'Prisoner X' May Have Planned To Expose Mossad Use Of Australian Passports

When the Australian Broadcasting Company published an investigative story about an Australian citizen and Israeli spy who died while being secretly detained in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office called it "very embarrassing to a certain government agency."

New reports about Ben Zygier's work for Israel's Mossad spy agency are providing an idea of why the case is so important.

Australian intelligence officials believe that Zygier, previously known as Israel's "Prisoner X," may have been ready to divulge details of Mossad operations — including the use of fraudulent Australian passports — when he was detained in January 2010, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The 34-year-old Jewish Australian ''may well have been about to blow the whistle, but he never got the chance," an Australian security official told The Herald.

Peter Beaumont of The Guardian reports that in 2009 Australian journalist Jason Katsoukis received a tip that three Australians with joint Israeli citizenship were recruited by Mossad to sell electronic equipment to Iran and elsewhere through a European front company. (Katsoukis later confirmed that Zygier had worked for the company, adding that a senior Israel government official corroborated the tip.)

In February 2010, Israeli intelligence informed the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) of Zygier's detention—eight days after authorities in Dubai claimed that suspected Israeli agents, using fraudulent Australian passports, had assassinated a Palestinian militant

The revelations about Zygier's alleged movements on behalf of Israeli intelligence in Iran, Syria and Lebanon " could have very dramatic repercussions for ongoing Mossad operations," Israel's Channel 10 reported Wednesday.

Attorney Avigdor Feldman, who saw Zygier two days before his death  of an apparent suicide in December 2012 , told The Times of Israel that Zygier was charged with "grave crimes" and was told by interrogators that he could "expect lengthy jail time and [to] be ostracized from his family and the Jewish community."

Israeli TV also reported that Zygier had worked as a clerk in the international business department of one of Israel’s most prestigious law firms, Herzog Fox & Neeman, which is partially owned by justice minister Yaakov Neeman.

More From Business Insider

Quiz: How well do you know India's economy?

Question 1

Which of these products is India the world's largest producer of?

Poll Choice Options
  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Milk

Latest News

  • Tour Miami Beach's Burdines Department Store in 1953

    Click here to view the full photogallery.Photos via "Library of Congress Today we take take a break from the regularly scheduled residential fare to have a look at the interiors of a department store in the 1950s. Burdines, the... …

  • Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges
    Rajaratnam's brother loses bid to dismiss insider trading charges

    Rengan Rajaratnam, the younger brother of imprisoned hedge fund manager Raj Rajaratnam, on Friday lost a bid to dismiss some of the insider trading charges leveled against him last year. U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan ruled that the indictment adequately alleged the essential elements of the crimes charged. A lawyer for Rajaratnam did not respond to a request for comment. A spokeswoman for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara declined to comment. …

  • Break the Mold With a Brutalist 'Tree House' on the Chesapeake

    Click here to view the full photogallery. Up for $1.29M on Maryland's Gibson Island is this atypical Chesapeake cottage, a 2,826-square-foot fortress designed by blocky brutalism extraordinaire, Ulrich Franzen. Known as the Glass Tree House, the 1962 three-bedroom was... …

  • Colorful Fabrics Restore a 'Dilapidated Concrete Bungalow'

    Click here to view the full photogallery.Photos by Simon Upton/Elle Decor Enchanted by the "wild dogs and unrestored, decaying palazzos" of Lecce, a historic city in Puglia, Italy, fashion designer Liza Bruce and her husband, artist Nicholas Alvis Vega,... …

  • Inside Karim Rashid's Magical, Hot Pink 'Sparkle Krib'

    Click here to view the full photogallery. Give designer Karim Rashid pretty much anything—a condo tower, a food court, a record album, a Twitter account—and he'll be sure to make it fruit-punch colored and amorphous, the princess castle of... …


  • This might well be India’s biggest Ponzi scam

    It was just too good to be true. Ashok Khital, 45, displays every symptom of a man who knows he's been conned. …

  • India's star studded football league

    High and mighty including Sachin, Salman & Sun Group buy ISL teams …

  • Leaderspeak with Rajesh Janey

    Rajesh Janey, President - India & SAARC, EMC shares many firsts in his life. …

  • Power Hungry

    Gujarat has power round-the-clock. Most other states do not. Why this will matter in the general elections. …

  • Etcetera

    The most keenly watched contest of the current general election will be the one for the Varanasi parliamentary seat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi squares off ... …

  • Economy vs Democracy

    As the country gets election fever, cash comes out of mattresses and turns into liquor, gifts, and food. But it is not bad for the health of the economy, reports Sarika Malhotra from the trenches. …

  • Bracing for Challenges

    Raghuram Rajan is preparing to deal with concerns that may arise when a new government takes charge. …


  • Most Actives
    Most Actives
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Price % Gainers
    Price % Gainers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
  • Price % Losers
    Price % Losers
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    Recent Quotes
    Symbol Price Change % ChgChart 
    Your most recently viewed tickers will automatically show up here if you type a ticker in the "Enter symbol/company" at the bottom of this module.
    You need to enable your browser cookies to view your most recent quotes.
  • Recent Quotes News

      Sign-in to view quotes in your portfolios.