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02/15/2013

Prisoner X and the Dubai assassination link

Israel's Prisoner X story gets murkier. 

Kuwait's liberal newspaper Al Jarida is reporting that Ben Zygier who hanged himself in a maximum security prison in Israel in 2010 was one of the suspects in the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai earlier that year.  Mahmoud al Mabdouh was drugged and suffocated in his hotel room and Israel's spy agency Mossad was accused of being behind the sensational operation. Israel has never acknowledged it. 

The New York Times quoted the Kuwaiti paper as saying that Zygier had given Dubai authorities "names and pictures and accurate details” in exchange for protection, but Israel kidnapped him from a hiding place and imprisoned him on charges of treason soon after. 

The Dubai assassination caused serious diplomatic ruptions between Israel and its western allies because fake European and Australian passports were used in the covert operation. 

The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that Zygier who was a dual Australian-Israeli citizen "may have been about to disclose information about Israeli intelligence operations, including the use of fraudulent Australian passports, either to the Australian government or to the media before he was arrested."  

He ''may well have been about to blow the whistle, but he never got the chance'' the paper said. 

Spies, lies and intrigue read this narrative of the Prisoner X mystery

Hamida Ghafour is a foreign affairs reporter at The Star. She has lived and worked in the Middle East and Asia for more than 10 years and is the author of a book on Afghanistan. Follow her on Twitter @HamidaGhafour 


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