Sunday 11 December 2016

Israeli spy 'sourced details for passports in Dublin'

Envoy to hear allegation of more fake documents

Sam Smyth and Shane Phelan

Published 24/02/2010 | 05:00

AN Israeli spy based in Dublin is suspected of supplying information for the forged Irish passports used by the team of assassins who murdered a Hamas commander in Dubai.

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And details of more fake Irish passports used in the assassination of a Hamas official are expected to be given to the Irish Ambassador in Dubai today.

Ambassador Ciaran Madden will meet with officials from the United Arab Emirates, who have confirmed that more fake Irish passport numbers had been identified.

Another "three or four fake passports" are expected to be added to the five allegedly used in the assassination of a Hamas commander last month.

Diplomatic sources said that the passport owners whose numbers were used for fake passports had travelled in Europe and the US but not in the Middle East.

The spy is suspected of providing a false address at 6 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin -- owned by Jim Reynolds, the brother of former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds -- for one of the passport holders.

As anger about fake passports and the assassination mounts, Fine Gael has called on Foreign Affairs Minister Micheal Martin to brief the Dail.

Billy Timmons, the party's Foreign Affairs spokesman, said: "We must get explanations as to how suspects in an assassination overseas were able to use valid Irish passport numbers on fake passports and provide a bone fide Dublin address when checking out of the hotel."

Sovereignty

He added: "The Irish passport has great standing internationally and the minister must do all he can to ensure its status is not debased."

Speaking in the European Parliament, Labour MEP Proinsias De Rossa said: "The stealing of Irish citizens' identities and the abuse of Irish passports by another state is a gross infringement of Irish sovereignty. It is not the normal practice for friendly states to abuse each other's sovereignty in this way.

"One can only assume that Israel either has no regard for international law or holds Ireland and the other EU states affected in contempt."

It also emerged last night that gardai are to forensically examine the house at 6 Elgin Road. Jim Reynolds said he was "shocked and horrified" that the address of a house he owns was used.

His son, John Reynolds, a promoter of the Electric Picnic, explained that his father had bought the house in the 1960s but it fell into disrepair when there was trouble over the title.

"It was all sorted out about five years ago," said Mr Reynolds. "But we really are upset by all of this."

Officially, the Department of Foreign Affairs was playing down reports that further Irish passports were used in the murder plot. A spokesman said the reports were being examined, but nothing further had been confirmed.

Meanwhile, the department confirmed last night that it had tracked down the last of the five Irish citizens whose passport numbers were used by the team of assassins.

"We have offered to issue them with new passport," a spokesman said. The department said none of the five had encountered any difficulties while travelling abroad.

Irish Independent

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