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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

January 15, 2003

Israel to kill in U.S., allied nations

Ah, yes. The provocative headline hardly frightens me but seems meant to upset Americans. A terror killer escapes to France and Israel is to await extradition? When the EU and the UN treat Israel as a democratic nation entitled to full application of the law, then perhaps things might change. Meantime, I note that the US is training American police in Israel to combat terrorism in urban environments (TV news), and that the American military is already working within Israel. Will other "friendly" nations send their military for exercises in Israel?
Israel is embarking upon a more aggressive approach to the war on terror that will include staging targeted killings in the United States and other friendly countries, former Israeli intelligence officials told United Press International.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has forbidden the practice until now, these sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The Israeli statements were confirmed by more than a half dozen U.S. foreign policy and intelligence officials in interviews with UPI.

With the appointment of Meir Dagan, the new director Israel's Mossad secret intelligence service, Sharon is also preparing "a huge budget" increase for the spy agency as part of "a tougher stance in fighting global jihad (or holy war)," one Israeli official said.

Since Sharon became Israeli prime minister, Tel Aviv has mainly limited its practice of targeted killings to the West Bank and Gaza because "no one wanted such operations on their territory," a former Israeli intelligence official said.

Another former Israeli government official said that under Sharon, "diplomatic constraints have prevented the Mossad from carrying out 'preventive operations' (targeted killings) on the soil of friendly countries until now."

He said Sharon is "reversing that policy, even if it risks complications to Israel's bilateral relations."

A former Israeli military intelligence source agreed: "What Sharon wants is a much more extensive and tough approach to global terrorism, and this includes greater operational maneuverability."

Does this mean assassinations on the soil of allies?

"It does," he said.

"Mossad is definitely being beefed up," a U.S. government official said of the Israeli agency's budget increase. He declined to comment on the Tel Aviv's geographic expansion of targeted killings.

An FBI spokesman also declined to comment, saying: "This is a policy matter
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