The CIA Assessment of Israeli Intelligence Organizations

In November of 1979, Iranian student revolutionaries took control of the American Embassy in Teheran. Apart from taking American hostages, they also took information from embassy offices, much of which was published in Iran. Copies of these Iranian volumes were eventually smuggled into the United States, and excerpts were published by The Washington Post and the now defunct journal Counterspy .1

The Counterspy article, entitled "What Begin and Reagan Didn't Want You to Know", contains a 1979 CIA assessment of the Israeli intelligence services - a mine of information on Israel's foreign intelligence service, Mossad, Israel's internal security service, Shin Bet, and Israel's military intelligence service, AMAN.

The assessment describes the responsibilities, structure, and tactics of Israel's intelligence services, along with CIA judgements of their capabilities. It's generally believed to be authentic. On this site, information from the assessment will be used and footnoted with the page number of the Counterspy article.

A 1982 Washington Post article describes the response of Isser Harel to the CIA assessment. He claimed it was unprofessional, harmful to Israel and the United States, and expected the CIA to denounce the document as a Soviet fabrication.2

1 "What Begin and Reagan Didn't Want You to Know ", Counterspy , May-June, 1982, 34.
2 "Ex-Chief of Mossad Assails CIA Report," The Washington Post , February 6, 1982, A21, ProQuest Historical Newspapers