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January 16, 2018 12:23 pm

German Authorities Swoop on Suspected Iranian Agents Spying on Jewish, Israeli Institutions

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The sign of Germany’s Bundesamt fuer Verfassungsschutz (BfV), the domestic intelligence service of the Federal Republic of Germany, which carried out the January 16 raids. Photo: Reuters / Wolfgang Rattay.

German authorities conducted raids targeting ten suspected Iranian agents on Tuesday morning, amid growing concern about the Tehran regime’s espionage activities in the country.

No arrests were reported during the police operations in Berlin and the states of Baden-Wuerttemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, and Bavaria. A spokesman for the federal prosecutor, Stefan Biehl, said the raids were prompted by information received from Germany’s domestic intelligence service, the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), which is in charge of Germany’s counterespionage operations.

Biehl said the suspects were thought to have “spied on institutions and persons in Germany on behalf of an entity associated with Iran.” According to the German magazine Focus, Iran is actively spying on Israeli diplomats, Jewish organizations and Iranian dissidents in the country. The magazine claimed that Tuesday’s raids were connected to Iran’s Quds Force — the foreign operations arm of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commanded by Gen. Qassem Soleimani —  although authorities have not confirmed that.

The raids followed the sentencing in December of 21-year-old Mustufa Haidar Syed-Naqfi to four years and three months in prison on charges of “working for a foreign intelligence service” by a court in Berlin.

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The court found that Syed-Naqfi, a Pakistani citizen, spied “against Germany” and France on behalf of the Quds Force by compiling information about possible attack targets in Germany, among them German lawmaker Reinhold Robbe, who previously headed the German-Israeli Association, and a French-Israeli economics professor.

Investigators found detailed dossiers about the men and their daily routines, with hundreds of photos and video clips documenting their homes and workplaces, access routes to them, and information about security guards, surveillance cameras, and nearby police stations.

Germany’s Foreign Ministry summoned the Iranian ambassador, Ali Majedi, at the time, informing him that “spying on people and institutions with a particular relationship to the state of Israel on German soil is a blatant violation of German law.”

Iran, often working with its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, has carried out some of the most notorious international terrorist acts of the last twenty-five years, including the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994, the bombing of the Khobar Towers complex in 1996, and the bombing of a tourist bus in the Bulgarian resort city of Burgas in 2012.

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