Mossad (Hebrew for 'institute') is an Israeli intelligence service. It is responsible for human intelligence collection, covert action, and counterterrorism. The headquarters is located in Tel Aviv, with an estimated staff of 1,200 agents. Mossad was formed on April 1, 1951, established by then Prime Minister David
Ben-Gurion. The identity of the director was kept secret, until March, 1996 when Major General Danny Yatom was appointed director.
There are 8 departments within Mossad, although internal details on the organization remain obscure:
- Collections Department: the largest, responsible for espionage. Consists of a number of desks in specific geographical regions.
- Political Action and Liaison Department: conducts political activities and liaison with friendly intelligence agencies
- Special Operations Division: conducts highly sensitive assassination, sabotage, paramilitary, and psychological warfare ops
- Lohamah Psichlogit Department: psychological warfare, propaganda, and deception ops
- Research Department: produces intelligence reports, including weekly summaries and detailed monthly reports
- Technology Department: develops advanced technologies in support of Mossad operations
Mossad is responsible for a number of assassinations throughout the Arab world. In 1960, Mossad kidnapped Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann from Argentina. During the 1970s a number of Arabs connected with the Black September group were assassinated by Mossad agents. In April 1988, Yasser
Arafat's deputy Abu Jihad, a principal planner of military and terrorist operations against Israel was assassinated. The Iraqi 'supergun' project was halted in March 1990, when Canadian scientist Gerald Bull was assassinated by Mossad.