By John Robles Originally published on the Voice of Russia http://english.ruvr.ru/2013_02_18/Burned-by-AISO-suicided-by-MOSSAD/
Threatening an all out diplomatic storm between Australia and Israel, the details surrounding the death in 2010 in a prison in Israel of the now famous, Prisoner X are just now starting to come out, sending the Israeli Government into panic mode and even causing them to ban the reporting of information about the case.
Mossad gets their man
He died on December 12, 2010 in solitary confinement in a top-security cell of the Ayalon Prison prison in the same cell which had previously held and been designed for Yigal Amir the assassin of Yitzhak Rabin. Dual Israeli-Australian Ben Zygier, also known by his Israeli name of Ben Alon, reportedly committed suicide by hanging himself on Dec. 15, 2010 at the age of 34.
Although the death occurred over two years ago details about the case are just now coming to light as the veil of secrecy has been partially lifted amid a growing diplomatic storm between Israel and Australia. Up until now the man was only known as “Prisoner X”, whose identity was vigorously guarded.
One of the facts that have recently emerged is that Prisoner X was an Australian citizen working for Mossad, the Israeli Secret Intelligence Service, although in what exact capacity has not been reported.
Another fact that has come to light is that he was already under surveillance by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) who was investigating him on suspicion of espionage and for being one of three citizens reported to have been using Australian passports to fulfill missions for Mossad.
According to various media reports Mr Alon was also known by the name of Ben Allen, among others, and had changed his name four times in just as many years, which initially caught the attention of the ASIO.
According to the Guardian under Australian law citizens can change their name every year and Mr. Alon did so at least four times. This would have allowed him to put together several sets of documents, including Australian passports, which may have been used by Mossad, either as cover for Alon “X”, or passed along to other operatives.
The publication The Age reported that .
The case is particularly embarrassing for Mossad because it exposes one of the ways that they produce or obtain false identities for their operatives. This is not the first time that Australian passports have been linked to Mossad operations, nor is it the first time they have bungled operations or been exposed using foreign passports as cover for their agents.
According to media reports and other sources the assassination in January 2010 of Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai was the responsibility of MOSSAD. At the time Israel received strong condemnation from Australia and Britain because apparently Mossad had use passports from their countries to carry out the hit.
There are not many details that have emerged about what Alon was really doing for Mossad, or even if he was in fact an agent, but what has is potentially damaging for Israel and the Israeli intelligence service if one is to judge by the official reaction. The potential fallout is apparently so great that Israel has effectively issued a complete bans on publishing details about the case.
After calling an emergency meeting between the editors and owners of major Israeli media outlets and Israeli security officials the government instructed them not to publish any new material or details on the case, however according to RT Israeli media are still allowed to cite reports from foreign sources.
There is speculation that Alon was providing passports for Mossad, however this is unlikely due to his military service for Israel and the way he was imprisoned and mysteriously committed suicide, in a cell with cameras and sensors which monitored heart rate and the physical condition of the prisoner.
Another clue as to the seriousness of the operations that Alon may have been involved with along with the mysterious other tow Australians was reported by Haartz, which quotes one Tzvika Levy, who heads the Lone Soldier Project: “Suddenly I made the connection, and realized that Ben Zygier arrived to Kibbutz Gazit as a lone soldier about 13 years ago, along with two other young men from Australia. I remember his friends went to serve in the Armored Corps, and he wanted me to help him get into the paratroopers. He served for two and a half years, even though his age required him to serve only six months. For that, he had to sign a form, agreeing to lengthen his service."
So who were the other two Australians? Why did Alon enlist for extended service? And why was it that he died in an Israeli prison without the proper Australian authorities being informed? There is speculation that he was a double or triple agent, and that his end was the obvious one for anyone playing both sides of the fence.
If he was working for the Australians as well as Mossad, his death is perfectly in keeping with what a former intelligence officer once told me, “Mossad always gets their man”, even if he is one of their own.
The details in the case of MOSSAD agent Ben Zygier, the Australian-Israeli national who reportedly committed suicide in a high security Israeli prison cell continue to come out, thanks in large part to the Australian side in this case, something that has occurred while Israel has asked for their media to not report on the matter. By leaking news about Mr. Zygier to the press and continuing to do so, Australia’s AISO effectively burned him. Or did they? Perhaps they were protecting their own asset?
Burned by ASIO or suicided by MOSSAD
Had it not been finally loudly leaked to the press by the Australian last week we may have never heard about Israel’s now infamous Prisoner “X”. Prisoner “X” who real name is reported to have been Ben Zygier, as we had reported earlier, had held or applied for Australian passports using the names Ben Alon, Ben Allen and Benjamin Burrows.
As more and more details surrounding the case and the “suicide” of Prisoner “X” begin to come out the web of intrigue and double-crossings grows in magnitude. The biggest revelations that have come out in the past 24 hours are that “X” was not only working for Israel’s Institute for Intelligence and Special Operations “MOSSAD” but also for the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO). There are also reports that he had contact with the Intelligence Services of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It is this last that most likely led to his death.
