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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:
Conversation — August 5, 2016, 12:08 pm
Sidney Blumenthal on the origins of the Republican Party, the fallout from Clinton’s emails, and his new biography of Abraham Lincoln
Conversation — March 30, 2016, 3:44 pm
Joseph Hickman discusses his new book, The Burn Pits, which tells the story of thousands of U.S. soldiers who, after returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, have developed rare cancers and respiratory diseases.
Years ago, I lived in Montana, a land of purple sunsets, clear streams, and snowflakes the size of silver dollars drifting through the cold air. There were no speed limits and you could legally drive drunk. My small apartment in Missoula had little privacy. In order to write, I rented an off-season fishing cabin on Rock Creek, a one-room place with a bed and a bureau. I lacked the budget for a desk. My idea was to remove a sliding door from a closet in my apartment and place it over a couple of hastily cobbled-together sawhorses.
Amount by which a typical good-looking U.S. worker will out-earn a typical ugly one over a lifetime:
A Japanese inventor unveiled a new invisibility cloak that uses a material made of thousands of tiny beads called “retro-reflectum.”
A couple at a Cracker Barrel restaurant in Greenville, South Carolina, left their waitress a note telling her “the woman’s place is in the home,” in lieu of a tip.
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"She never thanked me, never looked at me—melted away into the miserable night, in the strangest manner I ever saw. I have seen many strange things, but not one that has left a deeper impression on my memory than the dull impassive way in which that worn-out heap of misery took that piece of money, and was lost."