A German court has dismissed a journalist's bid to force the country's foreign intelligence agency to release full files that could shed further light on what authorities knew about top Nazi Adolf Eichmann's whereabouts in the 1950s.

The Federal Administrative Court ruled the intelligence agency was within its rights to black out passages from the files.

Thursday's ruling followed a decision last year in which the court said the Federal Intelligence Service had to release some files it had previously kept secret.

Israeli agents abducted Eichmann, known as the architect of the Holocaust, in Buenos Aires in 1960 and brought him to Jerusalem for trial. The Bild daily, whose reporter sued for the files' full release, has reported that German intelligence knew as early as 1952 he was in Argentina.