Ben Zygier, the Australian Jew who became a Mossad spy and committed suicide in an Israeli prison cell two years, ago was arrested in Israel for acting without orders to carry out a bungled attempt to turn a man close with Hizbullah into a double agent.
The scheme backfired and led to the exposure and jailing of two valuable informants for the Mossad, Der Spiegel reported Sunday.
If the report is true, it exposes the missing key to the mystery surrounding Zygier’s arrest. His identity was revealed several weeks ago following an investigation by the Australian ABC news agency.
A joint investigation by the German newspaper and Australia’s Fairfax newspapers concluded that Zygier was demoted to a desk role after his self-assigned venture and faced at least 10 years in jail in a maximum security prison, such as the one where was found dead after he hanged himself.
He had tried to win over to Israel’s side a man of European descent and who was close to the Hizbullah terrorist organization. Zygier supplied the man with information, including the names of two top Mossad agents in Lebanon. The unidentified man double-crosses Zygier and turned over the names to Hizbullah, which arrested them in 2009 and sentenced them to 15 years of hard labor.
The investigative report also stated that the capture of the two agents, Ziad al-Homsi and Mustafa Ali Awadeh, may have foiled a possible effort to assassinate Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah.
Zygier reportedly confessed to his unauthorized operation.