Lebanon arrests alleged Mossad spy ring

Military statement: Two detainees had advanced equipment; Israeli officials: No knowledge of report.

November 1, 2008 12:45
1 minute read.
Lebanon arrests alleged Mossad spy ring

LAF 248.88. (photo credit: AP)

A Mossad spy ring which has been active in Lebanon since the 1980s has been uncovered by the Lebanese Army, and the leader and his associate arrested, the Lebanese newspaper A-Safir reported on Saturday. According to the report, Lebanese security officials told the paper that the spies worked to pass information to the Mossad about a range of Lebanese activities, both through pictures of military and civilian installations, and through spoken contact. The sources added that advanced communication equipment and cameras were captured with the two, whose names were not made public. In a statement released by the the Lebanese army and quoted in the report, both members of the spy ring confessed to gathering information about politicians and their parties. The paper also reported that in addition to collecting information about Lebanese activities, the spies noted Syrian activities in the country. Many people have previously been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel. Lebanon considers itself at war with Israel and bans its citizens from having any contact with the Jewish state. The army did not name the parties or politicians but said the two were captured in the eastern Bekaa Valley bordering Syria and where Hizbullah is known to be active. Many officials pass through the eastern Bekaa Valley on their way to Syria. A Hizbullah official refused to comment on the army statement. Hizbullah's top military commander Imad Mughniyeh was killed in a car bomb in the Syrian capital of Damascus in February. Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah blamed Israel for the attack and promised to take revenge. In June, a Lebanese court indicted a retired Lebanese police officer and a Palestinian for allegedly working with Israeli intelligence to assassinate Jihad Jibril, the son of the leader of Syria-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. Jibril was killed in a 2002 bombing in Beirut. The retired Lebanese police officer, Mahmoud Kassem Rafeh, is facing death sentences in two other cases including a 2003 explosion in Beirut that killed Hizbullah official Ali Hussein Saleh. In 2006, the Lebanese army arrested Rafeh, 60, on suspicion of killing two Lebanese brothers who were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group. In 2004, a Tunisian woman of Palestinian origin and four accomplices were indicted on charges of plotting with Israel to assassinate Nasrallah.

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