Katsa

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For the percussion instrument, see Katsa (instrument).

According to Victor Ostrovsky, a katsa is a field intelligence officer of Mossad. Ostrovsky believes that he or she collects information and runs agents, similar to the case officer of the CIA.

Operation[edit]

The word 'katsa' is a Hebrew acronym, meaning "Collections Officer". There are typically 30–40 katsas at a time, operating mainly in Europe and somewhat in the Middle East. They have operated to a lesser degree in Africa and Asia. Some sources even suggest that they have had a presence in the United States in a unit called AL.[1][better source needed] Most of the information being gathered for Israel is on the Arab world. Because it is more difficult to operate in Arab countries, the Mossad recruits many of its agents in Europe.[citation needed] While some katsas are stationed permanently in foreign countries, others are moved among operations, hence their nickname 'jumpers'. The number of katsas is much smaller than that in any other major intelligence agency because of the sayanim, volunteer non-Israeli Jews who provide logistical support around the world. Most katsas are former members of the Israeli Defense Forces, though Mossad itself is a civilian service.

Organization[edit]

Katsas are organized under the Mossad Head of Operations, in a division known as Tsomet (intersection) or Melucha (kingdom). They are further split into three geographic branches:

Training[edit]

In searching for candidates, the Mossad administers a variety of psychological and aptitude tests, as well as assessing their own current needs. If selected, a candidate must go through and pass the Mossad training academy, the Midrasha, located near the town of Herzliya. The Mossad academy is the official summer residence of the Israeli Prime Minister. There they are taught the tradecraft of intelligence gathering for approximately three years. The main priority of training is to teach katsas how to find, recruit, and cultivate agents, including how to clandestinely communicate with them. They also learn how to avoid being the subject of foreign counter-intelligence, by avoiding car and foot surveillance, by killing, and by preventing foreign agents from creating 'traps' at meetings. Once training is completed, trainees will spend an apprenticeship period working on varying projects before becoming full-fledged katsas.

Known and possible katsas[edit]

See also[edit]

  • Sayan (Mossad) – volunteer or informal operatives providing logistical support and intelligence in foreign countries.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ostrovsky, Victor By Way of Deception[page needed]
  • Ostrovsky, Victor. By Way of Deception-The making and unmaking of a Mossad Officer. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1990. ISBN 0-9717595-0-2
  • Thomas Gordon. Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1999. ISBN 0-312-25284-6
  • Thomas, Gordon. Martin, Dillon. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2002. ISBN 0-7867-1295-3

External links[edit]