web analytics
May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Behind The Mossad Curtain: An Interview with Author Dan Raviv


Dan Raviv

Dan Raviv

The mystique of the Mossad. Few can resist it. Hardly any Jew bears anything but affection and admiration for the foreign intelligence agency that produced Eli Cohen, kidnapped Adolf Eichmann, and attacked Iran’s nuclear program with a computer virus in 2009.

But how did the Mossad become so effective? And from where does it get its information? These questions and others are addressed in a new book, Spies Against Armageddon: Inside Israel’s Secret Wars. Written by veteran journalists Yossi Melman and Dan Raviv, the book traces the history of the Mossad from its inception to today. A Hebrew version of the work, Milchamot Hatzlalim, is a bestseller in Israel.

Raviv, who has served as a CBS News correspondent for over 30 years, recently spoke with The Jewish Press.

The Jewish Press: Your book relates many fascinating incidents, but a great deal of them have already appeared in other works. What exactly is new about this book?

Raviv: For one, we are the first to reveal the decision-making process behind the bombing of Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007 and how Israel’s intelligence community discovered it.

How, indeed, did it discover it?

When Colonel Khaddafi in Libya gave up his weapons of mass destruction in a deal negotiated by the Americans and British, Israel was taken entirely by surprise. Israel didn’t know that Khaddafi had an active WMD program and didn’t know about the negotiations for him to give it up. And that was pretty embarrassing to the Mossad.

So Israeli intelligence decided to review every file they had that had anything to do with Arab countries and nuclear work. And they found that the Pakistani [nuclear scientist] A.Q. Khan, who was known to have sold nuclear equipment to many countries, had been in touch with Syria. More importantly, they discovered North Korea had been working closely with Syria.

So the Mossad turned its focus, and Israeli spy satellites, to that and found the secluded building in northeastern Syria which Israel’s air force eventually destroyed.

You write that Israel somehow managed to get photos of the inside of that building. How?

A Mossad team in Europe obtained them from the computer files of a Syrian official who was traveling.

What I think is so interesting is that Israel decided never to confirm the air raid that destroyed the reactor, hoping that, as a result, no war would break out. It didn’t want to humiliate Assad. It was a clever strategy, and it suggests that if Israel takes action inside Iran, it similarly won’t confirm it.

Israel has already started taking action on Iran as you document in your book.

Yes, and Yossi and I believe we are the first to establish that the assassinations of five nuclear scientists in Tehran from 2007 to 2011 were committed by members of a special Mossad squad called Kidon. We looked into the possibility that Israel hired mercenaries or local Iranian dissidents. But our sources told us that if an operation is extremely sensitive, they don’t trust others to do it.

What is the Kidon unit?

It’s an extremely well trained and talented group that can get to places that are almost unthinkable. In other words, they are super spies. Even within the Mossad, most staff members don’t know the real names of Kidon operatives.

How many Kidon operatives are there?

My impression is that there are just a few dozen. They’re handpicked for being especially talented, including skills at foreign languages. They’re trained in the use of all kinds of weapons and most of the assassination missions have been done by them.

Do you think assassinating Iranian scientists and planting sophisticated computer viruses can continue to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program? Or are we nearing the point where only an air attack would do the trick?

I think it’s possible to keep causing delays and problems. Recently retired Israeli intelligence people speak of a list of actions which still have not been done – including cutting off electricity and water, causing communications difficulties, planting more computer viruses, etc. They think a lot of sabotage can still be done, and that is one of their arguments against sending Israel’s air force to attack Iran.

Tons of people have heard of Israel’s legendary spy, Eli Cohen, who was caught and hanged in Syria in 1965. Does the Mossad still have undercover agents like Eli Cohen living in Arab countries?

About the Author: Elliot Resnick is a Jewish Press staff reporter and author of “Movers and Shakers: Sixty Prominent Personalities Speak Their Mind on Tape” (Brenn Books).


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Behind The Mossad Curtain: An Interview with Author Dan Raviv”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Knock off the Peace Processing, Already!
Latest Indepth Stories
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Many books have supported the preferability- not to be confused with desirability- of the status quo

Pope Francis at the Western. Is he praying there should not be too many Catholics in the world?

Consider the Pope’s desperation, reading daily reports of the slaughter of Christians by Muslims

Former US Senator, Joe Lieberman

The contrast between a Dem pretending to love Israel & a Dem who truly loves Israel is CRYSTAL CLEAR

israeli-american flags

Pentecost, derived from the Greek word for 50, is celebrated 50 days after Easter.

U.S and European demands for the creation of a Palestinian State in the West Bank is world hypocrisy.

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

More Articles from Elliot Resnick
Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Jews are an anxious group – understandably, given the millennia of persecution – and want to have no trouble.

Dr. Michael Berenbaum

Why do Jews, then, sometimes feel more intensely about Polish anti-Semitism than they do about German anti-Semitism?

Mitchell Bard is nothing if not prolific. He has written and edited 23 books, including “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Middle East” and “The Arab Lobby: The Invisible Alliance That Undermines America’s Interests in the Middle East.” Bard, who has a Ph.D. in political science from UCLA, is also the executive director of both the […]

You have to understand that Ukraine was really a very, very Jewish place for many years.

What I think is going on here is the Midrash is making a comment about Rut’s love for Naomi being some sort of reflection of how we have to love God.

HarperCollins’s omission was especially egregious because it is a major general and educational publisher.

I said to myself, “This story has got to be told. We’re losing this generation of World War II and if we don’t listen to them now, we’ve lost it.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/behind-the-mossad-curtain-an-interview-with-author-dan-raviv/2012/09/25/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: