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Friday, March 21, 2014

Canada's Immigration Minister Alexander Evasive About Mossad Assassin Getting Passport

Alleged Mossad Assassin Arian Azarbar (QMI/Sun News)

Minister mum on probe into allegation Mossad assassin got new Canadian identity, passport

By Ian MacLeod, OTTAWA CITIZEN March 18, 2014

OTTAWA — The office of Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander is evading questions about a probe related to allegations that an Israeli Mossad assassin is in Canada under a new identity provided by the government.

Public Safety Canada, which oversees the RCMP and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, also has avoiding talking about the case, which has upset senior security intelligence officials after being reported by the Citizen and other news media in February.

Some within Ottawa’s security intelligence community believe Alexander’s office resorted to a rash, “knee-jerk” response when confronted with media inquiries last month.

“There is no truth to these allegations that the government of Canada provided support to protect those wanted in the 2010 death of a Hamas leader,” said a senior security intelligence source with knowledge of the case.

Alexander’s office was asked Feb. 18 to comment on news reports that an Ottawa Passport Canada officer allegedly told her then-Iranian-Canadian boyfriend that a former agent with Israel’s security intelligence service been given a new identity here, including a Canadian passport.

Mahmoud al-Mabhouh
The former agent was said to have participated in the January 2010 assassination in Dubai of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a high-ranking member of the terrorist group Hamas. Israel has never admitted to the killing.

Kevin Menard, an acting spokesman in Alexander’s office, which is responsible for Passport Canada, issued a brief statement that day saying official had been called in, “to take swift and robust action to gather facts and to ensure security and programing integrity were not compromised in any way.”

An official in the office also confirmed the passport officer had been assigned to an RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) looking into the activities of Arian Azarbar, a 33-year-old Montreal businessman.

The female passport officer and Azarbar subsequently began a romance that lasted about 18 months, Azarbar said in a later interview with the Citizen. The woman, who has not been reached for comment, allegedly confided to him that the federal government created a Canadian passport and new life here for the former Mossad agent.

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander
When the allegations broke, the officer was placed on leave pending the results of an RCMP investigation, the official in Alexander’s said. The RCMP has not commented, including whether it actually is investigating the alleged leak.

Today, a month later, Alexander’s office is far less accommodating with questions about the case.

Alexis Pavlich, the minister’s official spokesperson, deflected inquiries this week to Public Safety Canada, which referred them back to her.

Pavlich eventually issued the same statement the office first issued in February.

Pressed for new information Tuesday, she responded: “I have provided you with relevant comment. Beyond that, if we have something further to say publicly on this matter, we will.”

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