theories aside, diplomatic traction is the reward.

 

A week or two ago we wrote an article "Conspiracies & Ripples" which focused primarily on conspiracy theories and kicked off with the rather obvious statement that a conspiracy theory is simply a theory without the facts i.e. just a theory.  Within that we highlighted that ‘flavour of the month’ theorist’s delight, the origins of the Coronavirus and its links to Wuhan.  This echoed our views published in February which, as many did, ponder the chances of this remote coincidence maybe actually being true.  Since then there have been swathes of articles on the topic citing all sort of sources and from numerous ‘renowned’ scientists.  We have also recently had the opinions offered by those whose opinions really count, that this virus originating from the labs in Wuhan may not actually be so far-fetched after all.

We do tend to agree, or at least we did.  That was then and this is now and in the world of Politics things move quickly and one does have to look at the reality of the situation.  If there is enough fog between you and your destination, then sometimes the route you take can change, leaving you all sorts of options.  If the objective was originally to circumnavigate through uncertain waters to establish who, what, why and when the virus came about – then that is now lost in the fog.  It is arbitrary.  Now we have something that is far more concrete and tangible to use to our advantage – we have uncertainty.  We now have enough debate and conspiracy to render the findings of the scientists open to interpretation.  And that… is a diplomat’s dream come true.   This particular carcass will feed many and although the WHO will go in, on the ground, and no doubt find yet more uncertainty…it really is irrelevant.  You will certainly not find individual government’s chomping at the bit to send their representatives into Wuhan anytime soon, and even if they did, why?  Wuhan is not some sleepy suburb in leafy Northamptonshire… it is in China.  Whatever was there has long gone, if indeed it was ever even there.  So perhaps it would be wise to assume that at least for the next few decades this is a conspiracy that will never find out those salient facts. 

Now, listening to the scientists, there is an overwhelming urge to say, “shush now”.  Step back ladies and gentlemen and look at the bigger picture at play.  Nobody is actually interested whether or not the virus started in Wuhan, intentionally or not.  As long as it is open to debate, it is far more valuable.  The scientists have debated at length and argued, but there is still no unequivocal proof either way that satisfies all parties…and why could that be?  Scientific fact is not open to debate or questioning, that is a given.  However, to say Science is correct, is not true.  That is because Science has Scientists, and Scientists are human beings who in turn are fallible and motivated by many many other factors.  In China for example, one might say that scientific fact is exactly what they want it to be.  Indeed, who is to say it ends in China.

 

So why is uncertainty such a blessing in this case?  It provides an additional bargaining chip and a weapon in the armoury for all Governments to now use against the Chinese.  Maybe on the other side of the fence their own initial conspiracy theory that a foreign Government (the US) planted the virus in their midst, is being written about in their own press.  Or maybe not. The fact is it is a safe bet to assume that no body will ever know.  There will be no compensations or admissions of guilt in this case sadly…however the capillaceous network that is politics, diplomacy and economic negotiations will be the real beneficiaries.

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