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Murder at Mykonos: Anatomy of a Political Assassination

Intelligence173 to gather some ‘Arab friends’ from Berlin and go to Dusseldorf.174 Amin, Rhayel, and Ayad were among the people recruited by Darabi. According to Amin’s later court testimony, they armed themselves with pistols, gas guns and mace.175 On September 29, Darabi and his accomplices assaulted members of the Iranian opposition group Sazman-e Mojahedin-Khalq (MEK)176 who were presenting books and pictures at the exhibition. Several MEK members were seriously injured. Eye witnesses later testified regarding the apparent leadership role played by Darabi in the assault.177

Darabi was arrested by the German authorities for his role in the Mykonos incident on October 9, 1992.

 

Abbas Hossein Rhayel (aka Ragheb)

2Abbas Rhayel was recruited by Darabi to be the second trigger man in the Mykonos operation. Rhayel was a Lebanese national who had joined Hezbollah and attended a Hezbollah training facility in Iran in 1985-1986 along with another member of the Mykonos team, Youssef Amin.178

Rhayel was born in Lebanon on November 12, 1967 and grew up in Beirut.179 He traveled to Aachen, Germany in 1989 along with his friend Amin and another Lebanese national associated with the Mykonos operation, Ali Sabra. Rhayel and Amin soon moved from Aachen to Berlin.180 Rhayel twice applied for political asylum unsuccessfully. On the third occasion he submitted a fraudulent application using false documents in the name of Imad Ammash. He was granted a temporary residency permit in this name which was extended until March 18, 1992.181 Rhayel stayed with friends such as Darabi, whose name he had been given by Hezbollah contacts in Iran.182 While receiving social welfare benefits, he occasionally worked in different places such as Darabi's grocery store, a local "Habibi" restaurant in Berlin, and the flea market (Flohmarkt).183 In May 1992 the German authorities finally ordered Rhayel to leave the country. Although he received transit papers from the German authorities, he did not take the opportunity to leave voluntarily.184

Rhayel was arrested for his alleged involvement in Mykonos assassinations on October 4, 1992 in the home of Youssef Amin's brother in Rheine while he and Amin were preparing for their escape.185

[173]Related to IRI embassy in Bonn and one of the centers for the intelligence service for IRI. It was the Iranian embassy in the Pahlavi's regime and was transformed to the rehabilitation center for Iranian veterans after the revolution.
[174]Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 187.
[175]Id. at 186.
[176]People’s Mujahedin of Iran.
[177]Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 186-87.
[178]Ismail El Moussaoui who knew the Arab suspects, testified that he was training in Iran at the same time as Amin and Rhayel. Grünewald Memo, at 6, supra note 32; Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 165-66.
[179]Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 14 and 225.
[180]Id. at 6.
[181]Id. at 221.
[182]Grünewald Memo, supra note 32, at 6-7.
[183]Indictment, supra note 34, at 26; Mykonos Judgment, supra note 27, at 5-8.
[184]Mykonos judgment, supra note 27, at 16.
[185]Final Report, supra note 37, at 19.

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Political Killings, Assassinations, Political Freedom