People are silhouetted as they pose with laptops in front of a screen projected with binary code and a Central Inteligence Agency (CIA) emblem.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The day before the Yom Kippur War broke out on October 6, 1973, US intelligence assessments reported large-scale military exercises in Egypt, but that “they do not appear to be preparations for an offensive against Israel.”
The assessment was found in one of about 2,500 documents released by the CIA on Wednesday, containing the US government’s intelligence analysis on key national security issues during the presidencies of Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, from January 1969 to January 1977. The release took place at an event at the Nixon Presidential Library & Museum in Yorba Linda, California.
Another document from the day the war began said that neither side seemed inclined to start hostilities. According to media reports that had seen the documents, officials were concerned that Syria could mobilize its defenses, alarming the Israelis, which would “increase the risk of military clashes, which neither side originally intended.”
A different issue involving Israel that was dealt with in the released documents was the US assessment of Israeli retaliation for the murder of 11
athletes at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
A brief on September 6, 1972, the day after, said that Israel “seems certain to avenge” the attack.
“Although the Israelis could allow the outrage in the international community to suffice for the present, domestic sentiment for a response is already mounting,” the brief said. “Any reprisal action could be severe.”