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An alleged Mossad spy from Israel wanted in connection with the hit-squad slaying of a Hamas agent in Dubai has been arrested in Poland, officials said Saturday. The man, using the name Uri Brodsky, is suspected of working for Mossad in Germany and helping to issue a fake German passport to a member of the Mossad operation that allegedly killed Hamas agent Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai in January, a spokesman for the German federal prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press.
Brodsky was arrested in early June upon his arrival in Poland because of a European arrest warrant issued by Germany which is now seeking his extradition, the spokesman said, declining to be named in line with department policy. The spokesman had no estimate of how long it could take for Brodsky to be extradited from Poland to Germany, saying “the matter is now in the hands of the Polish authorities.” If Brodsky agrees, the extradition could take a few days, but that isn’t likely, the spokesman said.
While Israeli authorities refuse to comment about the matter, on Sunday two Israeli ministers demanded that Brodsky be repatriated directly to Israel. Ha’aretz speculated that German prosecutors leaked the story. It also wonders whether the incident means that Israel will lose yet another ally as a consequence of the Dubai assassination.
As things now stand, Brodsky faces only the charge of procuring a fraudulent passport in Germany—a fairly straightforward charge that can be grounded on the basis of his possession of a false passport. There appear to be no plans at present to extradite him to Dubai. But the investigation in the UAE is proceeding, and now Dubai authorities will be able to take their time in developing a case against him.
The arrest points to another fact: the killing of Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh may well be viewed by Israeli authorities as a measure against a terrorist justified by national-security considerations, but in the eyes of much of the world it was simply a murder. The case recalls the 1973 Mossad operation that led to the death of a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway. Mossad apparently believed that the victim was a terrorist operative, but it turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. In the view of the Norwegian authorities, it was simply a murder—five Mossad agents were arrested, convicted, and wound up doing prison time in Norway. Brodsky could be facing a similar fate. This case merits careful study by all national-security experts who advocate an agenda of targeted killings; it shows the risks that such a program necessarily entails.
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”