'Mossad spy' is arrested

An Israeli citizen has been arrested in Warsaw on charges that he fraudulently obtained a German passport that was used by one of the alleged assassins of Hamas operative Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai five months ago.

Uri Brodsky is currently awaiting extradition to Germany.

He was arrested at Warsaw Airport three weeks ago on a Europe-wide arrest warrant issued by the German federal authorities.

Mr Brodsky is suspected of using a false identity to obtain a German passport last year in the name of Michael Bodenheimer, an Israeli citizen who was unaware of his identity being stolen.

The passport was used by one of the members of the group accused by Dubai Police of carrying out the Mabhouh assassination, which is widely attributed to the Mossad.

The Polish prosecution asked the local court to extradite Mr Brodsky to Germany in a move that has embarrassed Israel and two of its closest European allies.

No official Israeli source has agreed to comment on the arrest though the Israeli ambassador to Poland has visited him in prison.

If Mr Brodsky is indeed a Mossad agent, the fact that he was sent to Europe using an identity he had used in a previous operation would seem like a major mistake by the usually efficient intelligence agency.

This can be added to the questions still being asked regarding the operational secrecy surrounding the Mabhouh assassination and mounting criticism of Mossad Chief Meir Dagan.

Ireland joined this week the United Kingdom and Australia in announcing it was expelling an Israeli diplomat over the passport theft.

Last updated: 9:56am, August 13 2010