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New book sheds light on Israel’s attempted assassination of US ambassador

US ambassador, John Gunther Dean [Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Selby]
US ambassador, John Gunther Dean [Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Selby]

Israel may have been responsible for the assassination attempt of a US ambassador according to details cited in a new book exposing the secret world of the country’s intelligence agency, Mossad.

Revelations made by Ronen Bergman in his new book “Rise and Kill First”, which established Israel’s position as the country with the highest number of assassination attempts in the world, has given credence to the claims made by US ambassador, John Gunther Dean (who was born to a Jewish family in Germany in 1926 and escaped the Holocaust), that he too was the target of an attempted assassination on 28 August 1980 in a suburb of Beirut by terrorist groups founded by Israel.

Dean, who is a former American ambassador to five countries, had long maintained that Israel was behind his attempted assassination. In 2009 he repeated his conviction in conversation over his autobiography in which he said:

I know as surely as I know anything that Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, was somehow involved in the attack. Undoubtedly using a proxy, our ally Israel had tried to kill me.

Details of the assassination attempt logged in the RAND Database of Worldwide Terrorism Incidents states that “Dean escaped unharmed after gunmen in a speeding automobile attacked his bulletproof limousine as he was leaving his Hazmieh residence in a convoy”.

Rise and Kill First, book by Ronen Bergman

Rise and Kill First, book by Ronen Bergman

According to the records published by oragnsiation, “the attack came just hours after Dean said the United States was working with Israel and the United Nations to end the violence among Christian militiamen and Palestinian guerrillas in southern Lebanon”. The database added that “Dean had also created an uproar in August when he condemned an Israeli raid on Palestinian guerrilla strongholds in the area”.

Read: Israel’s Mossad leads ‘assassinations’ in the world

Responsibility for the attack was later claimed by the Front for the Liberation of Lebanon from Foreigners (FLLE), a shadowy right-wing group that surfaced in Lebanon in the early 1980s. It’s believed that the group was originally set up on the orders of Israel Defence Forces Chief of Staff Rafael Eitan. Mossad agents ran the fictitious group from 1979 to 1983. In 1981 and 1982, it’s believed that Ariel Sharon used that FLLE to conduct a series of indiscriminate car bombings that killed hundreds of civilians.

FLLF operations are described in great detail in Bergman’s book, which contains first-hand accounts from Israeli officials involved in the operation or who were aware of it at the time. Although Bergman does not mention the assassination attempt against Dean, details of operations carried out by Israel in Lebanon has given further credence to the claims made by Dean.

While Israel has not officially been blamed for the assassination of Dean the facts of the plot to assassinate and American ambassador is clear: FLLF took credit for the attack at the time; Dean’s own investigation pointed to Israel and to its Lebanese proxies; and FLLF was created and run by Israel.

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