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Last Updated: Saturday, 1 January, 2005, 01:34 GMT
Bungled Israeli killing revealed
By Rick Fountain
BBC News

A gunman holds Israel's Andre Spitzer at gunpoint in Munich
Palestinian gunmen killed 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Olympics
Papers released at the National Archives in London have revealed the details of a political murder by Israeli secret services 30 years ago.

A Moroccan catering worker was killed in Lillehammer, Norway, by two Israelis who had got out of a car beside him.

They thought they were killing Ali Hassan Salame, the Palestinian behind the killing of 11 Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Secret papers from 1974 reveal how the Israelis killed the wrong man.

The papers have just been released by the UK Foreign Office.

The man who was killed, Ahmed Bouchikhi, had been living in Lillehammer for nine years and his wife, Torill Larsen, a local woman, was expecting their child.

Mistaken identity

He had gone to the public baths the previous day and, while swimming, had a casual conversation with another Arab, an Algerian called Kamal Benamane.

They did not notice a man and a woman nearby, who were, in fact, Israeli agents.

The Israelis believed, wrongly, that Mr Benamane was a Black September courier who might lead them to their real target, Ali Hassan Salame, who had led the attack on the Israeli athletes at Munich.

The Israelis decided that Bouchikhi must be Salame, and prepared for the kill.

The climax came the following evening, with some of the Israeli squad, up to 15 strong, monitoring Bouchikhi's movements while others removed the evidence of their presence, checking out of hotels, assembling luggage in their hired cars, and getting into position for the hit.

They waited nearby, using walkie-talkies as the two assassins moved in, and then dispersed.

The key figures disappeared, but six of the others were rounded up and five were eventually convicted.

The real Ali Hassan Salame was killed five years later in Beirut.

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