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BERLIN - The Mossad espionage agency used Trojan Horse programs to gather intelligence about a nuclear facility in Syria that the Israel Defense Forces destroyed in 2007, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported yesterday.

According to the magazine, Mossad agents planted the malware on the computer of a Syrian official while he was staying in London, at a hotel in the upscale neighborhood of Kensington.

The program copied details about Syria's illicit nuclear program and sent them directly to the Mossad agents' computers, the report said.

Israel's raid on the al-Kabir site in Syria's eastern desert on September 6, 2007 is said to have knocked out the country's nearly-completed reactor.

Israel has refused to comment on, confirm or deny the strike, but after a delay of several months, Washington presented intelligence purporting to show the target was a reactor being built with North Korean help.

Der Spiegel further reported on Monday that prior to the strike, IDF intelligence unit 8200 had tapped conversations between officials at the Syrian reactor and North Korean experts.