'Zygier gave Hezbollah name of informants'

'Der Spiegel' reports alleged Mossad agent gave information to Hezbollah operative leading to arrest of 2 top informants for Israel.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
March 24, 2013 15:10
2 minute read.
ABC mock up of Ben Zygier passport.

Ben Zygier passport 370. (photo credit: ABC News)

 
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Ben Zygier, the alleged Mossad agent also known as Prisoner X who committed suicide in Ayalon Prison in 2010, was arrested for passing sensitive information to Hezbollah that led to the arrests of two informants within the ranks of the Shi’ite organization, Der Spiegel reported on Sunday.

Siad al-Homsi and Mustafa Ali Awadeh were arrested in May 2009 for spying for Israel in Lebanon and sentenced to long prison terms after Zygier passed their names to a Hezbollah operative, according to the report.

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Zygier was enlisted into the service of the Mossad in 2003 and eventually served the organization by entering the ranks of European companies doing business with Iran and Syria, the German newsweekly reported.

Zygier was eventually demoted and ordered to return to Israel in 2007 after his work failed to meet the Mossad’s expectations. He left the organization in 2008 to return to his native Australia, Der Spiegel reported.

The Australian newspaper quoted Fairfax newspapers, which carried out the joint investigation into Zygier with Der Spiegel, as reporting that Zygier’s contacts with the Hezbollah operative were part of a “rogue” operation by which he tried to get back into the Mossad’s good graces following his demotion.

According to the report, the alleged Mossad agent met with the Hezbollah operative in hopes of turning him into a double agent. The Hezbollah operative doublecrossed him, sending information on the two informants back to Hezbollah headquarters in Beirut.

Zygier had given the Hezbollah operative information on the informants, Israel’s top two Lebanese assets, to prove he had access to valuable knowledge, according to the report.

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Fairfax reported that one of the informants, Homsi, had told Israel that he could lead them to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah.

The report added that Zygier was carrying memory discs with further information at the time of his arrest that he may have intended to give to the Hezbollah operative as well.

Once arrested, Zygier quickly confessed to passing on the intelligence and was facing a 10-year prison sentence, Fairfax reported, according to the Australian.

The story of “Prisoner X” came to international attention after a report by the Australian Broadcasting Company claimed that he had been recruited by Mossad and then held in isolation in Israeli detention until his death in 2010.

Zygier was arrested in February 2010 for unknown security reasons.

A judicial inquiry in Israel found that Zygier, 34, hanged himself in December 2010 with a sheet tied to the bars over a window in the bathroom of his heavily guarded cell.

Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr ordered an investigation into the case last month, saying he would ask Israel’s government for details of how Zygier, a father of two, died in a supposedly suicide-proof cell.

Israel has said he was detained under an alias to avoid serious harm to national interests.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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