A former Israeli Mossad agent says the team that kidnapped Nazi mastermind Adolph Eichmann in 1960 knowingly let another notorious war criminal — Josef Mengele — get away.

Rafi Eitan was a member of the Mossad team that seized Eichmann from Buenos Aires and brought him to trial in Israel. Eitan says the agents had also located Mengele but feared that trying to nab him would endanger the Eichmann operation.

Eichmann helped plan the mass murder of Jews during World War II and was hanged in Israel. Mengele was the infamous doctor at the Auschwitz death camp who carried out horrific medical experiments on prisoners. He was never captured and died in 1979.

Now an 81-year-old Cabinet minister, Eitan spoke to the daily Jerusalem Post in an interview published Tuesday.