An Australian-Israeli who worked as a Mossad agent before hanging himself in a Tel Aviv prison unwittingly caused the arrest of two Hizbollah supporters who had been spying for Israel, according to Der Spiegel.
Ben Zygier, the Hashomer Hatzair graduate who became known as Prisoner X, unwittingly leaked highly classified information to Lebanese authorities during a botched attempt to try to recruit a spy for Mossad.
Zygier, who was brought back from the field to a desk job at Mossad HQ, had been seeking to restore his reputation in the spy agency by trying to turn an enemy into an ally, the magazine said.
In the end, however, he was outfoxed by Hizbollah, who extracted from him the name of two Lebanese men working for Mossad — Ziad al-Homsi and Mustafa Ali Awadeh — who were arrested in 2009 and sentenced to 15 years in jail.
The report said Zygier started working with Mossad in 2003 but was ordered back to Israel in 2007 because he was not delivering for the spy agency. He returned to Melbourne and operated independently in an attempt to restore his reputation, the magazine said. But in 2008, as he tried to prove his bona fides to a man linked to Hizbollah who he wanted to become a double agent, he leaked the information.