Standing on a canteen table in down-town Tel Aviv, Israel's spymaster studied the men and women of Mossad.
In the few weeks since taking over Mossad, Meir Dagan knew he already commanded something his recent predecessors never managed. Respect.
Barely raising his voice he spoke.
"When I was fighting in Lebanon, I witnessed the aftermath of a family feud. The patriarch's head had been split open, his brain on the floor. Around him lay his wife and some of his children. All dead. Before I could do anything, one of the murderers scooped up a handful of brain and swallowed it. This is how you will all now operate. Otherwise someone will eat your brain."
His every word held them in thrall - even if they sent a shudder through some of his listeners, hardened as they were...
...shortly afterwards came the Mombasa massacre of eleven days ago. An explosive-laden land-cruiser drove into the reception area of the island's Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel.
Fifteen people died and 80 were seriously injured. Two shoulder-fired missiles nearly downed an Israeli passenger plane bringing tourists back to Tel Aviv from Kenya. Two hundred and seventy-five barely missed a Lockerbie-style death.
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