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Intelligence

German federal prosecutors probe Mossad death squad affair

IRNA - Islamic Republic News Agency

Berlin, Feb 27, IRNA -- German federal prosecutors have launched a preliminary investigation into the use of German passports by a Mossad death squad responsible for the murder of a senior Hamas leader in Dubai, press reports said Friday.

The probe is to focus on the use of a German passport by a Mossad agent after documents indicated that the German passport allegedly used in the Dubai attack, carrying the name Michael Bodenheimer, was not falsified.

It was reportedly obtained by a Mossad agent in Germany, using documents showing him to be the descendant of a family that fled the country during the Nazi era.

Last week, Cologne prosecutors initiated also proceedings to investigate possible passport fraud.

Cologne was the city where the suspect applied for the German passport.

The Mossad case is a tough balancing act for Germany, a staunch ally of Israel.

For years, Berlin has, along with other Western governments, remained silent about the killer squad activities of Mossad.

German authorities have remained tight-lipped in the wake of the Hamas murder scandal amid mounting public demands for a major investigation of the issue.

Two German opposition parties have called for a parliamentary probe of the affair.

Germany's foreign intelligence service BND has so far refused to react to Arab press reports which alleged that the German national was implicated in the killing of al-Mabhouh.

The Hamburg-based weekly news magazine Der Spiegel identified the German suspect as 43-year-old Michael B.

Mossad death squads have in the past used German passports for secret operations although some of them had been forged, according to press reports.

Germany and Israel have a very deep military and intelligence cooperation whose details remain highly secretive to the German public.

OT**1424

End News / IRNA / News Code 981974



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