Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad by Gordon Thomas

Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad by Gordon Thomas

Author:Gordon Thomas [Thomas, Gordon]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
Publisher: Macmillan

The first suicide bomber had struck in Israel on a warm spring day in April 1993. Others soon followed, killing hundreds and wounding thousands. Men, women, and children had died on buses, in shopping malls and cafés, and on the way to school. Each death had one common purpose: to wreck any hope of bringing peace to the region. Most of the bombers had come from a terrorist group known as the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. For Israelis, it was more feared than Hezbollah and Hamas.

Each potential bomber was recommended to the Martyrs Jihad Committee. So far the combined resources of Israel’s intelligence community had failed to locate its members. All that was known was that they communicated important decisions through handwritten notes.

Long before a candidate was approached, careful checks were made into the family background. A critical decision in the selection process was the religious standing of any bomber. The imam, the prayer leader of the mosque where a candidate worshiped, was consulted on how well the person knew the Koran, how regular was his attendance at Friday prayers. There were other preconditions before a person was accepted for martyrdom. No bomber was selected who was the sole wage earner in the family, if two brothers volunteered, only one was chosen.

Having passed those basic requirements, a candidate was invited to meet the Martyrs Jihad Committee. These meetings were often held in public places, like crowded cafés, to reduce the risk of electronic surveillance.

The first meeting focused on a candidate’s religious knowledge. Next he was questioned about his political commitment. If his answers were satisfactory, he was placed on the list of suicide bombers. No one knew its size. But it was believed to number hundreds.

Meir Dagan had found the details in Mossad files. But he wanted to know more. And so, in every spare moment, he had dug deeper into the close world of the bombers and the men who prepared them.


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