Alleged Iranian Spy Exposes Tehran’s War Intentions in German Trial
By William Tucker
Contributor, In Homeland Security
In January, German authorities arrested a 31-year-old Pakistani man for allegedly collecting information on potential Jewish assassination targets for the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Quds Forces. The man’s identity has not been released. He is referred to only as Syed Mustufa H.
Since the beginning of his trial last week in Berlin, Syed has remained silent “out of fear,” according to his attorney. However, the evidence against Syed appears compelling. Syed is accused of scoping out targets for Iran in the event of a war with Western nations and conducting espionage on Iran’s behalf against Germany and France.
Politician Who Led German-Israeli Society Was an Assassination Target
The evidence made public shows that Syed collected intelligence on several targets, but only two were cited publicly because they are public figures. One of the targets was German politician Reinhold Robbe of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), who also headed the German-Israeli Society until two years ago. The other was Daniel Rouach, a French-Israeli professor at the Ecole Superieure de Commerce de Paris.
German federal prosecutors displayed a dossier Syed compiled on Robbe that included the politician’s home and work addresses, along with his typical daily movements. Such dossiers are helpful in identifying locations suitable for an assassination, such as traffic choke points or areas that lack surveillance cameras. Locating entry and escape points are vital to the success of an assassination operation.
The dossier contained travel routes Robbe occasionally used along with other possible routes he could take. It also included some amateurish elements that contained erroneous data. That misinformation could have been easily corrected through open-source information.
No Information So Far Why Iran Recruited Syed
According to public data, Syed studied engineering and also worked at the German Aerospace Center in the city of Bremen in northern Germany. So far, there is no information how or why Iran recruited Syed or if he received any more than rudimentary training. But Iran has used non-Iranian nationals for intelligence collection in the past.
Several years ago, Iran employed a used car salesman of Iranian descent from Texas to organize the assassination of the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States. The plot fell apart when a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) informant passed along information about the planned assassination.
This case in Germany is thought to be the first foreign plot in the post-Cold War era where a German politician was targeted for assassination. However, it is possible that other plots simply were never discovered or were abandoned by the plotters. It does demonstrate that Iran is still preparing for conflict with the West, despite the much-vaunted nuclear agreement.
Furthermore, planning for this assassination attempt began before the U.S. presidential election or the current German elections, which means this plot was not a reactionary attempt to disrupt those elections. Iran feels compelled to continue planning terrorist-style attacks against the West in the event of war.