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HAMBURG -- The decision by Munich prosecutors to press charges against CIA counterterrorism operatives for kidnapping a German citizen, Khaled el-Masri, won widespread applause last week from German politicians and the public. "The great ally is not allowed to simply send its thugs out into Europe's streets," lectured the Munich newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung.
But there has been an awkward silence and no prosecutions in the parallel case of another German citizen, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who was also covertly abducted in a CIA-sponsored mission after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The difference: German agents were directly involved in the Zammar case, providing crucial information to the CIA about his travels and making a secret trip to Syria to interrogate him after he landed in prison there.