Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World's Most Elite Counterterrorism Units
Douglas Century, Aaron Cohen
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At the age of eighteen, Aaron Cohen left Beverly Hills to prove himself in the crucible of the armed forces. He was determined to be a part of Israel's most elite security cadre, akin to the American Green Berets and Navy SEALs. After fifteen months of grueling training designed to break down each individual man and to rebuild him as a warrior, Cohen was offered the only post a non-Israeli can hold in the special forces. In 1996 he joined a top-secret, highly controversial unit that dispatches operatives disguised as Arabs into the Palestinian-controlled West Bank to abduct terrorist leaders and bring them to Israel for interrogation and trial.
Between 1996 and 1998, Aaron Cohen would learn Hebrew and Arabic; become an expert in urban counterterror warfare, the martial art of Krav Maga, and undercover operations; and participate in dozens of life-or-death missions. He would infiltrate a Hamas wedding to seize a wanted terrorist and pose as an American journalist to set a trap for one of the financiers behind the Dizengoff Massacre, taking him down in a brutal, hand-to-hand struggle. A propulsive, gripping read, Cohen's story is a rare, fly-on-the-wall view into the shadowy world of "black ops" that redefines invincible strength, true danger, and inviolable security.
the weeklong ordeal. Though not Jewish, Orde Charles Wingate (1903–1944) was—and remains—a towering legend of the Israeli military establishment. Born in India, Wingate was a devout Protestant who received a strict religious education, and who rose to the rank of major-general in the British army during World War II. In 1936, he became an intelligence officer and was assigned to Palestine. From his arrival in the Holy Land, he saw the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine as a literal
the famous failures, where operations went catastrophically wrong, and how Israel adapted its Special Forces training accordingly. A classic example is the Ma’alot massacre of 1974, to this day one of the most traumatic terror acts in the Israeli consciousness. On May 15, 1974, the twenty-sixth anniversary of Israel’s independence, three heavily armed terrorists, members of the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, stormed into Ma’alot High School in northern Israel, taking
of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, offered to negotiate with the hijackers in order to extend the deadline to July 4. The Israeli cabinet was prepared to release the Palestinian prisoners if a military solution seemed unlikely to succeed. Meanwhile, a retired IDF officer, Baruch “Burka” Bar-Lev, who had known Idi Amin for years, spoke to the Ugandan leader on the phone many times, attempting to negotiate the release of the hostages, without success. A seemingly impossible rescue mission was
interrogation. We never saw him again. An hour later, during the debriefing, llan and Boaz went around the room, critiquing us all in turn. No mission is perfect; there are always techniques we could have improved. Mostly, the officers were concerned with how we’d adapted to the changing realities of the mission. Right at the outset, as one of our snipers had jogged from one roof to another to get a better angle, the rest of us had to adjust our positions accordingly. At another point, the
robbers and gunslingers of the Depression. Today the FBI deals with white-collar crime and the remnants of the Mafia. Local police forces are trained to deal with armed robbers, murderers, rapists, drug dealers. As a matter of fact, drugs were the main focus of all levels of U.S. law enforcement pre-9/11. When cops weren’t giving tickets, they were chasing dope. The Israelis, on the other hand, aren’t spending much manpower on domestic crime. As a consequence, drugs, prostitution, and gambling