Yemen charges local man with spying for the Mossad

‘Jewish national,’ named as Ibrahim al-Dharahi, 24, to go on trial in next few days

Yemeni soldiers, December 2012. (Photo credit: AP/Hani Mohammed)
Yemeni soldiers, December 2012. (Photo credit: AP/Hani Mohammed)

Authorities in Yemen have charged a local man with spying for Israel and he will soon be put on trial in Aden, officials said on Friday.

Named as Ibrahim al-Dharahi, 24, a computer engineer, he was said to have confessed to spying on behalf of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency.

A local newspaper said he had admitted to visiting Israel and various Arab countries.

“The man carried two ID cards — one Yemeni, one Israeli,” Reuters quoted a security official in Aden saying.

Al-Dharahi was arrested in the country weeks ago, local media had reported on Wednesday.

He was arrested by Yemeni security in the Taizz province, then transferred to an Aden prison two weeks ago, where he has been undergoing investigation under a veil of secrecy.

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A Yemeni daily on Wednesday featured the photo of an official letter between the head of Taizz’s criminal investigation department Abdul Hakim Mahbashi and criminal investigation officials in Aden attached to Al-Dharahi’s personal belongings. In the letter, Mahbashi refers to the suspect as “a Jewish national.”

According to the daily, this is the first case of an Israeli citizen being investigated by Yemeni security, who speculate that he is part of a larger espionage chain active in Yemen.

In September, Islamist Yemeni magazine Al-Nas reported the arrest of an Israeli Mossad agent in Taizz province named Abraham. It is unclear weather Al-Dharahi is the same man.

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