Killing Terror Leaders: Israel's Experience

(Wall Street Journal) Ronen Bergman - In 1995, when unknown assailants tried to kill then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Ethiopia, the CIA and the Egyptian intelligence service requested the Israeli Mossad's assistance in investigating the incident. The Mossad discovered that Iran and a hitherto unknown mujahedeen group were jointly responsible. Notable among these veterans of the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan who had found refuge in Sudan was a certain wealthy Saudi by the name of bin Laden. The Mossad set up a Global Jihad desk - the first Western intelligence organization to do so - and was also the first to attempt, unsuccessfully, to assassinate bin Laden: In 1995, it recruited his secretary to poison him. It has long been evident that targeted killings are an invaluable component of the military arsenal in the fight against terrorism. The Jewish state has repeatedly eliminated field operatives and military, political and ideological leaders of organizations it has deemed dangerous. Since the mid-1990s, Israel has shared a great deal of technology that it developed in its use of drones with the U.S. Today, drones are America's primary weapon in its own targeted killings. Israel also trained U.S. special forces in penetration and ambush techniques in urban environments - techniques that were later put into practice in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

2011-05-05 00:00:00

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