BERLIN (Reuters) – Polish police have arrested a suspected Israeli spy wanted in connection with the hit-squad killing of a Hamas leader in Dubai back in January, officials said on Saturday.
Dubai has accused Israel of being behind the killing of the Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh and has provided the names of over two dozen alleged members of a team it says tracked and killed the Palestinian, using fraudulent British, Irish, French, German and Australian passports.
Israel has neither confirmed nor denied any role in the assassination, prompting international indignation.
After details of the plot emerged, German prosecutors issued a European arrest warrant for the person responsible for the German passport fraud. They said on Saturday that the arrest in Poland, which occurred in early June, had been based on this warrant.
“A man was arrested in Warsaw on a German warrant related to the procurement of a German passport,” a spokesman for the federal prosecutors’ office said, adding that the man was thought to have been working for a secret service.
“Polish authorities now have to decide whether or not to extradite him. We have made a request for his extradition but it is up to them now to take a decision,” he said.
Polish officials were unavailable for comment.
An Israeli foreign ministry official said: “We recognize a case involving an Israeli citizen arrested in Poland, who is receiving consular assistance as would any Israeli citizen under the circumstances.”
German magazine Der Spiegel said the arrested man had been using the name Uri Brodsky.
Mabhouh, born in the Gaza Strip, had lived in Syria since 1989 and Israeli and Palestinian sources have said he played a key role in smuggling Iranian-funded arms to militants in Gaza.
Australia and Britain have both ordered the expulsion of some Israeli diplomats over the use of fake passports in the assassination.