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February 16, 2013

Who Is The Father Of Ben Zygier's Second Daughter?

Ben Zygier was an Austalian/Israeli Mossad agent. He was imprisoned and suicided in Israel probably over fears that he would blow the whistle about illegal foreign passport use shortly after Mossad agents misused foreign passports during while assassinating Mahmoud al Mabhouh in Dubai. A relation between Dubai and and the Zygier case was my first assumption and still seems likely. There are many other possibilities though. And there are several oddities with the whole story. Here is one.

According to this report:

Zygier was arrested in Israel in February 2010. Australian newspapers have reported that Israel informed Australia’s secret service of the arrest on Feb. 24, 2010, eight days after Dubai police revealed that Mossad agents had used foreign passports ...

The official version of Zygier’s death – that he hanged himself in his cell on Dec. 15, 2010 – is being greeted with widespread skepticism as details about his life become known.
...
He died six days after his 34th birthday, and only four days after the birth of his second daughter.

Zygier was arrested before February 24 2010. Zygier's daughter was born on December 11 2010. There are 290 days between February 24 2010 and December 11 2010. Zygier's daughter was thereby born at least 290 days after he was imprisoned.

Pregnancy is considered "at term" when gestation has lasted [...] between 259 and 294 days since the first day of the last menstrual period (LMP). In an otherwise uncomplicated pregnancy, obstetricians usually prefer to induce labour at some stage between 41 and 42 weeks (287-294 days) since LMP. Fertilization in humans typically occurs a consistent period (14 days) from the onset of the LMP. Pregnancy is thereby "at term" between 245 and 280 days since fertilization. Zygier's last chance to sleep with his wife was very likely before his arrest, 290 days before his second daughter was born. Her LMP was two weeks earlier. His daughter then was born 304 days or 43-44 weeks after his wife's LMP, two weeks later than a doctor would usually allow.

Either:

  • Zygier's wife gave birth at a very, very late term due to an incompetent obstetrician or
  • Ben Zygier isn't his second daughter's father and his wife had a different man a few days after Zygier's arrest* or
  • the reported story and dates are not the real ones.

If it is the last point what is the real story?

(*There are other possibilities here like artificial insemination but I consider those very unlikely.)

Posted by b on February 16, 2013 at 8:41 UTC | Permalink

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b. now they are getting desperate counting the weeks - Israel Times has Jason Koutsoukis speculating

The fact that Ben Zygier, the Mossad agent who committed suicide in Ramle’s Ayalon Prison on December 15, 2010, had become a father for the second time only days before he died may have been a factor in his suicide, Jason Koutsoukis, the Australian journalist who spoke by telephone to Zygier at least three times in the months before his death, said Wednesday.

Koutsoukis, who said some in the Australian media are skeptical that Zygier indeed killed himself, told The Times of Israel he was inclined to accept the official Israeli account — “though there are a lot of things that are suspicious” — and that the birth of the second of his two daughters might have been a factor in Zygier’s jail suicide.

“The guy was all alone in prison,” Koutsoukis noted. He’d been held for 42 weeks, and now his second child had been born. (It is not known whether Zygier had any direct contact with his family in this period.) ”He’s been told he’s facing 10 years in jail… His [Mossad] dream is over… He thinks, ‘That’s it,’ you know,” said Koutsoukis.

The alternative, that the Israeli authorities had Zygier killed, said Koutsoukis, simply didn’t make sense. There would be no reason for Israel to do so, and every reason not to. “He’d said he was going to fight the charges, but he couldn’t have done any harm [to Israeli security]. His trial would have been in camera.

“People can be ruthless in matters of state interest and national security,” Koutsoukis allowed. “But this guy’s one of your own. They don’t do that to Hamas operatives. Why do that to Ben Zygier?”

Noting that Zygier’s family “is not saying a word,” he added, “I guess they trust what they were told.” Zygier’s parents live in Melbourne; his widow is Israeli.

