In cooperation with Cypriot authorities, agents of the fabled Israeli intelligence service recently thwarted a planned attack on Israeli targets on the island nation, arresting several of the would-be perpetrators. After the arrests were made public, the Mossad took the unusual step of explaining how it found them: by abducting, on Iranian soil, the officer of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps who directed the terrorist cell in Cyprus, and obtaining the relevant information from him. Yoav Limor notes some lessons that can be learned from this coup, among them:
[T[he Mossad has close collaborative endeavors with other intelligence agencies around the world, especially in the region. This helped in frustrating the terrorist plots in Istanbul and Georgia earlier this year and was helpful in the Cyprus operation as well. Such cooperation is a strategic asset of paramount importance that must be nurtured; it often runs along a parallel track to official ties with Israel.
Iran is hell-bent on killing Israelis. Last year the head of the Revolutionary Guards’ intelligence apparatus lost his job after his plot to kill Israelis was thwarted in Istanbul; he was replaced by another one who now saw a similar outcome to his plot. The commanders get replaced but that Iranian motivation remains just the same, in part because Iran has not been forced to pay a price for its attempted murder of Israelis.
The final takeaway is that this intense Iranian effort has failed to cause any outrage around the world. The Mossad exposes plots, shows incriminating evidence and intelligence in practically every language, and shares it with key decision-makers and security chiefs in friendly and not-so-friendly countries, only to get a collective shrug in return.