Israel National News & oav Stern / Haaretz & Al Jazeera – 2008-11-02 22:57:07
Lebanon Claims it Arrested “Mossad Spies”
Israel National News
(November 1, 2008) — Lebanese military officials announced on Saturday that they uncovered a Mossad spy network that was operating in the country. Two people were arrested Friday for spying on Lebanese politicians, and more arrests are expected.
The officials did not name the nationality of the detainees or say when they were captured. A report in a Lebanese newspaper said that group has been spying on Lebanese army and Hizbullah terrorist positions in the Bekaa Valley for years.
Lebanon Arrests Cell Suspected of Working for Israel’s Mossad since 1980s
Yoav Stern / Haaretz Correspondent and The Associated Press
(November 2, 2008) — 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 on Saturday.
The terse military statement did not name the two detainees or say when they were captured, but did mention that they had advanced communication equipment and cameras.
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.
Other Lebanese media reported that authorities are investigating a possible link between the ring and the assassination of Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bombing last February in Damascus. The Lebanese investigation also revealed that the cell has been monitoring sensitive security areas in Damascus, reports said.
Some of the Lebanese army’s past statements regarding covert Israeli activities in Lebanon have turned out to be reliable.
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.
According to the report, sources close to the investigation said the suspect was recruited by the Mossad in the 1980s. They added that documents seized from the suspect’s house and vehicle proved he was using high-tech equipment to contact the Israelis.
The same sources said security forces have also arrested a relative of the man who confessed to monitoring the moves of people and convoys, and observing sensitive sites, particularly in the central Bekaa valley.
The newspaper said the network had been entrusted with monitoring several security spots, including Lebanese and Syrian army outposts and Palestinian bases in the Bekaa valley. In the past few years concentrated on Hezbollah.
Lebanon Detains ‘Israeli Spies’
(November 2, 2008) — Two people accused of spying for Israel have been arrested in Lebanon, the Lebanese army has said. The army did not name the two detainees, who were arrested on Friday.
A statement released on Saturday by the army said: “The [army] Directorate of Intelligence, after a series of investigations in the Bekaa region, detained two people belonging to a network of espionage and terrorism linked to the Israeli enemy.
“They admitted gathering information on political party offices and monitoring the movements of party figures for this enemy. Communications devices and sophisticated cameras” were found in the possession of the accused, the statement said.
An army official declined further comment because of the continuing investigation.
The Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon is considered to be a stronghold of the Shia group Hezbollah. Hezbollah and Israel fought a 34-day war in 2006 that left much of Lebanon’s infrastructure destroyed and claimed the lives of more than 1,200 Lebanese, mainly civilians, and more than 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.
Israel, which also invaded Lebanon in 1982 and kept troops in a “security zone” in the south until May 2000, has been previously linked by security sources to assassinations of public figures.
In June 2006, the Lebanese army uncovered what it said was an Israel-linked network it accused of being behind the killing the previous month of Mahmoud Majzoub, a senior Islamic Jihad leader, and his brother Nidal in a car bombing in the southern port city of Sidon.
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