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.
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, Israel never officially took responsibility for the assassination, 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. 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.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "An Eye For An Eye". CBS. 2001-11-20. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/11/20/60II/main318655.shtml.
- World News Briefs;Israelis to Compensate Family of Slain Waiter - New York Times (1996-01-28)
- Mellgren, Doug (2000-03-02). "Norway solves riddle of Mossad killing". London: The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/israel/Story/0,2763,193475,00.html.
- Schjødt, Annæus (2004) (in French). Mange liv. Gyldendal. ISBN 978-82-05-32952-2.
Further reading (Norwegian)[edit | edit source]
- Heradstveit, Per Øyvind (1974). De medskyldige - om israelsk etterretning og mordet på Lillehammer. Aschehoug.
- Elvik, Halvor/Amundsen, Tor Mentz (1974): Da "Mossad" kom til Norge. Oslo
- NOU 2000: 6. Lillehammer-saken. Omstendigheter rundt drapet på Ahmed Bouchikhi den 21. juli 1973 og sakens senere håndtering av norske myndigheter. The official Norwegian report, 2000.
[edit | edit source]
- "The Israeli Response to the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre and the Development of Independent Covert Action Teams" (includes an extensive overview of the Lillehammer Affair) Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the U.S. Marine Corps Command and Staff College by Alexander B. Calahan, GS-12, Graduate Class for the degree of Master of Military Studies, April 1995.
- Death in Lillehammer the video, YouTube
- Further names of individuals involved in the affair
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