They reveal that this elite team, with information from the CIA, located the terrorist leader in a neighborhood of the Iranian capital and killed him along with his daughter. How the unit operates.
On August 7, in a lonely passage in the exclusive Pasdaran neighborhood of Tehran, two men waited patiently for Abu Muhammad al-Masri and his daughter to pass by the place with their Renault Logan, as they usually did, they were killed with two bullets each: the brand of Mossad.
Only now has it emerged that both murderers are part of Kidon, the executing team of the Israeli intelligence agency, which operates with high efficiency and with an extremely precise operating scheme.
Al Masri, 58, was number two in the Al Qaeda terror network (or what’s left of it), after leader Ayman al Zawahri. His daughter Maryam, 27, was the widow of Hamza bin Laden – son of Osama bin Laden – who had already been assassinated last year by a US counter-terrorism unit.
The US agencies, which provided the intelligence logistics, believed that Maryam was being trained to occupy an important place in the terrorist organization, and that’s why it was included in the coup.
Both, according to the Americans, have lived for five years under the protection of the Iranian Shiite authorities, despite the fact that Tehran maintains an old enmity with these extremist Sunni groups.
Apparently this was part of an agreement, following a prisoner exchange. Al Qaeda had freed an Iranian diplomat who was kidnapped in Yemen, in exchange for five leaders of that organization that Iran had. Al Masri and his daughter, it is not quite clear why, came under the protection of Tehran.
The Iranian government flatly denied this, and there were two key points. First, it could not recognize that Al Qaeda leaders were in the country. Second, they would never admit that a team of Israeli spies was able to operate on its territory.
However, the Iranian media leaked that that week there had been a crime, although they presented it as a police event. The victims were introduced as Habib Daoud and his daughter, both Lebanese.
The reality was different. US intelligence agents, together with the Israelis, had been tracking Al Masri, who was among the most wanted of the FBI for having been one of those who planned the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
A detail: Al Masri was assassinated on August 7, on the 22nd anniversary of those attacks.
The information of this operation only emerged this week, leaked to the media by the US intelligence agencies. It is believed that they gave them time enough to the cells that operated in Iran to leave the country.
Kidon is one of the most mysterious groups in the Israeli intelligence agency. It is known that it began operating in the mid-1960s and that its task is to execute terrorists or foreign agents who pose a threat to Israel.
One of his first tasks was to avenge the Munich massacre, where 11 Israeli Olympians were killed by members of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Currently Kidon, according to Special Ops magazine, has around 80 members, trained to operate in any territory or circumstances, even in the most hostile countries.
Their training takes around two years and they are carried out in bases installed in the Negev desert. Only after completing this process are they integrated into their units.
Special Ops notes that agents do not last much more than two years in Kidon, due to the “nature” of its missions and the aftermath it has.