According to media reports and open source intelligence Mr. Zygier approached the UAE in order to obtain their protection after he supposedly took part in the operation to assassinate Hamas operative Mahmoud al-Mahbouh in Dubai. Whether he did in fact take part is not clear. According to reports one of Zygier’s Australian passports may have been used by one of the MOSSAD assassins sent to exterminate Al-Mahbouh.
Regardless of Zygier’s involvement in the plot, and if he did have details on the operation, he is more likely than not to have been involved in the plot, as it is not likely MOSSAD gave him operational information if they were just simply borrowing his passport for the mission, this would have amounted to treason for the Israelis.
The fact that he contacted the UAE Intelligence Services coupled with the fact that he was already working for MOSSAD, explains why the Australian authorities and namely the AISO, whom he was reportedly passing detailed information about MOSSAD to, did nothing to intervene after Zygier was arrested.
There is even speculation that he was burned by the AISO itself for several reasons, (LINK 1) one might be due to the illegal use of Australian passports by MOSSAD, as he was the main suspect in the investigation and AISO was getting nowhere in the case. According to media reports it was the AISO which “used” the media to put pressure on Zygier in order to get more information out of him during ASIO’s investigation of Zygier and two other Australian nationals who had been recruited by MOSSAD.
It has come out that Australia knew from day one that Zygier had been arrested on National Security grounds, yet did nothing to secure the release or protect their national. According to Ron Ben-Yishai at ynet.com, not only was official Canberra not willing to make waves with Israel, but the Australian Secret Intelligence Agency (ASIS) which operates overseas, unlike the AISO which is responsible for internal Australian security, did nothing because of their close working relationship with MOSSAD.
The portrayal of Zygier as an innocent victim is partially valid, he was a young idealistic man who found himself way in over his head, playing different sides amongst the most ruthless spies on the planet, but it is also disingenuous in some regards. Namely in that he knew what he was doing and he repeatedly broke the most sacred rule of all that governs life and death in the “secret” world. He did not keep his “secret” life a secret.
According to Haaretz and RT Zygier told two friends that he had been recruited by MOSSAD. Haaretz reports that a close friend of Zygier admitted that he had bragged about the MOSSAD recruitment immediately after it had taken place: “He told me he’d just been recruited, I was in shock. It’s the sort of thing people usually joke about but I had no reason to doubt him at all.”
Perhaps the key to unraveling the case may lie with Jason Katsoukis, the journalist from Australian who first investigated charges that Ben Zygier was a Mossad agent. Only Mr. Katsoukis knows who his “anonymous source with connections to the intelligence world” is. Given that the story was leaked in Australia by an Australian intelligence operative and many clues in the article on the matter by Mr. Katsoukis, it is plausible that indeed the AISO burned Mr. Zygier after questioning him and getting nowhere.
If one is to believe that Mr. Zygier committed suicide of his own will, then he may have done so in order to protect those he was truly working for, if he was a hardened operative. If he was not then he may have been pushed into it by the Israelis, who threatened him with lengthy prison time and even his being separated from his family and the Jewish people. His being a “passionate Zionist” as Mr. Ben-Yishai says in his article may have caused him to feel shamed and to kill himself out of disgrace.
There is also the very real possibility that Mr. Zygier was suicided by MOSSAD for violating his secret oath and passing secrets to the ASIS or AISO or even worse the UAE. After all simply being burned is usually not enough to grant a lethal finding by intelligence agencies, which also points to the fact that Zygier was perhaps involved in something much darker than we have so far been made privy too.
More questions still remain for the Australian side in this case. Why did Australia do nothing when they knew their citizen was arrested? Why did Australia not negotiate to free Zygier or arrange an exchange when they found out? Why did Australian Intelligence provide details to the press about Mr. Zygier, in short, burning him? Why do they continue to do so when MOSSAD is a “friendly” agency to Australia? Could it be that Zygier was working for the Australians all along and they have done everything possible to distance themselves from him, even to the point of burning him, to protect him as their own source?
For the Israeli side the questions are perhaps less, but nonetheless important. What was it that Zygier knew that was vital to Israeli security and warranted a “national security arrest”? The mere fact that MOSSAD used genuine foreign passports was well known before Zygier. What exactly did he do for them and what exactly did he tell the UAE? What did they accuse him of that would have caused him to be banished from his family and the Jewish people? And most pressing perhaps, how is it possible he committed suicide under 24 hour surveillance?
Perhaps we will never know the truth behind Mr. Zygier’s death. Maybe the truth should not be sought in the web of lies spread by the intelligence services but in the simple truth adorning Mr. Zygier’s tombstone: the Jewish Star of David and the words “In loving memory”. A final declaration of whose side he was on.
LINK 1 http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4345834,00.html
LINK 2 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/13/mossad-australian-spies-fairfax-katsoukis
LINK 1 http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/13/australia-mossad-zygier-israeli-jail
Link 2 http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/australian-born-mossad-prisoner-lived-as-lone-soldier-on-kibbutz.premium-1.503354