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Mossad or The Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Hebrew: ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim) is the national intelligence agency of Israel. It is one of the main entities in the Israeli Intelligence Community, along with Aman (military intelligence) and Shin Bet (internal security). It's focus is on the Arab world, Muslims and organizations throughout the world, especially if they are in any way critical of the politics of Israel and/ or Zionist aspirations. Mossad also is responsible for the clandestine movement of Jewish refugees out of Syria, Iran, and Ethiopia. Mossad agents are active in the former communist countries, in the West, and at the UN.


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Formerly known as the "Central Institute for Coordination" and the "Central Institute for Intelligence and Security", Mossad was formed on 1 April 1951. Mossad was established by then Prime Minister David Ben Gurion, who gave Mossad's primary directive:

"For our state which since its creation has been under siege by its enemies. Intelligence constitutes the first line of defence [...] we must learn well how to recognise what is going on around us."

Mossad is responsible for intelligence collection, covert operations, and counterterrorism. Mossad is separate from Israel's democratic institutions. Because no law defines its purpose, objectives, roles, missions, powers or budget and because it is exempt from the constitutional laws of the State of Israel Mossad has been described as a deep state. Its director answers directly and only to the Prime Minister.

It is estimated that it employs around 7,000 people directly, making it the second-largest espionage agency in the Western world, after the American CIA. A report published on the Israeli military's official website in February, 2014 said that Middle Eastern countries that cooperate with Israel (Mossad) are the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.


From its headquarters in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, the Mossad oversees a staff estimated at 1200 personnel, although it may have numbered up to 2000 in the late 1980s.[1] The Mossad is a civilian service, and does not use military ranks, although most of its staff have served in the Israel Defense Forces as part of Israel's compulsory draft system, and many of them are officers. It is assumed to consist of eight different departments.

The largest is Collections, tasked with many aspects of conducting espionage overseas. Employees in the Collections Department operate under a variety of covers, including diplomatic and unofficial.[1] Their field intelligence officers, called katsas, are similar to agent handling case officers of the CIA. Thirty to forty operate at a time, mainly in Europe and the Middle East.[2]

The Political Action and Liaison Department is responsible for working both with allied foreign intelligence services, and with nations that have no normal diplomatic relations with Israel.[1] Among the departments of the Mossad is the Special Operations Division or '"Metsada" (Kidon), which is involved in assassination, paramilitary operations, sabotage, and psychological warfare.[1] Psychological warfare is also a concern of the Lochamah Psichologit Department, which conducts propaganda and deception activities as well.[1] Additionally, the Mossad has a Research Department, tasked with intelligence production, and a Technology Department concerned with the development of tools for Mossad activities.[3]


The Lebanese Jewish author and self proclaimed Mossad asset Gad Saad claimed that he was put in contact with Mossad agents by his cousin. Upon meeting them they asked him to conduct several favors for them that Saad believed to be tests. During the first test, Saad said he was asked to go to an El Al office in Montreal and leave a bag there, security personnel then brought the bag to him after he left. During the second test he was asked to pretend that he was a student and interview the Israeli consul while carrying a fake gun in his glove to see if he could sneak it through the security.[4]

List of Mossad Agents

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Mossad profile, Retrieved October 28, 2006.
  2. Ostrovsky, Victor. By Way of Deception-The making and unmaking of a Mossad Officer. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990. ISBN 0-9717595-0-2
  3. Mossad profile, Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved 28 October 2006. (Archive)
  4. American Thought Leaders - The Epoch Times, YouTube, August 11, 2023,
  5. American Thought Leaders - The Epoch Times, YouTube, August 11, 2023,