Swiss say suspected Mossad operation in Bern uncovered

JERUSALEM (AP) — The disclosure of a yet another bungled undercover operation, this one in Switzerland and reportedly aimed at the Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrilla group, struck a demoralizing blow Thursday to Israel’s fabled Mossad intelligence agency.
Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry demanded an apology from Israel after residents on the outskirts of Bern reported a break-in and police caught a Mossad agent trying to install a wiretap.
On Tuesday, Mossad chief Danny Yatom resigned over his agency’s botched Sept. 25 attempt to poison a Hamas political leader in Jordan. And in January, retired Mossad agent Yehuda Gil was indicted on charges of fabricating reports that Syria was preparing for war.
Israel’s Yediot Ahronot newspaper, quoting foreign sources, said the agent arrested in Switzerland was trying to bug offices of the Hezbollah. Swiss officials, in announcing the operation Thursday, said only that the targets were foreigners.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirmed that an Israeli citizen had been arrested, but would not comment further. An Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the targets were connected to Iran.
Swiss German Television, meanwhile, said the intended target was the militant Islamic group Hamas in Bern.