The Mossad has comfortably established itself in Paris, a French publication claims.
By: World Israel News Staff
Paris has become a center of operations for Israel’s famed spy agency, according to a report by the French newspaper Le Monde published this week.
The article, titled “The Mossad’s shadow hovers over Paris,” cites senior French intelligence officials, one of whom claimed that “the city is the Mossad’s playground. The Chinese and the Russians may be our enemies, but let us not forget the Israelis and the Americans are also conducting themselves with great aggression,” according to a translation by Ynet.
“Our ability to respond to their actions is limited because they rush to use the ‘diplomatic card’ and complain to the French prime minister and president’s offices,” the French intelligence official said.
“France’s hands are tied,” since it depends on Israel “in many sensitive issues,” he said.
The French, he added, are “also limited in our ability to prevent some elements in the Jewish community in France from aiding them (the Mossad) with planning and logistics.”
One operation the French say was orchestrated from Paris was the assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in 2010. According to Le Monde, the Mossad set up an operations room equipped with computers and secure phones at a hotel room in Paris.
While foreign media believe the operation was conducted from Austria or another European location, Le Monde claims it was run out of Paris.
According to the report, the French were concerned Hamas would suspect France took part in the assassination and were upset that the Mossad used two French passports for the agents.
This incident reportedly brought the exchange of information between the two countries to a halt.
“It was a way to send a message that this was an intolerable line crossing,” said the head of the French police’s investigations department.
Speaking to Yedioth Ahronoth, the Le Monde article’s author, Jacques Follorou, said French intelligence officials were outraged by the use of French passports in the operation, seeing it as a “provocation.”
The report lists several other operations conducted by the Mossad and other Israeli elements from French soil, including a joint Israeli-French attempt to recruit a Syrian agent who tried to buy chemical weapons.
The reason the Mossad, like many other foreign intelligence agencies, including the CIA, has turned Paris into its center of operations is because it hosts many international conferences and frequent visits by African leaders, Ynet explained. Furthermore, the city is home to many foreigners.