Mossad’s history of targeting enemy scientists

Iraq’s nuclear program was seriously damaged by Israel’s bombing of the Osirak reactor in June 1981, but Saddam did not give up his quest for powerful weapons. He soon signed up Gerald Bull, a Canadian-born, Belgium-based engineer and arms dealer who had invented what he called a supergun, an artillery piece with a range in the thousands of kilometers. As soon as Israeli weapons experts confirmed that Bull’s cannon was for real, he became a target. In March 1990 a Mossad hit team knocked on the door of his Brussels apartment, burst in when he opened it, and fired two bullets into the back of his head and three into his back. One member of the team took close-up photos of the corpse. The pictures were sent to other European employees of the Iraqi project with a note: “If you don’t want a similar fate, don’t go to work tomorrow.” Israel’s defense chiefs can only hope the message continues to resonate.