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Turkey clears bird accused of being ‘Israeli spy’

- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 28, 2013

Turkish authorities detained a bird on suspicion it was spying for Israel, but authorities released it after X-rays showed it was not embedded with bugging devices, local media reported Friday.

The kestrel, a member of the falcon genus, with a tag reading "24311 Tel Avivunia Israel," was turned in to the local governor by residents in the village of Altinayva, Reuters reported.

The bird apparently was registered at a university hospital as an "Israeli spy" by medical personnel, The Times of Israel said. Authorities freed the kestrel after determining it had been tagged only for research purposes.

The Times of Israel reported that Israeli spying is a large concern in the Middle East. In May 2012, authorities in Ankara dissected a European bee-eater after suspecting it was snooping for Israel, and in December an eagle with an Israeli tag in Sudan was captured and touted as a spy.

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