Cohen’s watch back home

Israeli spy Eli Cohen, whose Omar Sherif good looks and smooth attitude allowed him to penetrate the Syrian defense ministry and highest levels of politics like the stuff of a Bond film under the cover identity of Kamal Amin Taabet, was caught in mid-transmission by the Syrians in 1964 after a KGB HF/DF team tracked his radio down.

His life ended in a public execution in Damascus and his body was reportedly buried three different times over the years to keep the Israelis from finding it.

However, in what was described by the BBC as a secret operation by the Mossad, his wristwatch has been recovered.

Amos Ben Gershom/Laam

The watch, which was with Cohen until his death, surfaced in Syria several months and was put up for sale by whoever stumbled across it. In a twist of fate, Russian assets reportedly help locate it.

As detailed by the Jerusalem Post:

Cohen operated behind enemy lines – establishing close ties with the top Syrian political and military leadership – from 1962 until he was hanged almost exactly 43 years ago on May 18, 1965. Cohen, who was known in intelligence circles by the number 566, wrote in encrypted French and sent his messages via a tiny radio transmitter. Cohen’s transmissions were instrumental in helping the IDF prepare for the 1967 war with Syria. He provided information about the Syrian Air Force and military positions on the Golan.

Born Eliyahu Ben-Shaul Cohen in Egypt, Cohen worked for Israeli military intelligence throughout the 1950s then, working for the Mossad and after muddying his tracks in Argentina, relocated to Syria– while he had a wife and three kids back in Israel.

It went far beyond that. His apartment was the crossroads for the Who’s Who of Damascus, which he encouraged, and then dutifully took note. This evolved into field trips to highly secure locations throughout the country, blessed by the Syrian brass. Cohen somehow managed to make it back home three times from Syria, on each occasion bringing photographs and sketches of Syrian positions– strategic gold.

A national hero in Israel, Sacha Baron Cohen of all people is set to play Cohen in new Netflix movie.


About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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