Irgun terror documents released

Recently disclosed MI5 documents show that there were plans for further assassinations of British officials by Zionist groups in Mandate Palestine:
MI5 was warned that Jewish terrorists planned to assassinate members of Clement Attlee's postwar Labour government and feared that Menachem Begin, then leader of the extremist Irgun resistance group and a future prime minister of Israel, had tried to trick it by having cosmetic surgery to disguise his identity, files released yesterday disclose.
The files include a telegram dated February 12 1946 from Palestine saying that a reliable source claimed the Stern gang were "training members to go to England to assassinate members of His Majesty's Government, especially Mr Bevin [British foreign minister Ernest Bevin]". The Stern gang, in common with Irgun, were fighting against the British mandate of Palestine and murdered Britain's Minister Resident in the Middle East, Lord Moyne, in Cairo in 1944. A memo from the Officer Administering the Government of Palestine to the Secretary of State for the Colonies the following day warned: "The Stern Group have decided to assassinate both the High Commissioner and the General Officer Commanding. In addition, a number of CID officers are to be assassinated as well as police officers and any high government officials who are thought to be anti-semitic."

In 1946 Irgun blew up the King David hotel in Jerusalem, and attacked the British embassy in Rome. A year later MI5 received a report about a rumour that Begin had "undergone a plastic facial operation and that his appearance is totally different from that displayed on police photographs". In 1948 Begin founded the Herut party, which later became Likud, and he was appointed prime minister in 1977. He was awarded the Nobel peace prize with Egypt's President Sadat after agreeing to withdraw Israeli forces from the Sinai peninsula and return it to Egypt.
Fascinating. There's a bunch more of these documents that exist and that either have not yet been declassified or haven't been found by expert researchers. Considering that Britain controlled a big chunk of the region back then, it would be nice to see more of them. I remember getting access in 2002 to documents showing British embassy in Cairo memos about the Free Officers, right after when the coup took place. They seemed to think that Nasser was a Muslim Brother and were annoyed with the support the US embassy was giving him...
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.