BOSTON — The Israeli spy agency, the Mossad, suffered a string of well-publicized failures before the current affair in Switzerland. As recently as December, ex-Mossad official Yehuda Gil was found to be passing on false information about Syria to Israel, apparently leading to incorrect assessments that Syria was considering a surprise attack on Israel to regain part of the Golan Heights, captured in 1967 by Israel. Also:
Sept. 25, 1997: Mossad agents try and fail to assassinate Khaled Meshal, an official of the Palestinian group Hamas, in Amman, Jordan. Two agents are caught and released in a prisoner swap that forced Israel to release the founder of Hamas.
April 24, 1991: Four Mossad agents are arrested for attempting to install listening devices in the Iranian Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus. The agents were released shortly after standing trial.
November 1987: The London newspaper Mail on Sunday reveals the identity of a Mossad agent who had infiltrated a Palestine Liberation Organization cell in London. The agent was arrested on suspicion of murdering a Palestinian cartoonist and banished from the country.
July 1973: In an attempt to avenge the deaths of Israeli athletes murdered during the 1972 Olympics, Mossad agents kill an innocent Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway. Five of the 15 agents involved in the operation serve sentences in Norwegian jails.
1963: Two Mossad agents are arrested in Bern, Switzerland, on charges of intimidating a family member of a German scientist who was offered a job developing missiles for Egypt. The operatives are released a few months later.