Israel follows a long-proven policy of not hesitating to take revenge on its enemies. The massacre of eleven Israeli hostages at the Munich Olympics in 1972 by the Palestinian Black September Commando sparked a long hunt for sponsors through a series of targeted assassinations in the years that followed. Almost twenty years earlier, in Gaza in March 2004, Israel had already tried to weaken Hamas by targeting its founder, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, who was killed by two missiles fired from an IDF helicopter.
An “industrialization” of the process: more than three thousand secret executions by the United States
In recent years, the assassination of Saudi journalist and dissident Jamal Al Khashoggi by agents of the Wahhabi kingdom in Istanbul in October 2018 pushed the ethical limits of this covert process. The ignominious removal of a simple political enemy – sparked intense and lasting outrage across the planet, while the scandal worried even Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
US report slams Mohammed bin Salman
In particular, the United States implemented it intensively after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Their armed drones, often remotely controlled from hubs located in their territory, wreaked havoc based on “precision” strikes, sealing the deal. Hundreds of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (Aqba) fighters are based in Yemen, and many more in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Journalist Guerric Poncet says in his book that Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump together reveal an extrajudicial trail of more than three thousand secret executions. Phantom Death (Ed. du Rocher, 2023).
In addition to the CIA's operation, this new “channel” opened by George W. Bush after September 11 was “industrialized” by Barack Obama, he recalled. “A few months after receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, he signed an agreement known as the Matrix Arrangement. This allows US services (NSA, CIA or others) to go very quickly from target identification and without too much control, to shot verification by the administrator. This system, which was used even more heavily under Donald Trump and is still in place under Joe Biden, works very well.The author refers to an expert in security files.
International conflicts and crises have always led to these extrajudicial executions. In recent years, the Israeli Mossad appears to be behind assassinations of officials in charge of Iran's nuclear program (as well as sabotage of sites) suspected of hiding military elements. The execution of scientist Mohsen Fariqzadeh in November 2020 was intended to deal a symbolic blow rather than slow down the plan for full recovery.
Iran blames the Israeli Mossad for the assassination of physicist Mohsen Fariqzadeh.
There have even been “surgical strikes” by special forces commandos, such as in May 2011 in Pakistan against Al Qaeda's historic leader Osama bin Laden, and in October 2019 against Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria. Among the most notable actions of this policy of assassination were drones targeting Iranian General Qassem Soleimani, the head of the Al Quds Force, in Baghdad in January 2020 and Ayman al-Zawahiri, who succeeded bin Laden in Kabul in July 2022. Against elusive terrorist figures.
This is because the aim is to incapacitate those responsible – or those who claim to be responsible – for murderous attacks against civilians.
A “trick” to connect with others
(ab) Rather than being well-tolerated by public opinion in the states that use it, the system lacks a legal basis, leaves control to governments and competes for its limited tactical effects. It can prove counterproductive by adding fuel to the fire of events, making the victim an icon, or encouraging the recruitment of activists from the organizations targeted by these clandestine crackdowns.
One of the limitations of these targeted assassinations concerns the strategic opportunity to kill a specific target. This requires a good knowledge of their skills and internal structure to know who their replacements will eventually be. “A classic case of a strategic error was the 1992 Israeli strike against Hezbollah leader Abbas al Mousavi, who was replaced by Hassan Nasrallah, who was more radical than his predecessor.In a study published in the journal, researcher Amelie Ferri recalled Fields of MarchDedicated to the study of conflicts.
Hence the targeted killings”“Overall Strategy Against Unruly Actors” But one more “tactical” Connecting with others depending on the context. “Targeted assassinations are a short-term solution, but if they are not broad-minded, they are a waste of time.Researcher at the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) in Paris and evaluating author of the work. Targeted killings (CNRS Editions, 2020). For Guerric Poncet, it was a “The Poker Move”. There is always, according to him, “A cursor placed between the eagerness to get rid of someone we consider dangerous and the risk of everything that might happen next.
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