Report: Lebanon allegedly detains Iraqi citizen accused of gathering intel for Israel

An Iraqi citizen was recently arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying on the Lebanese military and forming an espionage ring at Israel's behest, Lebanese media reported Saturday.

May 21, 2017 02:11
2 minute read.
A SOLDIER near Metulla monitors Lebanon

A SOLDIER near Metulla monitors Lebanon. (photo credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)


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Lebanese security forces have arrested an Iraqi citizen who allegedly gathered intelligence for Israel on behalf of a body affiliated with Israel's Defense Ministry, Lebanese news website EL Nashara reported on Saturday.

Security forces detained the man on suspicion that he contacted Israel and was then asked to provide information regarding the Lebanese military as well as to establish an espionage network from within Lebanon, according to El Nashra.

El Nashra further claimed that the alleged spy had confessed in his interrogation to the charges against him and also professed to having been recruited by an officer working on behalf of TASA ELITE, a mechanism affiliated with Israel's Defense Ministry that oversees operations in Arab countries.

The Iraqi citizen reportedly told investigators that Israel had tasked him with gathering information about the Lebanese military as well as several individuals in Lebanon. He was also reported to have said that he was asked to help form a spy network inside Lebanon.

The man's Israeli contact was then put in touch with the Iraqi citizen's brother in Iraq with the purpose of gathering information about authorities' activities there, El Nashara reported.

The report cited Lebanon's General Directorate of Public Security, who released an official statement denouncing the actions of the suspect, who they reportedly accused of carrying out "counter-espionage operations in favor of the Israeli enemy." 

The suspect is expected to be tried in the near future, and the report stated that efforts are underway in Lebanon to identify and arrest members of the espionage ring the Iraqi citizen had allegedly formed.

This report comes on the heels of a different and highly controversial affair that linked between Israel, the US and espionage activities.

Last week the New York Times reported that two US officials, one current and one former, said that Trump shared intelligence supplied by Israel in the fight against Islamic State with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Labrov and Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak during an Oval Office meeting earlier this month.

The report sent ripples of shock in Israel, and shortly after it was released an ABC report followed, claiming that US officials have said the Trump's intelligence leak to Russia has endangered the life of a spy who was placed inside ISIS by Israel.

The spy was tracking an ISIS plot to bring down a passenger jet on its way to the US with a bomb hidden in a laptop that US officials think could get through airport screening machines unnoticed, according to ABC.

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