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Secret wires across the mediterranean: The club de berne, Euro-Israeli counterterrorism, and Swiss ‘Neutrality’

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)814-833
Number of pages20
Issue number4
Published8 Aug 2018

King's Authors


This article sheds light on a covert counterterrorist deal between the Western European and Israeli security services, which was concluded in 1971 under the auspices of the Swiss government. This security arrangement was held under the framework of the Club de Berne, an informal forum of nine Western security services and their transatlantic and Middle Eastern partners. Based on hitherto unknown source material, the article discusses four main aspects of the Club de Berne: its creation, its background within the Swiss administration (complete lack of democratic oversight, absolute secrecy and neutrality), its threat warning system under the code word Kilowatt and the reasons for the participating countries to choose cooperation within this network. The main argument is that the Club de Berne was a security arrangement beneficial to all parties: it allowed Europeans to protect themselves from Palestinian terrorism without being seen as helping Israel; this secret dimension was also what allowed ‘neutral’ Switzerland to take part in this security framework.

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