ROBERT MAXWELL WAS A MOSSAD SPY
New claim on tycoon's mystery death
By Gordon Thomas And Martin Dillon
ELEVEN years after former Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell plunged
from his luxury yacht to a watery grave, his death still arouses
Many different theories have circulated about what really happened on
board the Lady Ghislaine that night in May 1991.
Some believe the 67-year-old tycoon simply slipped into the sea,
perhaps after a few drinks.
Others think Maxwell took his own life amid increasing troubles in
his business empire - after his death investigators discovered he had
been secretly diverting millions of pounds from two of his companies
and from employee pension funds in an effort to keep solvent.
But now, after two and a half years of investigative journalism, we
believe we have unearthed the true story of Maxwell's death and can
reveal how he was murdered by the Israeli secret service, Mossad.
Our work, supported by documents, including FBI reports and secret
intelligence files from behind the Iron Curtain, shows Maxwell had
worked as a secret super spy for Mossad for six years.
The Czech-born millionaire and former Labour MP died the way he had
lived - threatening. He had threatened his wife. Threatened his
children. Threatened the staff of this newspaper.
But finally he issued one threat too many - he threatened Mossad.
He told them that unless they gave him £400million to save his
crumbling empire, he would expose all he had done for them.
In that time, he had free access to Margaret Thatcher's Downing
Street, to Ronald Reagan's White House, to the Kremlin and to the
corridors of power throughout Europe.
On top of that he had built himself a position of power within the
crime families of eastern Europe, teaching them how to funnel their
vast wealth from drugs, arms smuggling and prostitution to banks in
safe havens around the globe.
MAXWELL passed on all the secrets he learned to Mossad in Tel Aviv.
In turn, they tolerated his excesses, vanities and insatiable
appetite for a luxurious lifestyle and women.
He told his controllers who they should target and how they should do
it. He appointed himself as Israel's unofficial ambassador to the
Soviet Bloc. Mossad saw the advantage in that.
Having learned many of the key secrets of the Soviet empire, Maxwell
was given his greatest chance to be a super spy.
Mossad had stolen from America the most important piece of software
in the US arsenal. Maxwell was given the job of marketing the stolen
software, called Promis.
Mossad had reconstructed the software and inserted into it a device
which enabled them to track the use any purchaser made of the it.
Sitting in Israel, Mossad would know exactly what was going on inside
all the intelligence services that bought it. In all, Maxwell sold it
to 42 countries, including China and Soviet Bloc nations. But his
greatest triumph was selling it to Los Alamos, the very heart of the
US nuclear defence system.
The more successful Maxwell became the more risks he took and the
more dangerous he was to Mossad. At the same time, the very public
side of Maxwell, who then owned 400 companies, began to unwind.
He spent lavishly and lost money on deals. The more he lost, the more
he tried to claw money from the banks. Then he saw a way out of his
He was approached by Vladimir Kryuchkov, head of the KGB.
Spymaster and tycoon met in the utmost secrecy in the Kremlin.
Kryuchkov had an extraordinary proposal. He wanted Maxwell to help
orchestrate the overthrow of Mikhail Gorbachev, the reformist Soviet
leader. That would bring to an end a fledgling democracy and a return
to the Cold War days.
In return, Maxwell's massive debts would be wiped out by a grateful
Kryuchkov, who planned to replace Gorbachev. The KGB chief wanted
Maxwell to use the Lady Ghislaine, named after Maxwell's daughter, as
a meeting place between the Russian plotters, Mossad chiefs and
Israel's top politicians.
The plan was for the Israelis to go to Washington and say that
democracy could not work in Russia and that it was better to allow
the country to return to a modified form of communism, which America
could help to control. In return, Kryuchkov would guarantee to free
hundreds of thousands of Jews and dissidents in the Soviet republics.
Kryuchkov told Maxwell that he would be seen as a saviour of all
those Jews. It was a proposal he could not refuse. But when he put it
to his Mossad controllers they were horrified. They said Israel would
have no part in such a madcap plan.
For the first time, Maxwell had failed to get his own way. He started
to threaten and bluster. He then demanded that, for past services, he
should receive immediately a quick fix of £400million to bale him out
of his financial difficulties.
Instead of providing the money, a small group of Mossad officers set
about planning his murder. They feared that he was going to publicly
expose all Mossad had done in the time he worked for them.
They knew that he was gradually becoming mentally unstable and
paranoid. He was taking a cocktail of drugs - Halcion and Zanax -
which had serious side effects.
The group of Mossad plotters sensed, like Solomon, he could bring
their temple tumbling down and cause incalculable harm to Israel.
The plan to kill him was prepared in the utmost secrecy. A four-man
squad was briefed.
Then Maxwell was contacted. He was told to fly to Gibraltar, go
aboard the Lady Ghislaine and sail to the Canary Islands. There at
sea he would receive his £400million quick fix in the form of a
banker's draft. Maxwell did as he was told.
ON the night of November 4, 1991, the Lady Ghislaine, one of the
world's biggest yachts, was at sea. Unknown to its crew, the death
squad had cast an electronic net over the yacht to block all radio
The security cameras on board had been switched off. After midnight
there were only two men on the bridge. One hundred and twenty feet
behind them, Maxwell appeared on deck.
He had been instructed to do so in a previous message from Mossad.
A small boat came alongside. On board were four black-suited men.
Three scrambled on to the yacht.
In a second it was all over. Two held Maxwell. The third plunged a
syringe into his neck behind his ear. A measured dose of nerve agent
was injected. Robert Maxwell was immobilised. He was lowered off the
deck into the water.
As Victor Ostrovsky, a former Mossad agent told us: "On that cold
night Mossad's problems with Robert Maxwell were over."
The incontrovertible facts about his murder are contained in a
previously-unseen autopsy report by Britain's then-leading forensic
pathologist Dr Iain West and Israel State Pathologist Dr Yehuda Hiss.
Of all the documents in our possession, these reports confirm the
truth about Maxwell's death.
Gordon Thomas & Martin Dillon are authors of The Assassination of
Robert Maxwell: Israel's Super Spy, published by Robson Books.