Rising Regional Threats Prompt Extension of Mossad Chief Pardo’s Tenure (VIDEO)
As regional threats multiply, Israel’s legendary Mossad chief, Tamir Pardo, is on his way to a fifth year in the key post responsible for ensuring the Jewish State’s security beyond its borders, Israel’s NRG News reported Sunday.
Pardo, who had been expected to step down from the post at the end of 2014, and has said as much at various forums since assuming the secretive role, may have been influenced by the outcome of fighting in Gaza during Operation Protective Edge, according to the report.
Pardo’s extension follows an apparent trend: his predecessor, Meir Dagan served an eight-year term which was extended twice between 2002 and 2010. Before Dagan, Ephraim Halevy served four years in the role, and was preceded by Danny Yatom, who served for an even shorter period of two years, from 1996 to 1998.
Leading candidates to succeed Pardo are former National Security Council deputy head, Yossi Cohen, Pardo’s own deputy, “N,” or “R.” a senior member of the organization who recently retired (Names were redacted in the report due to Israeli censorship rules).
Pardo, 61, came to the institution in 1980 equipped with rich technological knowledge. He previously served in the army, where he was a special forces liaison officer under the command of Yonatan “Yoni” Netanyahu, who was killed during Operation Entebbe on July 4, 1976. During that period, Pardo also forged a special relationship with Yoni’s brother, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Pardo played a variety of roles during his rise through the organization, in both operational and technological fields, and impressed his superiors in the Neviot (“Springs”) department, in charge of electronic intelligence-gathering methods and tools.
“Pardo began with small operations and demonstrated his capabilities and keeping a cool head under pressure; he then moved on to larger operations,” a former senior Mossad official said in comment.
In 1998, Pardo was appointed head of “Caesarea” operations. This department commands many operational units, placing it as one of the most prestigious positions in the organization. In the same year, according to foreign reports, Mossad agents were caught in action in Switzerland, while installing listening devices in a building where a senior Hezbollah operative was staying.
Watch a History Channel feature on the Mossad from 2010 below: