ZRRIFLE or ZR/RIFLE is a CIA Cryptonym associated with what is colloquially known as "Executive Action", that being CIA operations aimed at the removal by overthrow or murder of foreign political leaders.
CIA operative William Harvey, who had already been responsible for the 1955 listening post operation in Berlin known as Operation Gold (ZRGOLD) was ordered to prepare and undertake an assassination operation against Fidel Castro. Beginning in November of 1961, Harvey drew together existing elements of Pentagon created anti-Castro Cuban elements and other classically disaffected military or criminal background potential killers, forgers and agitators. As part of this, Harvey had David Sanchez Morales aka ZR/INDIO moved from his station in Mexico City to JMWAVE, the major headquarters of the CIA in Miami, which also functioned as a paramilitary training station and a cointelpro and recruitment base focusing on universities and youth movements. Organised crime figure Johnny Roselli was also recruited into the project. Following the involvement of Roselli, a Mafia boss who had been ejected from Cuba by Fidel Castro, Santos Trafficante, became directly involved, particularly since government funds were flowing, via the CIA, to anyone involved.
Senior gangster Meyer Lansky who was part of the crime syndicate that included Santos Trafficante became involved both as liaison to FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, who Lansky had permanently compromised and suborned, and also as a liaison to other organised crime and foreign intelligence service figures with which he was acquainted.
As part of the diplomatic manoeuvering and shift in cold war stances by the government of John F. Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis, Attorney General Robert Kennedy, who also sat as part of John Kennedy's four-man security committee, instructed CIA Director John McCone that all offensive covert action against Cuba was to halt.
removed as commander of ZR/RIFLE. On 30th October, 1962, RFK terminated "all sabotage operations" against Cuba. As a result of President Kennedy's promise to Nikita Khrushchev that he would not invade Cuba, Operation Mongoose was disbanded.
Harvey, who was ill disciplined at the best of times, and who extremely disliked all patricians, such as Robert Kennedy and his own superiors in the CIA directly disobeyed this order and carried out SCUBA equipped commando landings on Cuba to carry out murder and sabotage. Enraged by this disobedience, Robert Kennedy saw to it that Harvey was immediately relieved of his command of ZRRIFLE and effective 30 October 1962 all ZRRIFLE activities were officially ended. However, other than the replacement of Harvey, all other personnel remained in place. Further, ZRRIFLE had Castro as only one of its many targets. Morales aka "The Indian" (ZRINDIO) remained in control of ZRRIFLE throughout the 1960s and 1970s, and ZRRIFLE activities escalated against foreign leaders. It has also emerged that many of the same ZRRIFLE personnel were involved in acts of domestic violent crime including terrorist acts again left wing groups. They have also been strongly implicated in the assassination conspiracy against John F. Kennedy.