The first full account, based on access to key players who have never before spoken, of the Munich Massacre and the Israeli response–a lethal, top secret, thirty-year-long antiterrorism campaign to track down the killers.
1972. The Munich Olympics. Palestinian members of the Black September group murder eleven Israeli athletes. Nine hundred million people watch the crisis unfold on television, witnessing a tragedy that inaugurates the modern age of terror and remains a scar on the collective conscience of the world.
Back in Israel, Prime Minister Golda Meir vows to track down those responsible and, in Menachem Begin’s words, “run these criminals and murderers off the face of the earth.” A secret Mossad unit, code named Caesarea, is mobilized, a list of targets drawn up. Thus begins the Israeli response–a mission that unfolds not over months but over decades. The Mossad has never spoken about this operation. No one has known the real story. Until now.
Award-winning journalist Aaron Klein’s incisive and riveting account tells for the first time the full story of Munich and the Israeli counterterrorism operation it spawned. With unprecedented access to Mossad agents and an unparalleled knowledge of Israeli intelligence, Klein peels back the layers of myth and misinformation that have permeated previous books, films, and magazine articles about the “shadow war” against Black September and other terrorist groups.
Spycraft, secret diplomacy, and fierce detective work abound in a story with more drama than any fictional thriller. Burning questions are at last answered, including who was killed and who was not, how it was done, which targets were hit and which were missed. Truths are revealed: the degree to which the Mossad targeted nonaffiliated Black September terrorists for assassination, the length and full scope of the operation (far greater than previously suspected), retributive acts against Israel, and much more.
Finally, Klein shows that the Israeli response to Munich was not simply about revenge, as is popularly believed. By illuminating the tactical and strategic purposes of the Israeli operation, Striking Back allows us to draw profoundly relevant lessons from one of the most important counterterrorism campaigns in history.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of History eBook: Striking Back|
|Release Date: 01-09-2007|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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TWENTY YEARS LATER
PARIS, LE MERIDIeN MONTPARNASSE HOTEL
MONDAY, JUNE 8, 1992, 1545H
The white Jeep Renegade hurtled down A-22 on its way to Paris. The driver was alone in the vehicle. He stopped twice, to buy food from a vending machine and gas from a pump. Five hours later, his surveillance tail almost lost him in the swirling rush-hour traffic of a Paris afternoon. On Rue du Commandant Mouchotte the trackers watched the new Renegade with the German plates, B-585X, make a sudden right turn. The driver of the surveillance car floored the accelerator and caught a glimpse of the Jeep as it dropped into the shadows of an underground parking garage. A quick look at the building explained the unexpected move: the garage belonged to the Le Méridien Montparnasse Hotel, an old, quality establishment in the heart of the upscale Montparnasse district, with over nine hundred rooms and suites, and a reputation for discretion. The visitor took the elevator to reception on the first floor. He registered under a pseudonym, paid cash, and went straight up to Room 2541 with a small suitcase in his hand.
The hotel guest was Atef Bseiso, a round-faced, elegantly dressed forty-four-year-old Palestinian who had been living in Tunis for the last ten years. He was the Palestine Liberation Organization-the PLO-liaison officer, working with, among others, the French internal security service, the Direction de la Surveillance du Territoire (DST). He was considered a rising star in his organization. His good relations with European intelligence agencies were, in large part, a product of his personal charm and