'Zygier botched Mossad mission to return bodies'

Australia's ABC News reports alleged Mossad spy inadvertently ruined secret operation to return bodies of soldiers to Israel.

May 7, 2013 16:18
1 minute read.
ABC mock up of Ben Zygier passport.

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


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ABC Australia issued a report Tuesday claiming alleged Mossad agent Ben Zygier faced a 22-year prison sentence due to his unintentionally revealing a Lebanese operative assisting in a 30-year effort to exhume the remains of missing Israeli soldiers killed by Syrian forces in the First Lebanon War.

According to the report, in 2007 the Mossad recruited former Lebanese military leader Ziad Al Homsi through, what he claims were, operatives working for the intelligence organization in China and Thailand.

In strides to get ahead and please the Mossad, Zygier apparently revealed Al Homsi's name to a suspected Lebanese Hezbollah agent who subsequently turned him in to Lebanese authorities. Al Homsi faced a 15-year prison sentence, but was released after only three years.

The Mossad wanted to utilize Al Homsi, who was well connected from his participation in operations against Israeli troops in the Bekka Valley where the remains of three soldiers killed in the Battle of Sultan Yocoub were believed to rest, ABC Australia reported.

Al Homsi reportedly said he was charged with the task to organize for the collection of the missing Israeli soldiers' bodies and to provide them to another Mossad-aligned party that would carry out the remaining recovery process.

Al Homsi claimed in the ABC report that he had worked as a double agent for Lebanon and its intelligence officials had supported his efforts to gain knowledge of the Israelis' bodies to be used for bargaining the release of Palestinian prisoners. 

Multiple Australian media outlets have reported that Ben Zygier was an Australian-born Mossad agent who died by his own hand in an Israeli high-security jail, and had been under investigation in his native land at the time of his death.

Australia's ABC named Zygier as “Prisoner X”, previous claiming he had been jailed for unknown reasons in early 2010, a decade after he moved to Israel and years after being recruited by Mossad.

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