BERLIN (JTA) — An alleged Mossad spy wanted in Germany in connection with the assassination of a Hamas official in Dubai was arrested in Poland.
The arrest earlier this month of Uri Brodsky, and his possible extradition to Germany, could lead to a diplomatic row between Germany and Israel, according to reports. The arrest was made public Saturday.
Germany wants Brodsky extradited to face charges of falsifying documents to obtain a German passport, but according to news reports, Israel has pressed Poland not to extradite him. Der Spiegel magazine, in a report that will hit the newsstands Monday, reported that Brodsky, an Israeli citizen suspected of working for the Mossad in Germany, was taken into custody upon arrival at Warsaw’s airport earlier in June.
Brodsky is suspected of having helped another Mossad agent, reportedly named Michael Bodenheimer, to illegally obtain a German passport as part of the plot to assassinate senior Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in a Dubai hotel room in January. According to the German federal prosecutor’s office, Bodenheimer received German citizenship based on fabricated evidence that his parents had fled Nazi Germany.
Mabhouh co-founded the military wing of the Islamist Hamas movement and allegedly was in Dubai to conclude a weapons deal when he was killed. Dubai police investigations reportedly pointed to the involvement of 33 people in the plot. They were placed on Interpol’s most wanted list, and Germany particularly sought Brodsky, according to reports.
The team allegedly used fake passports from England, Ireland, France, Australia and Germany. All five countries demanded explanations from Israeli diplomats in the case; the use of fake passports and stolen identities appeared to be of primary concern. Israel reportedly has not responded to the requests for explanations.