No, you are not committing suicide whilst a new lawyer is asking to see the evidence to give you a second opinion. And no, Zygier was not arrested in February but beginning of March. And sure, some people had a reason not to let Avigdor Feldman see how thin the evidence was.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 16:58 utc | 101

The date of arrest - this here is the text of the lifting of the gag order - the date of the first gag order is March 4 - you would need a gag order immediately.

Some people have an interest in dating the arrest before Feb 24, the publishing date of the first three Australian passports in the Dubai attack - one passport added at a later date.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 17:13 utc | 102

Somebody #101, 102 - it's good that you believe the official Israeli story about the timeline of the arrest. The march 4 date is certainly making the rounds over there. But it seems the Australians are not back-tracking on their notification prior to Feb 24. The campaign to make the arrest coincident with the date of the gag order went into high gear after people noticed that slight discrepancy about the pregnancy dates. And don't forget the march 4 to 10 under "house arrest" - when promoting official lines from israel (it was suicided!!) can't leave out details, you know.

Oh and there are these hot-off-the-press disclosures that he wasn't really held in a high security cell (check out the Haaretz article) - I think you should absolutely believe the Mossad AND Netaniahu AND the spokesmen/women who claim he already got a trial- by all means. Such truth-telling people - such rock solid credibility!

In the meantime, as Mossad and its countless mouthpieces are cobbling together their cover-up version, I think I'll just keep throwing them bones of more tid-bits that need cover. I like to see men hard-at-work. And women too, of course.

In

Posted by: Merlin2 | Feb 20 2013 20:41 utc | 103

103 :-))

I know, Israelis now have the problem to get the high security risk (complete gag order) in line with the low security cell (bathroom window! i.e. direct connection to the outside world, and a stool to reach the bars) in line with the "soft" treason (Alon Ben David - no malice in Zygier's action)

I tend to believe in the integrity of court papers concerning gag orders, and the gag order dates from March 4, though frankly I wonder how these gag orders work, I mean do they say "Do not talk about prisoner X" and everybody goes "hey there is a prisoner X"? :-))
There is no Israeli reason whatsoever to date it later.

The middle of February date is from the Australians and they might have a reason to say that Zygier's arrest had nothing to do with them outing him to the media.

Of course it is quite possible that Zygier was estranged from his wife, however Avigdor Feldman explicitely mentions the birth of the daughter as a reason he did not have the feeling Zygier was suicidal and he was the last known person to talk to him.

There is a lot of fudging of timelines and I suspect it tells a lot. Like Jason Koutsoukis says he contacted Zygier first in October (so the Australians were suspecting him then) and some acquaintance reports having seen Zygier in Melbourne for Christmas. So the Australians had all the time to talk to him if they wanted to (they possibly did). He then gets contacted by Koutsoukis again in Israel and seems to have remained there though presumably he studied in Melbourne. Because the Australians might have arrested him, or questioned him more? Bad luck, the Israelis arrested him.

Anyway dealing with Iran seems to be bad luck for Mossad agents - there is also the case of Ari Ben Menashe,

so maybe Zygier was involved in this Milan-based Iranian weapons procurement ring uncovered in March 2010 - the possibilities are endless ... :-))


The fun of it is that the longer Israel's security state keeps us guessing, the more all kinds of Israeli misdeeds will be speculated about, some articles even mention the Palestinians ....


Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 22:32 utc | 104

and the knives are out in the dual loyalty discussion

Posted by: somebody | Feb 20 2013 22:53 utc | 105

Here it is:

Caulfield Park
@CaulfieldPark
The views of the Jewish community of Melbourne as overheard by me.
Caulfield

Aaah - the age of twitter ....

Posted by: somebody | Feb 21 2013 6:07 utc | 106

Laura Rozen @lrozen has dug up a wikileaks cable concerning an Ialian firm exporting satellite technology to Iran from Feb 2010.

