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Mossad chief's cell phone stolen fron car in Tel Aviv

March 12, 2004 01:50 IST
Last Updated: March 12, 2004 02:30 IST

In an embarrassment, and a breach its vaunted security apparatus, the cellular phone of Mossad chief Maj. Gen. (res.) Meir Dagan was stolen from his parked car, Israeli army radio announced March 11. The phone reportedly contained a number of sensitive phone numbers.

The Tel Aviv burglary that has led to many prominent people changing their phone number took place three weeks ago, but a gag order prevented details of the incident being published until now.

The robbers reportedly broke into the car when it was parked in Tel Aviv and could easily have planted a bomb had they wanted. Israeli police spokesman Gil Claiman yesterday said the phone has not been found and no arrests have been made.

Dagan, an army general and a counter-terrorism expert, was appointed chief of the Mossad in September 2002.

Police said it was unclear whether the theft was random or with intent to obtain security information. The cellular phone may have contained telephone numbers, ranks and other information on top Israeli security officials and access to the army's Internet network, Israeli media reported.

On Feb. 8, an Israeli TV station reported theft of a sensitive item from a security official, but military censorship banned publication of further details until yesterday.

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