A covert operation by any government, a black operation or black op, so to say always manages to feed our fancy. The danger, the stakes and the countries involved makes any such operation, successful or not, an enigma. It pikes your interests about the logistics and their ensuing effects. The world has been witness to ripple effects of many such operations once brought to the public eye. So let’s have a look at some of those clandestine surprise attacks led by powerful nations and agencies around the world.
Operation Gladio is the codename or a secret NATO “stay-behind” operation in Europe during the Cold War. It involved the many NATO and some neutral nations in Europe. The main purpose was to ensure continual of anti-communist actions in the event of a Soviet invasion. It is believed that USA’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has an active role in sponsoring this operation.
It was started in the 1950s by the US Government covert research operation experimenting in the behavioral engineering of humans. Led by CIA’s Scientific Intelligence Division, it was officially sanctioned in 1953. It involved using unwitting U.S. and Canadian citizens as its test subjects. It is due to this that questions were raised about its legitimacy as people’s mental states and brain functions were played with. It was finally shut down in 1973.
Also known as the Cuban Project, it was a clandestine of the Central Intelligence Agency developed during the early years of President John F. Kennedy‘s administration. It was authorized by Kennedy on 30th November 1961 and was led by U.S. Air Force General Edward Lansdale. It was aimed at removing the communist from power with October 1962 planned as the culmination of the plot. It remained a secret for 14 years and also has the dubious distinction to be the worst American policy failure against Cuba.
It was another covert operation by the US government against Cuba. Brigade 2506, the counter-revolutionary military funded by Central Intelligence Agency was given the task to over throw Fidel Castro, one of the key people behind propagating communism. The invasion which took place on 17 April 1961 was unsuccessful as the invading force was defeated within three days by the Cuban armed forces. The operation culminated to a humiliating defeat for Kennedy’s administration at the hands of the Cuban forces led by their Prime Minister Fidel Castro.
It was an operation launched by the United States Government to recruit the scientists of Nazi Germany after World War II. The focus was to prevent German scientific knowledge from falling in the hands of Soviet Union. It was conducted by the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency right in the beginning of the Cold War.Rocket scientists Wernher von Braun, Kurt Debus and Arthur Rudolph, and the physician Hubertus Strughold were some identified to be recruited under this operation.
Operation Entebbe or Operation Thunderbolt was a counter-terrorist hostage-rescue mission. It was carried out by commandos of the Israel Defense Forces at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on 4 July 1976. An Air France plane with 248 passengers was hijacked about a week earlier than 4th July 1976 and flown to Entebbe, near Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The act was carried out by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the German Revolutionary Cells.
It was the name for the assassination attempt on Reinhard Heydrich, a high-ranking German Nazi official during World War II and one of the main architects of the Holocaust. This was sponsored by the British Special Operations Executive with the approval of the Czechoslovak government-in-exile. In the attempt carried out in Prague on 27 May 1942, however he was only wounded but died of the injuries sustained from the same on 4 June 1942.
It was an operation which was planned by German Army officers Olbricht, Tresckow, and Stauffenberg to overthrow and assassinate Hitler. The plan was to trick the Reserve Army into the seizure and removal of the civilian government of wartime Germany. Stauffenberg placed a bomb in a briefcase close to Hitler and left the room only to learn later that his attempt had failed. Nevertheless it was one of the most meticulously planned and clandestine operations of its time.
It was the official mission code name of the kill-or-capture mission of Osama Bin Laden. One of the ballsiest surprise attacks known to the mankind, it was carried out in a Central Intelligence Agency-led operation on May 2, 2011 where the founder and head of the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda was killed. He was located in a compound in Abbottabad where he was believed to have been living with his youngest wife and family. And it was in this operation which is also called Operation Geronimo where world’s most wanted terrorist was killed.
It was a covert operation directed by Israel and the Mossad. Also known as Operation Bayonet it was carried out as a response to the 1972 Munich massacre in which 11 members of the Israeli Olympic team were murdered. The operation was aimed at the Palestinian group Black September who were responsible for the massacre and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) operatives. Prime Minister Golda Meir authorized the beginning of the assassination campaign.