In military tactics, extraction (also exfiltration or exfil) is the process of removing personnel when it is considered imperative that they be immediately relocated out of a hostile environment and taken to an area either occupied or controlled by friendly personnel.
There are primarily two kinds of extraction:
- Friendly: The subject involved is willing and is expected to cooperate with the personnel implementing the operation.
- Hostile: The subject involved is unwilling and is being transferred by forceful coercion with the possibility/likelihood of engaging enemy personnel in any area either in and/or around the extraction zone.
An example of a hostile extraction was the capture and transportation to Israel for trial of the German Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann by Israel's Mossad agents on May 11, 1960. An example of a friendly extraction was the joint U.S. Central Intelligence Agency-Canadian government operation to smuggle six fugitive American diplomatic personnel out of revolutionary Iran in 1980 in an operation later known as the Canadian Caper.