German law enforcement forces on Tuesday searched the homes and offices of ten Iranians suspected of espionage for the Islamic Republic, Deutsche Welle reported. The Federal Prosecutor’s Office said they were acting on information provided by the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), Germany’s domestic intelligence agency.
The German magazine Focus reported that the ten individuals are believed to be spying on Israelis in Germany, on German Jewish institutions, an on Iranian dissidents.
The prosecutor’s office said the suspects are believed to have been working for “an intelligence entity associated with Iran.” According to Deutsche Welle, they are members of Quds Force, a special forces unit of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards responsible for their extraterritorial operations.
The Quds Force reports directly to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ali Khamenei. Its commander is Major General Qasem Soleimani. Little is reliably known about the force, whose size has been estimated at 15,000 troops. The US has designated the Quds Force a supporter of terrorism since 2007.
No arrests were made during Tuesday’s raids, which were carried out across the country: in Baden-Württemberg, North Rhine-Westphalia, Bavaria, and Berlin.