Egypt accuses Israelis of espionage

Gov't sources deny knowledge of 4 men including an Egyptian charged with spying.

olmert mubarak egypt 298 (photo credit: AP [file])
olmert mubarak egypt 298
(photo credit: AP [file])
Government sources in Jerusalem said Saturday night they had no information regarding reports of a decision by Egypt's state security prosecutor to charge a 26-year-old Egyptian and three Israelis with allegedly spying for Israel and harming national interests. An Egyptian security official said Mohammed al-Attar, a former student at Al-Azhar University, was arrested Jan. 1 after returning to Cairo from abroad. Al-Attar allegedly left Egypt in 2001 for Turkey, where he met the three Israelis who allegedly recruited him to collect information about Egyptians and other Arabs living in Turkey and Canada in return for money, according to the official. According to the Egyptian security official, Al-Attar was ordered by the Israelis to move to Canada in 2003 to collect information about Egyptians and Arabs living in Canada. For his mission, al-Attar allegedly received 65,000 US and Canadian dollars from the three Israelis, the official said. The three Israelis, identified by the state news agency, MENA, as Daniel Levi, Kemal Kosba and Tuncay Bubay, are currently situated in Canada and Turkey. Kosba and Bubay also hold dual Turkish citizenship, MENA said. We know nothing about this," one Israeli government source said. Another Israeli official said that Israel was checking the story with the Egyptian authorities, as well as checking out the names that were mentioned. MENA and the Egyptian security official could not immediately provide further details about the allegations.