A Yemeni weekly reported Sunday that Yemen has arrested an Israeli citizen working for the Mossad who headed an espionage ring in the country.
Al-Nas, a weekly associated with the Islamist Yemeni Reform Party, claims the man, identified only by his initials and year of birth, 1982, was arrested in the southwestern city of Taizz. He reportedly admitted to smuggling children out of Yemen to neighboring countries and from there to Israel “through Zionist organizations.” The report did not specify whether he was a Jew.
The Yemeni weekly released further details about the alleged spy: fatherless, he was raised by a Yemeni family in the Haima region, west of the capital Sanaa. At 17 he left Yemen for a Gulf country, where he contacted the American consulate, which took his DNA and sent him on to Israel.
In Israel, Al-Nas claims, the young man underwent “religious and basic studies” in a “settlement established by Yemeni Jews who emigrated to Palestine.” Israel subsequently gave the man a scholarship to study programming in Russia, where he reportedly learned computer hacking and received a stipend of $3,000 a month.
The man told his Yemeni interrogators that he spent three years in a Greek prison for researching the biographies of well-known computer hackers. He was then deported to Syria, claiming to be a Yemeni national. He spent one year in Syria after receiving a Yemeni passport from the Mossad to replace his Israeli one in which he was named “Abraham.”
The Yemeni report could not be independently confirmed.