Parents who escaped Nazi persecution and an old marriage certificate. These apparently served as the bogus cover story for alleged Israeli spy Uri Brodsky to obtain a German passport for another Mossad agent. The German newspaper Der Spiegel describes step by step how Brodsky allegedly obtained the sought-after passport, which was used later in the Dubai assassination of senior Hamas official Mahmoud al-Mabhouh.
According to the report, the operation to obtain the German passport began in March 2009 when a man going by the name Alexander Verin, believed by the Germans to be Brodsky, met with a lawyer specializing in naturalization processes in Cologne.
The Germans believe that "Alexander Verin" was one of the aliases used by the Israeli citizen arrested in Poland on suspicions of being a Mossad agent. Verin was accompanied by a man going by the name o Michael Bodenheimer, an Israeli of German descent, who sought to apply for a German passport.
The two explained to the immigration lawyer that Bodenheimer's father, Hans, emigrated to Israel in order to escape Nazi persecution. They presented him with the parents' marriage certificate, evidence that is said to help obtain a passport in a fairly straightforward naturalization procedure.
The newspaper recounts that Bodenheimer and Brodsky were staying at the time in a hotel in Cologne and that Bodenheimer later rented an apartment down the street. "It was the perfect, cheap apartment for someone who didn't want to be noticed," writes Der Spiegel.
A few months later, on June 16, the attorney submitted the required documents to the registry office in Cologne, and a passport was issued to Bodenheimer two days later.
'Israel went too far'
According to the Der Spiegel report, preparations were made in Israel prior to the maneuver on German soil. At the end of 2008, an elderly man going by the name Hans Bodenheimer contacted the German embassy in Tel Aviv with a request for a German passport.
The clerks in the embassy reported a similar story to the one that the man who claimed to be his told the attorney in Germany. He said that he was born in Germany, but escaped to Israel in order to flee the Nazis.
Hans' request was approved, and he was mailed a German passport. A few weeks later, Der Spiegel claims, his son Michael showed up in Cologne.
Germany believes that Michael Bodenheimer was one of the assassins who took part in the Mabhouh hit in Dubai, while Verin, suspected of being the same Uri Brodsky arrested in Poland, acted as a Mossad logistics specialist based in Europe in order to provide fake identities and cover stories. This suspicion is bolstered by examining the pattern of Brodsky's travels through various European countries, all of which he entered using Verin's passport.
The Der Spiegel reports that senior officials in Berlin believe that Israel went "one step too far" in order to obtain the German passport used in the assassination of the Hamas commander. German officials also said that Israel abused the unconditional support it enjoys from Germany in order to obtain the passport without the authorities' knowledge.