Actually anybody who knows Zygier worked with Italy's defense contractors, reads wikileaks cables on Finmeccanica, factors in Italy's (and presumably Israel's business basics i.e. black market creativity, mafia and corruption, is informed that he was a lawyer i.e. involved with contracts, must realize that he knew much too much for his own good or to let him defend himself in court once his identity was implicated as Mossad in the rollout of stuxnet, flame and what else. Actually his involvement in the passport fiasco might have been a convenient pretext.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 21 2013 7:28 utc | 107

From March 10, 2010

NYer linked to Dubai hit disappears

By LORENA MONGELLI
Last Updated: 5:06 AM, March 10, 2010
Posted: 4:31 AM, March 10, 2010

The mystery over the New York connection to the assassination of a Mideast terror chief deepened yesterday as the founder of a credit-card firm implicated in the plot disappeared.

Employees of Yuval Tal's Payoneer Inc. said he wasn't at the company's Midtown headquarters, and Brooklyn neighbors of Tal said he was out of the country.

Payoneer, founded by Tal in 2005, has been identified as the firm that supplied credit cards that ended up in the hands of the suspected killers of Hamas commander Mahmud al-Mabhouh in Dubai.

Tal is a former member of Israel's special forces and has become a focus of attention since Dubai police charged that Payoneer issued at least 17 credit cards to the hit team that carried out the Jan. 19 murder.

At Payoneer's office at 1841 Broadway, workers said Tal was "not in today" and no one else could speak for the firm.

Tal is listed as the owner of an apartment building on Berkeley Place in Park Slope.


and from the Wall Street Journal: American companies involved

The U.S. companies identified by investigators include Internet-based businesses that match freelance job-seekers with employers and process payments between the two sides. Authorities have identified financial transfers from several of these intermediary businesses into prepaid, cash-card accounts used by suspects in the Dubai killing, according to international investigators.

U.S. authorities say they don't believe the intermediary companies had any way of knowing the money would be used in the plot, according to a U.S. official familiar with the investigation.

Instead, U.S. investigators believe, suspects might have posed as freelancers in order to get money in a way that obscured their funding source, and used the money for operational expenses, such as buying plane tickets.

The next step in the investigation would be to determine who the employers were in the transactions.

Representatives of several companies identified in the probe said they hadn't been contacted by U.S. authorities and weren't aware of any investigation.

White House officials have declined to comment on how extensively the U.S. has been cooperating on the case with Dubai and the United Arab Emirates—a moderate, Western-leaning powerhouse in the Mideast.

Earlier this year, Dubai police identified 13 U.S.-issued, cash-card accounts they said suspects used in the operation. All the suspects linked to the cards used fraudulent passports, according to Dubai police. That means their names and details wouldn't have been on any international warning lists and wouldn't have otherwise raised alarm bells for the companies.

Dubai has accused Israel's Mossad intelligence agency in the killing of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, a founding member of Hamas' military wing, which has carried out scores of attacks against Israel. Israeli officials say there is no evidence implicating the Jewish state.

After Dubai released details of dozens of forged or fraudulently obtained passports linked to the case, the U.K., Ireland and Australia expelled Israeli diplomats after accusing Israel of forging passports used by suspects.

Washington has for years sent officials to the U.A.E. to ask authorities there to investigate and shut down suspected terror-financing networks in the country. The Dubai investigation is the highest-profile case in which the roles appear reversed: The U.A.E. is now seeking help from Washington in following an alleged criminal money trail that leads back to the U.S.

The White House, however, has scrambled recently to patch up relations with Israel after months of strained ties over stalled Mideast peace efforts and other policy clashes. The White House declined to comment on the sensitivities of cooperating in the Dubai case.

The Mabhouh case has also put the prepaid cash card sector under the spotlight. Regulators and law-enforcement officials say they have worried in recent years such cards may be vulnerable to misuse for money-laundering or other criminal activity—the type of abuse that has worried U.S. counterterrorism officials, international investigators said.

