Iran accused of planning attack on head of French-Israel business group

German investigators say the Pakistani suspect's assignment was to identify Israeli and Jewish institutions for possible attacks.

March 21, 2017 02:42
1 minute read.
quds day iran

Iranian protestors burn an Israeli flag during a demonstration in Tehran on July 25, 2014 to mark the Quds Day. (photo credit: BEHROUZ MEHRI /AFP)

Iran’s Quds Force plotted with the aid of a paid Pakistani man to track – and possibly assassinate – the head of the French-Israeli Chamber of Commerce, according to revelations from a Monday court proceeding in Berlin reported by German media. The daily newspaper Berliner Zeitung reported that the 31-year-old Pakistani Syed Mustafa spied on French-Israel business Prof. David Rouach, who teaches at the elite Ecole Supérieure de Commerce de Paris (ESCP) and served as head of the chamber.

Quds Force – a US-classified terrorist entity that is part of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps – paid Mustafa at least 2,052 euros from July 2015 through July 2016.

Rouach was expected to testify on Tuesday. Federal prosecutor Michael Greven said at an earlier proceeding that a collection of surveillance activities took place to prepare for possible attacks.

Mustafa amassed information on Rouach from July until August 2015. German investigators seized more than 300 photographs and 20 videos from Mustafa, including video and photographic material showing the ESCP campus and various travel distances to it.
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According to German prosecutors, Mustafa was assigned to identify Israeli and Jewish institutions and pro-Israel advocates in Germany, France and other unnamed western European countries for possible attacks. He monitored a German-Jewish newspaper’s headquarters in Berlin, and Reinhold Robbe, the former head of the German- Israel Friendship Society.

Robbe told the court, “I consider the regime there [in Iran] to be one of the worst dictatorships on the planet.”

Mustafa delivered his dossiers to the Revolutionary Guard. The criminal complaint said he had contact with a Quds Force agent named Mehmud since 2011.

The Quds Force has a history of employing Pakistanis for their operations outside of Iran, said Greven. The trial started in early March and is slated to run until the end of the month.

Mustafa, who worked for the German Aerospace Center in the northern German city of Bremen, could face a prison term of three to threeand- a-half years.

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