Ben Zygier, the alleged Mossad spy known as “Prisoner X” who killed himself in an Israeli prison two years ago, was arrested by Israel after the Israelis came to believe that Zygier had either told Australia’s domestic intelligence agency about an upcoming Mossad operation out of Italy, or was about to, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported.
“The ABC’s Foreign Correspondent program understands that Zygier met with ASIO officers in Australia and gave comprehensive detail about a number of Mossad operations, including plans for a top-secret mission in Italy that had been years in the making,” ABC said on its website.
On one of four trips back to Australia before his death in 2010, Zygier applied for a visa to Italy, according to ABC. During one of those visits he had contact with ASIO, although ABC reported it is unclear who initiated the contact.
“Mossad was worried he might pass on operational methods and secrets of the organization, including information about the major Mossad operation planned for Italy,” ABC said.
ABC said Zygier had set up a communications company in Europe with two other dual citizens. The company reportedly sold faulty electronic equipment to Iran and Arab states.
Meanwhile, a senior Israeli security source told Israel’s Channel 2 on Sunday that Zygier “died of shame.”
“We did not persecute him,” the source said.
The Kuwaiti newspaper Al-Jarida reported last week that Zygier offered the government of Dubai information on the Mossad’s alleged assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a Hamas military commander who in January 2012 was found dead in a Dubai hotel room.