Governments sometimes try to remove a leader whom they believe to be a security threat, by arranging an assassination.  Such tactics are a gamble: they provoke resentment, which helps to recruit people to the cause, and the replacement leader might not be any easier to deal with.

In many instances it is difficult to prove that an assassination attempt has taken place.  A Washington Post report, US Strikes Iraq for Plot to Kill Bush, described Bill Clinton’s retaliation for an alleged attempt to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush in 1993, for example, although Iraq denied that the attempt had been made.  The Israeli Intelligence agency, Mossad, has also been accused of assassination attempts – as reported in an ABC News report: Mossad Tried to Kill Saddam With Exploding Book.

More recently, assassinations have been carried out by making drone strikes ( – which are not wholly covert because the country of origin might be traced from fragments of the missile.



This is a current page, from the Patterns of Power Edition 3a book, © PatternsofPower.org, 2020.  An archived copy of it is held at https://www.patternsofpower.org/edition03/7342.htm