Controversial German spy ‘Mr. Hezbollah’ retires

The Merkel administration rejects a full ban of Hezbollah in Germany, where 1,050 Hezbollah members and supporters operate.

September 2, 2019 00:49
1 minute read.
Controversial German spy ‘Mr. Hezbollah’ retires

LEBANON’S HEZBOLLAH leader Hassan Nasrallah addresses his supporters via a screen during a rally marking Jerusalem Day in Maroun Al-Ras village, near the border with Israel.. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Germany’s most famous Middle East spy, Gerhard Conrad, is slated to retire on November 1 from his position as an agent for the country’s Federal Intelligence Service.

Conrad earned the moniker “Mr. Hezbollah” within German intelligence circles because of his talks to secure prisoner swaps with the Lebanon-based Shi’ite terrorist group.

Some accused Conrad of shedding his mediator’s neutrality in 2008 when he sealed a deal gaining the release of the bodies of two IDF reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, for the freedom of five terrorists, including the child-murderer Samir Kuntar.

The Gilad Schalit prisoner exchange process was a controversial process for Conrad. Fox News reported in late 2009 that an Israeli source close to the Netanyahu government and the Schalit negotiations said Conrad “seems to be more favorable to Hamas, possibly because of Germany’s economic ties with Iran, known to be Hamas’s financial and ideological backer.”

In 2011 Schalit gained his freedom from his Hamas captors in exchange for Israel releasing 1,027 terrorists and prisoners.

Some critics of Conrad in Germany even coined the phrase “Mr. Hamas” to describe his pro-Hamas tendencies. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, however, sharply criticized Conrad at the time for siding with Israeli positions. Marzouk said Conrad had “endorsed the unfair and unjust positions of the Zionist government.”

In 2015, a source at the Federal Intelligence Service confirmed to The Jerusalem Post the appointment of Conrad to oversee the coordination of European intelligence agencies. Conrad spent time in Damascus as an agent. It is believed that Gerhard Conrad is not the real name of the agent who speaks fluent Arabic and earned a doctorate in Islamic studies.

Conrad, who will turn 65, is slated to serve as a guest professor in a master’s program at the Federal Intelligence Service that covers intelligence and security studies. The German government awarded Conrad the Federal Cross of Merit for his efforts in the Middle East. Conrad remains a great source of pride in the German media and among German politicians.

The Merkel administration rejects a full ban of Hezbollah in Germany, where 1,050 Hezbollah members and supporters operate.

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