The cards are used like debit cards, but are charged up ahead of time with cash electronically—for instance by an employer. They have become increasingly popular among companies that pay workers or other payees in far-flung locales, where cutting checks or wiring in money isn't convenient.

Some of the MasterCard MA +0.34% Inc.-branded cards used by Dubai suspects were distributed by Payoneer Inc., a New York-based online payment company, and issued by Metabank, owned by Meta Financial Group Inc., CASH +0.35% Storm Lake, Iowa, said Dubai authorities. Dubai said suspects also used four other cards issued by European finance companies.

In a statement, Meta said the company had been "informed by authorities that the suspects apparently used stolen identities, including fake passports, to obtain employment/compensation from U.S. companies and acquire bank cards issued by Meta and other banks."

The cards in question were "loaded" by companies for "payroll, disbursements, and other compensation," Meta said. The bank said it launched its own review of the matter, and has found so far that it had followed all bank and regulatory requirements.

Meta and Payoneer, in public statements, have confirmed they have been in contact with U.S. authorities in the matter.

:-))

Posted by: somebody | Feb 21 2013 14:53 utc | 108

now it is confession time - Haaretz

The story is a simple one, really. According to foreign sources, Israel allowed itself to cross three boundaries: a Mossad man was asked to retain Australian citizenship – leading to a dual-loyalty dilemma; the identity that he was instructed to use as a cover was his real Australian identity; and, worst of all, he was sent to operate in his homeland.

Posted by: somebody | Feb 21 2013 16:00 utc | 109

b might like to take a look at ABC TV's Q & A program for 25 February, 2013...
http://www.abc.net.au/tv/qanda/
...for the discussion about Zygier.
The episode is headlined Espionage, Revolution & Ruin.
The Panelists were
- Jeff Bleich, US Ambassador to & proxy King of, Oz (Bleich didn't talk much but he still managed to introduce the "Assad killing his own people" meme.
- Bob Carr, Oz FM & part-time bumbling USrael bootlicker.
- Malcolm Turnbull, popular ex-leader of the Liberal Party (who'll be re-instated by the Libs about the same time as Rudd is re-instated as Labor leader).
- Ahdaf Soueif, anti-imperialst author of Egyptian origin.
- Eva Cox, Sociologist and influential Oz feminist with sober opinions about the style of "democracy" practised in "Israel".

The subjects raised were
Zygier - discussed for 15 mins
Assange - discussed for 15 mins
Other interesting stuff including being toppled from leadership for reasons which don't make much sense to anyone except the topplers.

The vid of the program should be online now. The transcript won't be online for until about 14 hrs after the time of this comment.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 25 2013 13:20 utc | 110

Facts: Australian boy, Ben Zygier goes on Aliyah to Isreal. Comes home in a coffin ten years later.

What happenned is conjecture.

Could be anything.

He could of been Benji Netanyahu's gay lover who threatened to come out of the closet.
So the Netanyahu's party offed him.

After all his father (a really conservative jewish dude) isn't in any of his 'wedding' photos and that's understandable if Ben was gay or bi.
The theory would explain this second child thingy, as lot's of queers have shame weddings to swinger chicks for each other's cover.

Then again,if that theory doesn't gel, could Ben Zygier of been plotting to assassinate Ben Netanyahu because Ben didn't agree with his politics. Then banging him up in the same cell as the bloke who shot Yitzhak Rabin would of been understandable. Maybe our little Aussie Ben had a manifesto brewing like Brevik, or he had cracked after years of repression under his father, and brain washing at Jewish schools, that he just couldn't live what he might of thought was bullshit anymore and decide to top the PM.


Or, he was just a clerk in Mossad who arranged to make passports, who got spooked by Jason the reporter and was about to (or threaten to) cough up the real names of the hit squad to interpol.

Let's hope to find out soon. I got a few wagers on it.

