The Lillehammer affair was the killing by Mossad agents of a Moroccan waiter, Ahmed Bouchiki, in Lillehammer, Norway on July 21, 1973. The Israeli agents had mistaken their target for Ali Hassan Salameh, the chief of operations for Black September. Most of the Mossad team were captured and convicted of complicity in the killing by the Norwegian justice system, in a major blow to the intelligence agency's reputation.

History[edit | edit source]

Undercover agents had been sent by Israel as part of Operation Wrath of God to assassinate Ali Hassan Salameh, the leader of the Black September Organization, a Palestinian militant group that carried out the 1972 Munich Massacre. They mistook Bouchiki for their target and shot him repeatedly as he walked back from a cinema to his apartment with his pregnant wife. Two members of the assassination team were arrested the next day as they re-used a getaway car to go to the airport. After their interrogation the whole cell was arrested. Incriminating documents and the keys to a network of safe houses were discovered.[1]

The revelations of the captured agents dealt a massive blow to the secret infrastructure of the Mossad in Europe. Agents who had been exposed had to be recalled, safe houses abandoned, phone numbers changed and operational methods modified. Harari, the leader of the assassins, managed to escape and was never extradited by Israel to Norway. In 1996, Israel paid compensation equal to US$283,000 split between Bouchiki's wife and daughter, and a separate settlement of US$118,000 to a son from a previous marriage,[2] Israel never officially took responsibility for the assassination,[3] although it expressed sorrow to Bouchiki's family members in the trial hearings.

The September 2004 book release of Mange liv (English: Many lives) by the former lawyer Annæus Schjødt, who represented two of the agents in the case and later married one of them, Sylvia Rafael, claimed that one of the arrested agents, Dan Ærbel, leaked information to the Norwegian government about the Israeli nuclear weapons program.[4] However, the Norwegian government decided to remain silent about their findings. Information relating to Israel's development and possession of nuclear weapons was not made public until Mordechai Vanunu claimed to expose the program in October 1986, some 13 years later.[citation needed]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Further reading (Norwegian)[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]

da:Lillehammer-sagen de:Lillehammer-Affäre es:Asesinato de Ahmed Bouchiki fa:بحران لیلهامر fr:Affaire de Lillehammer it:Affare Lillehammer he:מבצע זעם האל#פרשת לילהאמר nl:Lillehammer-affaire no:Lillehammer-saken pt:Caso Lillehammer sv:Lillehammerfallet

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