A Belgian citizen spying for Iran was arrested on September 11th 2013 in Tel Aviv, this according to a statement released by Israel’s General Security Service (GSS). The man, named Alex Menes, aged 55, was arrested as he tried to leave Israel via Ben Gurian airport.
In his interrogation it became apparent that he is an Iranian citizen, born Ali Mansuri, who was sent to Israel on various espionage missions. He lived with his family in Iran until 1980, then moving to Turkey where he established himself as a business man. In 1997 he received a Belgian visa, marrying a native Belgian who he subsequently divorced. During this period he was granted Belgian citizenship, changing his name to Alex Menes, thus obscuring his Iranian identity.
In 2007 he returned to Iran, and broadened his business connections. He remarried, this time to an Iranian woman, and was recruited by the Iranian espionage services in 2012. He was instructed to use his business as a cover for visits in Israel. He was promised vast sums to finance his activities.
Mansuri has previously visited Israel in July 2012 and January 2013 on the request of his Iranian handlers. His last visit began on September 6th. He tried to establish business connections during these visits, presenting himself as a Belgian businessman.
During his arrest he was in the possession of numerous photos from various locations in Israel, several of them of interest to the Iranian intelligence services, including the US embassy in Tel Aviv.
Mansuri detailed during his interrogation by the GSS the training he received, the various methods he used to maintain contact with the Iranian intelligence services and his actions in Israel over the past months.