Posted by: Beersheba31Oct1917 | Feb 27 2013 8:16 utc | 111

b might be interested in two stories in tonight's (March 6) Lateline.
http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/
Prisoner X report raises more questions. (Bob Carr interview - touches on the Feb16 vs Feb 24 discrepancy)
Israel had reason to hold Ben Zygier. (Yossi Melman interview - ASIO probably knew about Zygier but Oz Govt didn't)

(The reason I thought this was a non story is because NO revelation about the influence of USrael on, and corruption of, governance, political and commercial independence in Oz would or could surprise me. It has been self-evident, to anyone who pays attention, for many years)
Oz has long been infected with Deep State-ism.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 6 2013 16:32 utc | 112

the date of arrest has moved further - away from the passport issue ....

For still unspecified national security crimes, Zygier, who had moved from Melbourne to Israel in 2000, was arrested on January 31, 2010. According to Wednesday's internal inquiry, Mossad informed ASIO - which was investigating Zygier along with at least two other dual nationals it suspected of working for Israeli intelligence - about the arrest just over two weeks later.

Zygier had held three Australian passports in different names in the space of several years while living in Israel. He legally changed his surname twice in Victoria, first to Burrows and then to Allen. Amazingly, Zygier had not actually committed any crime in Australia - even by working for Mossad. (ASIO was investigating as an intelligence agency, not a law enforcement body.)

whilst ABC interviewing an Israeli journalist firmly puts the date into context with the Dubai assassination

TONY JONES: To put it like this: are you saying effectively when Israel spies briefed Australia's spies - a spy to spy, as it were - they told them to truth, they told them what he was charged with, what the circumstances of this are, and yet our spies have not told our Government. Is that what you're saying?

YOSSI MELMAN: Probably, yes, probably that was the case. You see, sometimes for not endangering operations or future operations or for your wish to keep mode of operations, you don't share the full story with even friendly services - but you obviously tell them to a certain degree what happened in this case. Especially one has to realise... that this Ben Zygier affair came very shortly after the larger scandal of the assassination of Mabhouh.

And at that time, the Israeli government was under enormous pressure from the Australian Government, from the British government, from German government, French and the Irish government for using or misusing their passports. And because of that I believe that Mossad was ready at the time when Ben Zygier was arrested to share much more than usually he would have done in different circumstances. I think that your Government or your security services have a better knowledge of this affair - certainly better knowledge than the Israeli public has.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 8 2013 21:49 utc | 113

And I guess that points to the real scandal and why Australia tries to avoid the connection to the Dubai assassination.

That the US/Israel pressured Dubai for surveillance of their (Iran sanctions) black market and money laundering and supplied surveillance gear.

Caught by the surveillance gear were Israeli agents (and presumably Israeli businesses) from a timespan of a year by the use of their credit cards. Dubai involved interpol. -The West did not follow up on the interpol warrant. Germany released one of the agents who had used his own identity. The Mossad connected internet firm issuing the credit cards in a system that is an invitation to international money laundering was not searched by the US.

It is obvious that Israeli Mossad connected businesses trade with Iran despite the sanctions - for business and for intelligence.

It is a clear case of the people controlled part of government pretending not to know what the part of the government that is kept from the control of the people is doing.

Either that or Australian politicians have lost control of their secret services.

There is this saga of the Ofer brothers trade with Iran documented by Richard Silverstein - and sure Iran knows who the Ofer brothers are, and sure there is no spying without business, and no business without profit.

This would indicate that Israel utilized a web of legitimate commercial interests to pursue its intelligence activities inside Iran. And it was willing to exploit such commercial ventures despite the fact that they were in direct contravention of an international embargo. The only reason the Mossad got caught was that the Obama administration had been crossed one time too many by Bibi and wanted to bring him down a peg or two. The Ofer Brothers blacklist story broke the same day Bibi came to Washington and this could not have been an accident.


Posted by: somebody | Mar 9 2013 7:48 utc | 114

So Iran sanctions are good for Israeli business:
- they get rid of Western trade competition
- they raise prices
For Iran it is much easier to locate the spies that way.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 9 2013 7:51 utc | 115

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