Gerald Bull/Assassination

From Wikispooks
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Event.png Gerald Bull/Assassination (Assassination,  shooting,  Mid-level deep event) Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Blamed onUnknown, Mossad?
DescriptionThe killing of Gerald Bull as he returned home from his nearby office whilst unlocking the door to his Brussels, Belgium appartment.


From the early 1980's Gerald Bull worked for both the Peoples Republic of China and Iraq on a number of weapons projects. Initially on innovative long-range artillery designs and latterly on both the Iraqi Supergun project and ballistic missile nose-cone design. The projects benefitted from his earlier experience on artillery design for the South African armaments company Armscor. The timeframe covered the period of the Thatcher government and its illegal covert supply of arms to both Iran and Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, which later became known as the 'Arms-to-Iraq affair'. Bull visited Baghdad on many occasions and had substantial contact with senior military people in the government of Saddam Hussein. He would have had considerable inside knowledge of Iraqi weapons aquisition programs and thus the involvement of both the UK and US Intelligence services in them. His work for the Iraqi military would also have been most unwelcome to Israel who, at the time, considered Iraq an increasing threat.

In the 12 month period leading to his murder and starting a few weeks before he was to attend a May 1989 international arms exhibition in Bagdad, his apartment suffered unauthorised intruders on at least 3 occasions with nothing stolen but odd disturbances to furniture and other contents noted. On one occasion, a set of six kitchen tumblers were replaced with new ones and a large amount of cash on his bedside table left untouched. [1] These were unsettling experiences and interpreted as warnings by both Bull and his close staff. He did not report the intrusions to the Belgian police but did inform Iraqi minister Amir Saudi whilst at the Baghdad exhibition, who offered to provide him with a full-time bodyguard. Bull declined on the assumption that he would be a spy and further damn him in the eyes of Western Intelligence Agencies. Bull had also become accustomed to his luggage going missing during his travels. As his Spanish employee Luis Palachio told author William Lowther:

"The bags would usually turn up next day, after the CIA, MI6 or Mossad - or maybe all three - had gone through them". [1]

There were many other indications that Bull was being kept under surveillance by professionals.[citation needed]

Gerald Bull's murder

On a damp grey evening, at about 17:15 on 22 March 1990, Gerald Bull left his Space Reasearch Corporation (SRC) office on Rue de Stalle in the Uccle district of the Belgian capital Brussels. He was accompanied by his secretary Monique Jaminé who was to drive him the short distance to his apartment building on Avenue François Folie. He had spent most of the day, including lunch, with Christopher Gumbley, who had been forced to resign as Managing Director of Astra Holdings on a fabricated corruption accusation and without compensation, about 6 weeks earlier. Their discussions centred around plans to initiate legal action against Société Générale de Belgique (SGB) over their sale of Poudreries Réunies de Belgique (PRB) to Astra, and in the British courts over Gumbley's dismissal. They had agreed to collate all relevant documents in their possession and to meet again in the near future.

Both Bull and, to a lesser extent, Gumbley were undoubtedly in possession of information that could prove very damaging indeed to the British government if properly collated and presented in open court.

The drive took about 15 minutes including a brief stop at a bakery to a buy a large baguette. Bull entered his apartment block carrying a heavy shoulder bag and the baguette tucked under his other arm. He ascended to the 6th floor and walked a few paces from the lift to the door of his No 20 apartment. As he fumbled with the key, juggling his shoulder bag and the baguette, a figure stepped up behind him from the alcove beside the lift door and fired 5 shots from a silenced 7.62mm pistol into the back of his head and neck. He died instantly.

Nobody heard the shots although a tenant in the apartment below claims to have heard Bull slump heavily to the floor, a noise which she took to be furniture moving above.

The $20,000 in cash that he was carrying on his person was left untouched. It was clearly a carefully planned professional killing.

Who contracted the murder?

Bull's work had earned him state-level enemies in at least 3 countries: Israel, the UK and the US. It has also been suggested that the Iraqi Mukhabarat may have suspected him of espionage. Following is evidence and brief summaries of the concerns of each of these countries, one or a combination of which, triggered the decision to kill him.

Israeli Mossad

  • Israel had an interest in halting the Iraqi weapons development programs to which Bull was a major contributor.
  • An israeli couple had rented an apartment in his apartment building a year or so before his death. They had never taken up residence but had taken possession of the apartment block entrance keys.
  • In his 1994 book The Other Side of Deception, Mossad "defector" Victor Ostrovsky alleges that the assassination was a Mossad operation and provides a detailed "insider" narrative of its genesis, planning and execution. [2]
  • In his much later book - probably based largely on Ostrovsky - British author and journalist Gordon Thomas gives a similar detailed account of the assassination as an Israeli operation authorised by the then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir and Mossad Chief Nahum Admoni. [3] The account fits well with what British Intelligence would undoubtedly prefer the public to believe. That, together with its publication in the right-wing Telegraph, is reason to remain sceptical about it.


  • Bull and Gumbley were in possession of deeply compromising information on senior Thatcher government politicians, DTI and other officials, and were planning to make it public in open court. This would have been known to British Intelligence who were monitoring both men closely and would have triggered a cacophony of alarm bells. One way or another, it would have to be stopped. For insight into how seriously this would have been viewed by the British Establishment, see Document:Maggie's Guilty Secret and File:Analysis of CIA Research Paper SW91-100076X.pdf
  • Gerald James claims that Stephan Kock, a Spook, former Rhodesian SAS officer and head of Group 13, was involved in the assassination. [4]
  • A leaked unredacted version of an official CIA report names two British ex-SAS soldiers as the assassins who were given their orders by MI6 operative Stephan Kock


Iraqi Mukhabarat

  •  ?


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:CIA Research Paper SW91-10076X - Intelligence SummaryResearch paperNovember 1991CIATranscription of the unredacted 'Intelligence Summary' (pages 22-26) of CIA Research paper SW91-10076X titled 'Project Babylon' which names two ex-SAS soldiers as having been contracted to eliminate Gerald Bull
File:CIA Research Paper SW91-100076X Redacted.pdfResearch paperNovember 1991CIARedacted CIA Research paper SW91-10076X titled 'Project Babylon' as it appeared on the CIA web site in July 2012
File:CIA Research Paper SW91-100076X summary.pdfResearch paperNovember 1991CIAUnredacted 'Intelligence Summary' (pages 22-26) of CIA Research paper SW91-10076X titled 'Project Babylon' and naming two ex-SAS soldiers as having been contracted to eliminate Gerald Bull
File:CIA Research Paper SW91-100076X un-redacted.pdfResearch paperNovember 1991CIAUnredacted CIA Research paper SW91-10076X titled 'Project Babylon:The Iraq Supergun' (pages 1-21)


The Official Culprits

Mossad"Mossad" (Hebrew for Institute) is an abbreviation for ha-Mossad le-Modiin ule-Tafkidim Meyuhadim (Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks). It is the Israeli State Agency with overall responsible for external intelligence and covert operations.
Many thanks to our Patrons who cover ~2/3 of our hosting bill. Please join them if you can.


  1. a b Arms and the Man. William Lowther. Macmillan London 1991 - ISBN 0333360698 p231-2
  2. The Other Side of Deception, 1994 Harper Collins. ISBN 0060176350. P 152 - 154
  3. "Mossad's licence to kill" 17 February 2010
  4. Document:Big Brother - One Man's Story#Gerald James on Stephan Kock