Passport Canada secretly supplied a new identity and passport to a Mossad agent living in Canada after the Israeli spy participated in the 2010 plot to kill a leader of Hamas in a Dubai hotel, a Montreal businessman has alleged.
Mysterious Canadian-Iranian businessman Arian Azarbar made the startling allegations in an exclusive interview with QMI Agency.
Azarbar says he learned about the top secret operation during a relationship he had with Trina Kennedy, a senior national security investigator at Passport Canada.
“The Canadian government has said we had nothing to do with this, but it is a lie,” Azarbar said. “The girl who was in charge of that file at Passport Canada, with whom I had a relationship, she told me about it.”
“How come nobody is talking about that?” Azarbar added.
Azarbar said Kennedy confided details of the top secret identity switch after the couple enjoyed a night out and several drinks; he says Kennedy later asked him to forget what she had told him.
Azarbar provided a name and location in Canada where the alleged Mossad agent lived in Canada, but QMI Agency has decided to withhold that information to not endanger his personal safety and security.
Azarbar has been accused in Montreal police documents of being a possible Iranian spy, allegations he has categorically denied.
In January 2010, Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a military leader of Palestinian group Hamas, was suffocated by a team of killers at a Dubai hotel while he was on a unpublicized visit to the Emirates without bodyguards.
Al-Mabhouh was injected with a substance that left him paralyzed, authorities said.
Dubai police later said a 26-member hit team from the Mossad carried out the killing, entering Dubai on fake and forged passports under false names and they showed hours of hotel video surveillance footage of agents carrying out the killing and conducting surveillance.
The RCMP is investigating a local Passport Canada intelligence officer who allegedly told her Iranian-Canadian lover that an Israeli assassin is living in Canada under a new identity secretly provided by the government, a senior government source said Tuesday.
In a fast-moving investigation with ties to Dubai, Venezuela, Israel, Montreal and now Ottawa, the Mounties are trying to determine whether national security was breached in a case that rivals a Hollywood script.
Passport Canada national security officer Trina Kennedy had been assigned to an RCMP-led Integrated National Security Enforcement Team (INSET) looking into the activities of Montreal businessman Arian Azarbar, said the source.
Instead, Kennedy began an affair in the spring of 2010 with Azarbar, 33, which lasted for about a year and a half, Azarbar said in an interview Tuesday with the Citizen.
During their romance, Kennedy is said to have confided to him that the federal government created a Canadian passport and new life here for a former member of Israel’s Mossad security intelligence service involved in the January 2010 assassination in Dubai of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a high-ranking member of the terrorist group Hamas.
“She was working on those cases when this whole Mossad thing was happening,” Azarbar said. “People talk.”
Kennedy has been placed on leave while police investigate, with no access to government offices or computers, said the source.
“There are a lot of allegations that are being investigated at this point. But there is no credible evidence to suggest that it is true at this point.”
Kennedy could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander, who is responsible for Passport Canada, called in police when the allegations surfaced, his office said Tuesday.
“He has asked officials to take swift and robust action to gather the facts and to ensure security and program integrity were not compromised in any way,” ministerial spokesman Kevin Menard said in a statement.
Azarbar is identified in Montreal police documents of being a possible Iranian spy, according to Montreal media reports. He categorically denied any involvement with his native Iran. He said he has lived in Montreal’s West Island community since the age of five.
“I’ve been to Iran once in my whole life for two weeks,” he said.
He said his troubles began when he received a government letter asking him to meet with federal agents.
There followed one or two initial meetings with Kennedy and a man he believes was from the Department of Foreign Affairs. He said they were most interested in learning about his business trips to Venezuela, where he sells housing construction products.
He said he also had spent time around Hugo Chavez, the country’s fiery socialist leader who died last year.
“Did I work for the Iranian government? No, never. Did I like Chavez? Absolutely. I thought he was one of the greatest men in the world.”
Azarbar blamed much of his situation on a federal customs official in Toronto. Azarbar believes the man was jealous of his relationship with Kennedy, who has been separated from her husband, he said.
“When he found out about my relationship with Trina, he went berserk. It’s him that made this whole story.”
The Toronto man could not be reached Tuesday.
Azarbar said the relationship with Kennedy did not end well. “After this happened, I guess the flow of information went a bit against me.”
Mabhouh’s murder drew global attention to Mossad’s ruthless pursuit of Israel’s enemies, its tradecraft and debates about the morality of political assassination.
Months later, The Globe and Mail reported that Dubai’s police chief insisted a Canadian security official later informed him of the secret arrest of a Mossad assassin, even though Canadian officials denied having ever told him that.
“A senior Canadian security official here told me in July (2010) that they have made an arrest of one of the suspects,” Lt.-Gen. Dahi Khalfan Tamim told the newspaper.
“The person informed me then that this information was not to be released in the media and was only for the police. Since then we have not heard any more information and I don’t understand the secrecy.”
He did not say who may have been arrested, where he or she would have been taken into custody, or which Canadian agency supposedly did the job.
Canada’s INSETs are made up of officers and officials from the RCMP, federal partners and agencies such as Canada Border Services Agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), and provincial and municipal police services. They are located in Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Alberta.
A week after a Montreal businessman claimed Canada had provided a new identity and passport to an Israeli Mossad agent involved in the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai, the government denied the sensational story on Friday.
While Ottawa is usually reluctant to comment on national security matters, the allegation of Canadian involvement in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh was apparently considered so damaging it required a response.
“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 government official with knowledge of the case, who spoke on condition of anonymity.