Maxwell was killed by Israeli secret service claims book

LONDON – The disgraced former media baron and owner of the Daily Mirror newspaper, Robert Maxwell, was killed by the Israeli secret service Mossad, according to a new book.

The book claims that the man who raided the pension fund of what was Mirror Group Newspapers to prop up his ailing media empire was a Mossad agent, who also had links to organised crime.

The book 'Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy' due out in December alleges that Mossad got rid of Maxwell -- who apparently fell from his yacht, the Lady Ghislaine, and drowned in 1991 -- after he threatened to blackmail Mossad and reveal secrets.

Maxwell is claimed to have asked the Israelis for money to stop his network of businesses from going under in return for his silence. His business was more than £3bn in debt and he desperately needed cash.

The book, written by Matt Dillon and Gordon Thomas, is to be published by Carroll & Graf and is not the first to claim Maxwell had links with Mossad.

Not long before he fell overboard off the Canary Islands, US journalist Seymour Hersh published a book alleging such links.

After his death, his business empire collapsed and a complex web of financial deceit was revealed that almost sank the Daily Mirror.

The new book is based on interviews with former intelligence agents from the UK, US and from Israel.

According to the book, Maxwell had been expecting to receive a payment from Mossad and his anchored yacht was waiting to rendezvous with Israeli agents. Instead, he was murdered and dumped overboard.

At the time, Mirror Group editorial director Charles Wilson said he could not imagine any situation that would cause Maxwell to take his own life: "He had too much of the arrogance of his own ability to conceive of such a thing."

What is true is that Maxwell, a Czech Jew who fought for the British in the Second World War and became a Labour MP in the 1960s, was connected at the highest levels in the US, Israel and in the former Soviet Union. After his death, Maxwell was buried on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem in a ceremony attended by Israel's former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir.

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