February 21, 2020

“Yossi sat across from me and opened his bag. He was a nice looking and well-built elderly man. He took out four passports: two from the United States, and one each from Costa Rica and Britain. Each passport had his picture, but under a different name. His American passports had the same picture, but different names. I asked him how he got them. “Quite simple,” he said. And he described to me how he did so. I was amazed how easy it seemed. In his youth in the 1960s, Yossi had been an agent in the Mossad, Israel’s national security agency. After he left the agency, he became a Mossad associate. Yossi explained that a Mossad associate is someone who is officially not an agent, but a person who the Mossad contacts from time to time for special assignments when they needed them. Then he launched into a description of some of his exploits and “assignments” over the years.

Yossi was born in Jerusalem in 1943. Over the years he lived in Italy, Holland, the Ukraine, Thailand, Mongolia, and the United States. He speaks fluent German and Italian. While in the Mossad and as an associate, he posed as different Jewish people.

In the early 1960s Yossi was living in Italy. He was then a Mossad agent. At the time, Mohammed Hussein Heikal was the editor of the Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram. This newspaper was the de facto voice of the Egyptian government led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. In 1957, Nasser installed his longtime friend and confident Mohammed Heikal to be editor of the newspaper. The Mossad came up with a plan on how to get information about Nasser’s personal feelings and thoughts about Israel from his closest confidant, Heikal. The plan involved secretly kidnapping Heikal’s brother, who lived in Italy, and smuggle him to Israel. Once in Israel, they could use him to pressure Heikal to provide them with information about Nasser.”

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