'Grapel spoke Arabic, prayed, supported Egypt uprising'

'Al-Ahram' quotes 3 witnesses telling Egyptian investigators that alleged Mossad spy's actions during protests had raised their suspicions.

June 19, 2011 12:02
1 minute read.


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Egyptian witnesses told investigators that alleged Mossad spy Ilan Grapel raised their suspicions because he spoke fluent Arabic, participated in prayers and discussed "Jihad" with them, while urging them to continue in the revolt to "overthrow the oppressors," Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram reported Sunday.

A high-ranking official in the Egyptian Prosecutor's Office told the newspaper that the US and Israeli embassies had not yet appointed Grapel an attorney.

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According to the report, a lawyer from the Egyptian Bar Association was currently representing Grapel.

The investigation is expected to continue on Sunday.

The three witnesses reportedly told investigators that Grapel had distributed leaflets calling on youths to demonstrate against and sabotage government authorities. The witnesses said Grapel had claimed to be a Romanian journalist sent by a Romanian agency.

Egyptian Judge Hesham Badawi of the supreme state security prosecution ordered Grapel to be detained for 15 days on suspicion of "spying on Egypt with the aim of harming its economic and political interests," MENA news agency reported, while claiming that he worked for the Mossad.

Grapel was in Cairo working for a nonprofit organization helping African refugees, and his family, friends and the Israeli government have all denied he had any involvement with Israeli intelligence.

The New York native, who is currently enrolled as a law student at Emory University, served as a paratrooper in the IDF during the 2006 Second Lebanon War, where he was injured in combat.

Ben Hartman and Yaakov Katz contributed to this report.

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