Kidon (Template:Lang-he, bayonet or "tip of the spear") is the name of a department within Israel's Mossad that is allegedly responsible for assassination and kidnapping. Kidon is suspected of being behind a number of assassinations in the Operation Wrath of God campaign carried out by Israel after the 1972 Munich massacre. Given the secret nature of the unit, there is almost no reliable information available.
Unconfirmed claims[edit | edit source]
According to Gordon Thomas, Meir Amit, who directed Israel's intelligence service, the Mossad, stated that all actions done by the Kidon unit were sanctioned by the prime minister. Training for the unit can take as long as two years. All candidates are recruited from Mossad's ranks. A special training base exists somewhere in Israel's Negev desert.
Assassination teams usually consist of at least four members. One member is responsible for target tracking. Another member is assigned the role of transporter who must safely and secretly move the team to and from the target. The last members are the executioners. In addition to the core teams, there are many other agents that play a part in the operation. They are known as "sayanim"—the Hebrew word for "helpers". Operations can take from months to years in planning and execution.
According to Yossi Melman, due to the time and expense, assassinations are relatively few. Most media reports of mysterious deaths are wrongly attributed to the Kidon unit. The Kidon unit is very compartmentalized and is separate from the rest of the Mossad. Most members of the Kidon unit only last a few years due to the nature of the work and the psychological and emotional stress. In addition to black ops, the Kidon unit can also operate in other capacities in order to assist the needs of the Mossad.
In popular culture[edit | edit source]
Kidon is referenced numerous times in the 2001 novel Separation of Power by Vince Flynn as assassins working for the Israeli Mossad. Kidon is referred to in the NCIS season 6 episode "Legend (Part 2)" when they suspect a Mossad agent visiting the US is part of the Kidon group. In the last episode of the same season, "Aliyah", officer Ziva David's boyfriend Michael Rivkin is stated to have been a Kidon member. Officer David is shown to be a part of Kidon as well.
Kidon is also referred to in the Covert Affairs season 1 episode No Quarter. The protagonist Annie Walker is forced to cooperate with ex-Kidon turned Mossad agent Eyal Lavin when an intel-exchange is compromised in Switzerland.
In the 2012 Chris Ryan novel Killing for the Company SAS operatives Chet Freeman and Luke Mercer come head-to-head with a Kidon operative gone rogue.
See also[edit | edit source]
- Selective assassination
- Israeli targeted killings
- Duvdevan Unit -Israel's undercover strike unit
- Aman - Israeli's military intelligence agency
- Shin Bet - Homeland security
- Special Activities Division
Notes[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Eric Frattini. Mossad, los verdugos del Kidon. Madrid: Atanor Ediciones, 2011. ISBN 978-84-938718-6-4.
- Ostrovsky, Victor. By Way of Deception-The making and unmaking of a Mossad Officer. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990. ISBN 0-9717595-0-2.
- Thomas, Gordon. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-7867-1295-3.