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The book describes how Mossad agents are deft at extremely accurate shooting at any speed and staying steady to shoot and to place exquisitely shaped sticky bombs onto cars. "That is their hallmark", Raviv said during an interview.
The Mossad assassinations are part of a series of regular missions deep inside Iran, intended to keep Tehran from developing weapons and following through with threats by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map. U.S. officials have said in the past that they were not involved, and they don't know who did it.
The U.S. and Israel accuse Iran of seeking nuclear weapons, a charge Tehran denies. Iran has long blamed the scientists' killings on Israel, which has remained silent on the matter, but media reports speculated Israel had contracted killers to do the job.
"They don't farm out a mission that is that sensitive, so sensitive that Israel's prime minister has to sign off on it personally", Raviv said. "They might use dissidents for assistance or logistics but not the hit itself. The methodology and training and use of motorcycles is all out of the Mossad playbook. They wouldn't trust anybody else to do it."
The Mossad operatives enter and exit Iran through a "multitude" of routes, using a series of safe houses once inside the country that predate the 1979 revolution, the authors said. During an interview, co-author Melman said Israel believes the campaign successfully disrupted Iran's nuclear program not only by taking out key scientists but also dissuading other up-and-coming scholars from joining the program.
Raviv is a CBS News correspondent, and Melman is a well-known Israeli reporter and commentator. Israel has told the Obama administration that it expects American military power to "obliterate" Iran's nuclear program, the authors said. If the U.S. does not act, Israel has threatened to attack Iran's nuclear sites on its own. The U.S. prefers the carrot-and-stick approach of talks aimed at convincing Iran to stick to a peaceful nuclear regime, combined with increasingly harsh financial sanctions to punish Iran as it improves its current program.
The US and Israel have cooperated on the harassment campaign, including partnering on cyber programs like Stuxnet, malware credited with damaging the control panel on centrifuges in Iran's nuclear plant.
Melman said the cyber campaign was an Israeli innovation, not an American one as recently reported. It was the brainchild of Israel's military intelligence agency Aman and Unit 8200 – Israel's equivalent of the eavesdropping, code-breaking National Security Agency – and endorsed by the White House at Israel's suggestion, he added.
Israel's cyber warriors then worked with NSA to build malware. The program Flame was built first – a Trojan horse code designed to penetrate the Iranian nuclear sites and "suck information about the (uranium-enriching) centrifuges and how they operate," Melman said. Once the Israeli and U.S. cyber experts got that information, they were able to build Stuxnet.
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Robert Morton, Ed., Ed.S. is a member of the Association Of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). A portion (10%) of this site's ad revenues is donated to the AFIO. The views expressed on this site do not represent those of any organization he is a member of. OSINT News is always looking for different perspectives regarding the Intelligence Community- got a thought, article or comment you'd like to submit? Contact us on the Secure Contact Form