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Is Assad trying to silence Syrian dissidents based overseas?

23 14 3
19.01.2019

There are fears that anti-Assad activists around the world are being targeted for assassination by the Syrian regime following the brutal murder of a prominent businessman now living in Germany. Mohamed Joune, 48, collapsed on a street in Hamburg on Tuesday night after stumbling out of a nearby building. He was barely conscious when paramedics rushed him to hospital with serious head wounds and one of his fingers cut off. Forensic experts who examined his body post-mortem believe that an axe had been used to inflict the terrible injuries.

The pharmacist owned several properties in Harburg in the south of Hamburg where he also ran a humanitarian aid charity called the Union of Syrians Abroad. Founded in 2011, the charity’s mission statement says that it aims “to alleviate the suffering of the Syrian people, especially women and children, both in Syria and in neighbouring countries.” His friends believe that Joune’s involvement in the charity and his vocal opposition to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad could be the reason why he was targeted. “The likelihood is that Mohamed was killed for his political activities,” one told the Bild newspaper.

Joune was talking about organising a demonstration to mark the 8th anniversary of the uprising against Assad. German police say that they are looking into all possibilities but, if true, this would not be the first time that the Assad regime’s tentacles have stretched into Europe to spread terror and fear among political opponents.

The truth is that Syrian intelligence is used to meddling in foreign affairs and has a long and dark history of doing so, regardless of the human cost. In 1986, following a series of terror-related incidents in Britain, Italy and what was then West Germany, western intelligence agencies hinted that the investigation trail was leading them to the regime of Assad’s father, President Hafez Assad. The evidence exposed a close relationship between Syrian intelligence and the Jordanian citizen arrested in London for attempting to blow up El Al Flight 016 on 17 April, 1986 as well as with his brother, who confessed to bombing an Arab-German club in West Berlin three weeks earlier with explosives provided by the Syrian Embassy in East Berlin.

In Britain, Nezar Hindawi, 31, attempted to blow up the Israeli aircraft leaving Heathrow Airport by planting explosives on his pregnant........

© Middle East Monitor