'Iranian spy' arrested by Israeli intelligence Shin Bet
Ali Mansouri, an Iranian with Belgian citizenship suspected of attempting to establish front companies as cover for espionage, terrorist activities by Iranian authorities; found carrying photos of US Embassy in Tel Aviv. (Photo courtesy of Shin Bet)
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Israeli intelligence services have arrested an alleged Iranian secret agent on suspicion of spying on Israeli and US facilities, Israeli media reported Sunday.
Dual Belgian-Iranian national Ali Mansouri was detained on Sept. 11 at Ben Gurion airport and is suspected of photographing the US Embassy in Tel Aviv with the intention of monitoring activities at the site, Ynet reported.
Mansouri was traveling on a Belgian passport under the name Alex Mans.
Israel's Shin Bet claim that Mansouri was recruited by the Revolutionary Guards and promised $1 million to set up front companies in Israel for covert operations.
Mansouri told Israeli investigators he was recruited by Iranian intelligence. He made trips to Israel in July 2012 and January 2013. His third visit began on September 3 and ended upon his arrest on September 11.
Mansouri was born in Iran in 1958 but moved to Turkey in 1980. After 1997, he split his time between Turkey, Iran, and Belgium, according to Israeli media.
The detention was reportedly under a gag order until Sunday, when the news was cleared for print by the Israeli Shin Bet agency.