Convicted nuclear whistle-blower Mordechai Vanunu has been arrested by police Thursday morning, for breaching the terms of his release by giving an exclusive interview to Israel’s Channel Two.
The arrest took place at Vanunu’s home, and came a day after reports authorities – presumably the Shin Bet internal security service, which is responsible for monitoring him – had opened an official investigation into him over comments he had made during the interview last week.
In the interview, Vanunu revealed for the first time details of the Mossad honey trap operation which lured him from London to Italy, where he was captured and transported via boat to stand trial in Israel.
Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, much of it in solitary confinement, for revealing details of Israel’s nuclear program to the British media.
Since his release in 2004 – upon which he expressed no remorse for his actions – Vanunu has been subjected to a number of restrictions aimed at preventing him from leaking further classified information. Among other things he is forbidden from speaking to foreigners, from leaving the country or even approaching its borders.
He has been arrested several times for breaching those conditions, and even spent short stints in prison as a result.
He is also forbidden from speaking to journalists, but nevertheless gave an exclusive interview to Israel’s Channel Two.
Israeli security experts and officials have justified the restrictions on Vanunu – which he has repeatedly appealed – on the basis that the information he holds and could potentially reveal to foreign sources still poses a threat to national security.
But in the Channel Two interview, released in full last Friday, Vanunu claimed he had no interest in continuing the saga and wished only to join his wife in Norway.