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News ::
another mysterious death... (english)
11 Sep 2003
Modified: 08:55:57 AM
Anna Lindh, foreign minister of Sweden, critic of Ariel Sharon, has died from a knife wound.
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Report: Israel targets Foreigners for Murder (english)
11 Sep 2003
In a radical change in policy, Israel is expected to ratchet up its fight against terrorism by assassinating its enemies on American soil as well as in other friendly countries, according to United Press International.

Former Israeli intelligence officials speaking on condition of anonymity say the new plan includes overseas targeted killings a practice which up until now has been rejected by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

Jerusalem's current assassination policy has been primarily confined to the West Bank and Gaza.

"What Sharon wants is a much more extensive and tough approach to global terrorism, and this includes greater operational maneuverability," one former military source told UPI.

Another former Israeli government official told the agency that under Sharon, "diplomatic constraints have prevented the Mossad from carrying out 'preventive operations' (targeted killings) on the soil of friendly countries until now."

UPI says it confirmed the claims with over a half dozen U.S. foreign-policy and intelligence officials.

Sharon also is planning a "huge budget" increase for Israel's Mossad intelligence service as part of "a tougher stance in fighting global jihad," said one official. Mossad is now under new management in the person of Meir Dagan.

"Mossad is definitely being beefed up," a U.S. government official told UPI about the budget hike, but the FBI declined to comment, saying, "This is a policy matter; we only enforce federal laws."

The U.S. has its own recent record of targeting enemies on foreign soil.

On Nov. 5, a remote-controlled CIA drone aircraft attacked and killed six alleged members of the al-Qaida terror network in Yemen, an ally of the U.S.

Though immediate reaction from the Bush administration was subdued, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said the death of Qaed Salim Sinan al Harethi, a top al-Qaida leader, was a "good thing."

Just days prior to the strike, President Bush had stated: "The only way to treat [terrorists] is [for] what they are international killers. And the only way to find them is to be patient, and steadfast, and hunt them down. And the United States of America is doing just that."

In Israel's case, the new policy may be easier said than done.

"Israel does not have a good record at doing this sort of thing," former CIA counter-terrorism official Larry Johnson told UPI.

He cites the 1997 capture of two Mossad agents who had tried to use poison to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Amman, Jordan.

The incident sparked political difficulties between Israel and Jordan, not to mention Canada, since the Mossad agents held Canadian passports.

Israel ended up releasing Hamas founder Sheikh Ahmad Yassin and some 70 other Jordanian and Palestinian prisoners to secure the freedom of its two agents, according to former CIA officials.

Mossad also tried twice to kill Ali Hassan Salemeh, who masterminded the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.

The first attempt in 1974 was botched when the hit team murdered the wrong victim, a Moroccan waiter in Norway.

Salemeh later became an asset to the CIA, but was killed in Beirut in 1976 by a car bomb placed by Mossad's strike force.

"Israel knew Salemeh was providing us with preventive intelligence on the Palestinians and his being killed pissed off a lot of people," a former senior CIA official told UPI.

Despite the failures, there have been some successes reported.

One involves the 1990 killing of Gerald Bull, a Canadian-born U.S. citizen and designer of the Iraqi supergun.

That weapon is a huge artillery that can launch satellites and deliver weapons of mass destruction from Baghdad to Israel. Though his death officially is unsolved, ex-CIA agents say Mossad is most likely responsible.
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