Posted by: Lister | November 2, 2008

Lebanon Arrests Spy Cell

They’re suspected of having worked for Mossad since the 1980’s. Haaretz:

If the report is accurate, the existence of high-tech equipment could indicate the group was a cell on a specific and predefined intelligence gathering data, as opposed to other so-called spy rings which Israeli intelligence reportedly uses to recover random pieces of intelligence.

[…] Lebanon’s leading daily newspaper As-Safir reported on Saturday that the Lebanese army arrested the cell’s leader in the western Bekaa valley, near Lebanon’s border with Syria, after having monitored him for some time. While the sources refused to elaborate, residents of the western Bekaa Valley town where the arrest took place told As-Safir that security forces raided the suspect’s home and confiscated his vehicle, which was fitted with a camera capable of taking clear pictures of license plates and faces.

The eyewitnesses told As-Safir that the man didn’t appear to have a real job and that he would sometimes park his vehicle on the international highway between the Bekaa town of Shtaura and the Masnaa border crossing.

In another, more complete article, Haaretz repeats the above and says:

Lebanon’s military intelligence has captured two members of a spy network suspected of working for the Mossad since the 1980s, according to an army statement. The military also said the men were involved in intelligence gathering ahead of the assassination of Hezbollah’s second in command, Imad Mughniyeh.

The two suspects have confessed to gathering information on the movements of local politicians, the Lebanese army said yesterday.

Naharnet reports:

The newspaper said the network has been entrusted in the past 20 years with monitoring several security spots, including Lebanese and Syrian army outposts and Palestinian bases in the Bekaa. However, the cell has in the past few years concentrated on observing Hizbullah posts, members and convoys.

Investigation also revealed that the cell has been monitoring sensitive security areas in Damascus, including the area of Kfar Sousa where Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing last February.

Investigators are reportedly trying to find a link between the network and the assassination of Mughniyeh and other personalities whether in Lebanon or Syria.

The ongoing probe is also focusing on the role the network played during the Israeli offensive on the country in July-August 2006.

Many people have previously been arrested in Lebanon on suspicion of spying for Israel.

In June 2006, the Lebanese army captured Mahmoud Rafeh, a 59-year-old Lebanese citizen and retired police officer, for a car bombing that killed Mahmoud Majzoub, a senior Islamic Jihad official, and his brother in front of their home in the southern city of Sidon.

The army had said that Rafeh was a member of a terrorist network allegedly working for the Israeli Mossad.

He later confessed to his role in killing the Majzoub brothers, and to other operations — including bombings that killed two Hizbullah officials in 1999 and 2003 and the 2002 killing of Jihad Jibril, the son of Ahmed Jibril, leader of the radical Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).

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Responses

  1. Haaretz reports that the spy has been named as Ali Jarrah. It also says he was arrested by Hezbollah in July.


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