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on assassination prohibited the killing of family members unless said members were also involved in threats to Israeli security. But the idea was still debated, with Amos being its most vocal proponent. They wanted Backman dead, but they also wanted him to live a few hours before passing on. They needed to chat with him, to ask some questions, and if the answers weren't forthcoming they knew how to make him talk. Everyone talked when the Mossad really wanted answers. "We have found six agents who speak Italian," Efraim said. "Two will be here this afternoon at three, for a meeting." None of the four spoke Italian, but all spoke perfect English, as well as Arabic. Among them there were eight other languages. Each of the four had combat experience, extensive computer training, and were skilled at crossing borders (with and without paperwork), interrogation, disguises, and forgery. And they had the ability to kill in cold blood with no regrets. The average age was thirty-four, and each had been involved with at least five successful kidon assassinations. When fully operational, their kidon would have twelve members. Four would carry out the actual killing, and the other eight would provide cover, surveillance, and tactical support, and would clean up after the hit. "Do we have an address?" Amos asked from the computer. "No, not yet," said Efraim. "And I'm not sure we'll get one. This is coming through counterintelligence." "There are half a million people in Bologna," Amos said almost to himself. "Four hundred thousand," said Shaul. "And a hundred thousand of those are students." "We're supposed to get a picture of him," Efraim said, and the other three stopped what they were doing and looked up. "There's a photo of Backman somewhere, one taken recently, after prison. Getting a copy is a possibility." "That would certainly be helpful," Rafi said. They had a hundred old photos of Joel Backman. They had studied every square centimeter of his face, every wrinkle, every vein in his eyes, every strand of hair on his head. They had counted his teeth,

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John Grisham: The broker  

John Grisham - 2005

John Grisham: The broker  

John Grisham - 2005

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