Report: New Mossad chief to reactivate special hit squad
The newly appointed Israeli Intelligence Mossad chief, Meir Dagan, is planning to reactivate a special operations unit, code named Caesarea, to target the commanders, controllers, and financiers of Palestinian groups throughout the Middle East region, The London Sunday Times reported.
Quoting sources close to the Mossad, the newspaper said "Muslim extremists" abroad would become as vulnerable as those in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. "There is no reason why we should not do the same abroad. They will have nowhere to hide," said one source that is said to be familiar with Dagan's plans for the Mossad.
"Gone are the days of black-tie parties around the globe and fat expense accounts," he said. “Whatever we can't shoot will be closed down.”
The source added that Dagan's regime will "trim years of useless fat and rebuild the famous Mossad muscles. We have a war to win and there's no reason why the Abdullahs and Muhammads in Damascus, Teheran, and Beirut should sleep better than their brothers in Gaza."
The paper further reported that Dagan is particularly determined to resurrect the reputation of the Caesarea Squad, which suffered a major setback following the abortive attempt to kill Hamas official Khaled Mashaal in the Jordanian capital of Amman five years ago.
The squad is said to have been responsible for hunting down Adolf Eichmann in 1960 and eliminating the “Palestinian terrorists” who were responsible for planning and executing the 1972 Munich Olympic massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 11 Israeli sportsmen.
According to the report, the squad comprises no more than thirty individuals, all former commandos, who are considered the "elite of the elite" of Israel's security services. The report added that all are fluent in a foreign language, their faces are never exposed even to other Mossad employees and they often reside as "sleepers" in the foreign capitals to which they are assigned.
Many receive no orders during a four-year tour of duty, "but when the command comes, action is immediate, be it the hiring of a vehicle for a secret commando operation or the assassination of a local target," the paper added.
Former Caesarea member Mishka Ben-David was quoted by the paper as saying only one in a thousand applicants to the Mossad receives an offer; only one in a hundred who graduates from the three-year Mossad cadet course is judged suitable for the Caesarea Squad "and in the course of an operation in a foreign city, only one of the five to ten people on the ground does the hit."
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is reportedly confident that Dagan will deal effectively with Israel's enemies abroad, and the paper quoted an insider as saying, "The Sharon-Dagan team will be the terrorists' nightmare." (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)