JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s Shin Bet security service arrested a Belgian citizen of Iranian birth accused of spying on Israel for Iran.
Alex Mans, who traveled to Israel three times in the past year, was arrested at Ben Gurion Airport two weeks ago as he attempted to leave the country. A gag order on the Sept. 11 arrest was lifted Sunday.
Posing as a Belgian businessman, Mans is believed to have been spying on Israel for the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, according to Haaretz. He was carrying photographs of the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv when he was arrested, and also had taken photos of areas of the airport and other “sites that interest Iranian security officials,” the Shin Bet said.
Mans, 55, was born Ali Mansouri and lived in Iran until 1980, and then in Turkey until 1997, when he received a visa for Belgium. He married a Belgian woman, from whom he is now divorced.
According to reports, Mans has lived in Iran since 2007 and is married to an Iranian woman.
He reportedly told Israeli investigators that he was recruited by Iranian intelligence, the Revolutionary Guards’ Al-Quds Force, to spy on Israel and was promised about $1 million for his services.