Two Mossad agents were reportedly exposed when their car became stuck in the mud in a northern German town.
The pair were in Germany to accompany the recently-completed INS Rahav submarine from the Kiel shipyard to Haifa last December. Ynet quotes Hamburg television station NDR as saying that trouble started when they came across a locked fence that was labeled "no entry" in the town of Quarnbek.
The agents picked the lock and drove through the gate, but quickly became stuck in mud and were unable to free their Ford Focus.
By nightfall, an elderly woman saw them and called the town mayor to report the suspicious activity.
"The woman asked the two men what they were doing," said Mayor Klaus Langer. "They told her that they came to survey the area since a sailing competition is supposed to take place in the passage this summer."
Langer summoned the police, who found two handguns in the car. The Israelis then handed over their documentation and explained that they were foreign agents with diplomatic immunity and permission to be armed.
Eventually a team of firefighters and a farmer were able to extricate the car, along with a forklift that had also become stuck during a rescue attempt.
One person present later said, "Everything happened quickly. The Mossad agents said thanks and continued on their mission." Police say they were aware of the agents' presence beforehand and allowed the two to go free.
Langer, however, did not look fondly on the incident. "People in our community are concerned," he explained. "The residents are asking themselves how young men can roam freely here as part of secret intelligence activities, especially armed with pistols." He refused to pay the cost for freeing the car and has sent a bill for €1,263.01 ($1392.28 US) to the Israeli Embassy in Berlin.
Officials at the embassy say that they only received the letter a few days after the story reached NDR. They angrily told Langer that he should have talked to them first, instead of the media.