Lebanon nabs 3 alleged spies for Israel

Nasrallah calls for the execution of everyone detained for spying, 'beginning with Shi'ites'.

nasrallah 248 88 (photo credit: AP [file])
nasrallah 248 88
(photo credit: AP [file])
At least three more suspected spies for Israel have been arrested in Lebanon since Thursday, while two other suspects have been released after they were determined to be innocent, according to Lebanese press reports. Lebanese security forces detained Hassan al-Hussein, 51, in the southern village of Qsaybe, near Nabatiya, for allegedly spying for Israel, the NOW Lebanon news site reported on Saturday. In addition, Mustafa Said, the former brother-in-law of suspect Nasser Nader, was arrested on Friday, and security forces raided his home on Saturday near the Ein-el Helweh Palestinian refugee camp, the Lebanese news site Al-Akbar reported. The investigations reportedly showed that Said, along with Nader, were connected to the murder of Hizbullah leader Ghaleb al-Awali in 2004. On Thursday, security forces also arrested Ziad al-Saadi from Shebaa on suspicion of dealing with Israel. They raided two of his homes, according to the A-Safir newspaper. It is believed that al-Saadi, in his 70s, was going to try to flee the country after he had sold one of his cafes days before his arrest. Meanwhile, Lebanese authorities have released a woman and her brother-in-law who were arrested as part of the alleged ring, Al-Akhbar reported on Saturday. Investigators found that the two had no knowledge of evidence located in the woman's home in Shebaa, which was determined to belong to her father. The father has been serving a jail sentence in Syria since 2006 for collaborating with Israeli intelligence, according to the report. On Friday, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah called for the death penalty for everyone arrested in the alleged spy ring. "I call for the capital punishment for all arrested agents, and beginning with Shi'ite agents," he said in a televised address on Friday commemorating the ninth anniversary of the Israeli withdrawal from south Lebanon, according to the Lebanese news site naharnet.com. He also warned that espionage rings not only gather data, but also "carry out operations." "Twenty kilograms of TNT were uncovered at the home of one agent - that brings up a lot of questions," Nasrallah said. Nearly 20 people suspected of spying for Israel have reportedly been arrested in Lebanon in recent weeks ahead of the hotly contested June 7 parliamentary elections.